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My Gay Toronto - Bellini's 8 1/2

Priests and perverts

According to Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano, the police broke up a Vatican orgy in June. Well, June is Pride Month.

The story would be juicy except for the complete lack of details. Orgy at the Vatican? Most of us think that orgies have always been rocking at the Vatican. After all, the people who work there are largely men, forced to take ridiculous vows of chastity, to be above the temptations of the flesh that make life worth living. The priesthood has always drawn an inordinate share of gay men, and why not? What a great place to meet a boyfriend.
The whole thing took place in an apartment owned by the Vatican whose tenant is the secretary to a key advisor to the Pope. That's two degrees of separation, just the type of empty stupid news story that allow dissenters to point to the Pope and say that he must be to blame for the whole nest of vipers.


Even as a child, I looked upon our parish priests as men who made a weird choice. Once, my mother made me give a donation to a nun, and the nun said that I was such a nice boy that one day I might grow up to become a priest. I went home and cried my eyes out, worried that such a horrible fate might befall me. What closet could be deeper than the one provided by the Catholic Church? Even as a child, I hedged my bets, figuring it better to be a known pervert than a pretend saint. 


In many ways, gay men have always been around this issue. Just by having homosexual thoughts, we have committed a sin. A gay priest is supposed to be celibate just like a straight priest, but celibacy is such a huge price to pay for this job. And unrealistic, too. There's no moral wriggle room at all. But then I hear stories like my friend who, at the age of 15, dated a priest at Mount Cashel. Sure, they had sex, but that priest protected my friend from horrible abuse at home, giving him not just refuge but confidence and purpose. Though it didn't last long, my friend claims the relationship was one of the better things that ever happened to him. Years later, when the trial raged, he tried to put himself forward as a character witness, to speak positively of this man who saved him, but the Crown was not interested. That priest is probably still in jail. 


The real problem here is the dismal spin. "See, the Vatican is made up of all depraved fags!" Maybe it is. So what? With Trump in Washington, society's moral code has already reached rock bottom. The real culprit is not the gay priest who threw what sounds like a fabulous party, but newspapers like Il Fatto Quotidiano for not providing any actual fucking facts or perspective whatsoever, leaving us to think the worst. 


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