Send your thoughts and reactions to Letters to the Editor. Magazine article National Catholic Reporter. IN THE CLOSET OF THE VATICAN: POWER, HOMOSEXUALITY, HYPOCRISY by Frédéric Martel (London: Bloomsbury Continuum … Read Our Feature Series. The Vatican has one of the biggest gay communities in the world, and I doubt whether, even in San Francisco's Castro, the emblematic gay quarter, though more mixed today, there are quite as many gays! And we might assume that this pope probably doesn't have the tendencies or inclination attributed to four of his recent predecessors. 'The problem is that if you tell the truth about the "closet" and the special friendships in the Vatican, people won't believe you. For a long time, as we will see, young Italians who discovered that they were homosexual, or who had doubts about their inclinations, chose the priesthood. But there we have it: these secret homosexuals are in the majority, powerful and influential and, in terms of the most 'rigid' among them, very noisy in their homophobic utterances. They even suggest, when questioned, that by forbidding priests to marry, the Church has become sociologically homosexual; and that by imposing a continence that is against nature, and a secretive culture, it is partly responsible for the tens of thousands of instances of sexual abuse that are undermining it from within. In the Closet of the Vatican is published simultaneously in eight languages. His assistants, his closest collaborators, his masters of ceremony and masters of liturgy, his theologians and his cardinals, where gays are also in the majority, know that in the Vatican homosexuality includes a lot of the called and a lot of the chosen. At first, of course, the pope was surprised by the extent of that 'malicious colony', its 'charming qualities' and its 'unbearable shortcomings' of which the French writer Marcel Proust wrote in his celebrated book Sodom and Gomorrah. Why? In a letter to Francis in 2015, Krzysztof Charamsa criticised what he called the Vatican’s hypocrisy in banning gay priests and said the clergy was “full of homosexuals”. In most cases it isn't simply a general inclination, of a certain fluidity, homophilia or 'tendencies', as people said at the time, nor even repressed or sublimated sexuality, all equally prevalent in the Church of Rome. So this book criticizes not the Church overall, but a very particular 'genre' within the gay community; it tells the story of the majority of those in the College of Cardinals and the Vatican. This report is said to reveal not so much the existence of a 'gay lobby', as was said, as the omnipresence of homosexuals in the Vatican, blackmail and harassment built into the system. I'm like St Thomas: I need to check to believe. By failing to recognize the broadly homosexual dimension, we deprive ourselves of one of the keys to a greater understanding of most of the facts that have stained the history of the Vatican for decades: the secret motivations that led Paul VI to confirm the prohibition on artificial contraception, the rejection of condoms and the strict obligation of celibacy on the priesthood; the war against 'liberation theology'; the scandals of the Vatican Bank in the time of the famous Archbishop Marcinkus (he too was a homosexual); the decision to forbid condoms as a way of battling AIDS, even when the pandemic would lead to more than thirty-five million deaths; the VatiLeaks I and II affairs; the recurrent and often unfathomable misogyny of many cardinals and bishops; the resignation of Benedict XVI; the current rebellion against Pope Francis … Every time, homosexuality plays a central part that many people can only guess at, and the truth of which has never really been told. Why did these men, who were used to being silent, agree to break the omertà? This report is said to reveal not so much the existence of a 'gay lobby', as was said, as the omnipresence of homosexuals in the Vatican, blackmail and harassment built into the system. However, Francis today is the object of a violent campaign, precisely because of his supposed liberalism on questions of sexual morality, by conservative cardinals who are very homophobic – and, most of them, secretly homosexual. He earned his B.A. And then I travelled across the world, through more than thirty countries, among the clergies of Latin America, Asia, the United States and the Middle East, to collect over a thousand statements. I'm not the first to discuss this phenomenon. How many are there? It would have been difficult to publish a book like this twenty or even only ten years ago. Do I need to say that Francis knows the people he addresses in this way without naming them: cardinals, papal masters of ceremonies, former secretaries of state, deputies, minor assistants or chamberlains? Jim Martin, Editorial: Stop judging, and welcome LGBT Catholics 'in good faith', Exiting gay pastoral associate pledges continued LGBTQ work, Adopting political tactics at synod is understandable, but misplaced, Pope to gay priests: Be celibate or get out. – homosexuality is also one of the keys that explain the institutionalized cover-up of sexual crimes and misdemeanours, of which there are now tens of thousands. Social networks, more courage on the part of the press, and countless ecclesiastical sex scandals have made it possible, and necessary, to reveal this secret today. We might even say that there is an unwritten rule that can always be checked in this book: the more homophobic a priest is, the greater the chance that he himself will be homosexual. A gay adolescent today has other options, even in Italy, apart from entering holy orders. It would have been difficult to publish a book like this twenty or even only ten years ago. With his calm ego and relaxed attitude towards sexuality, Francis is an anomaly. About forty cardinals and hundreds of bishops, monsignori, priests and 'nuncios' (the pope's ambassadors) agreed to meet me. I installed myself in Rome, one week every month, regularly inside the Vatican, thanks to the hospitality of senior prelates who sometimes revealed that they too were 'part of the parish'. A new book detailing the secret sex life of priests at the Vatican claims that about 80 per cent are homosexual and that the more a prelate criticises homosexuality, the more likely it is he is gay. In most cases it isn't simply a general inclination, of a certain fluidity, homophilia or 'tendencies', as people said at the time, nor even repressed or sublimated sexuality, all equally prevalent in the Church of Rome. The gay dimension doesn't explain everything, of course, but it is key for anyone wishing to understand the Vatican and its moral postures. That's why he spends so much time denouncing fake devotees, whited sepulchres and hypocrites. In the Closet of the Vatican is a reminder that the experience of gay priests may differ from place to place. Do I need to say that Francis knows the people he addresses in this way without naming them: cardinals, papal masters of ceremonies, former secretaries of state, deputies, minor assistants or chamberlains? Have the pope and his liberal theologians realized that priestly celibacy was a failure? A fairy tale. Here we will have to be counter-intuitive in order to understand it. Unlike those Vaticanologists, who denounce individual 'excesses' but in such a way as to conceal the 'system', I am less concerned with exposing these affairs than with revealing the very banal double life of most of the dignitaries of the Church. "In the Closet of the Vatican" - Latest News. This brilliant piece of investigative writing is based on four years' authoritative research, including extensive interviews with those in power. Some of them were worried about what I was going to reveal. “In an explosive report that calls into question the decision-making of three Catholic popes, the Vatican has revealed a series of institutional failures that led to the repeated promotion of now disgraced ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick despite rumors of his alleged sexual misconduct with … It doesn't matter. Despite what the cardinal says, the recent history of Catholic Christianity shows that for the Vatican, "the unity of the church" precisely "require[s] a … Send your thoughts and reactions to Letters to the Editor. And then I travelled across the world, through more than thirty countries, among the clergies of Latin America, Asia, the United States and the Middle East, to collect over a thousand statements. This pattern explains the war against Francis. Unlike those Vaticanologists, who denounce individual 'excesses' but in such a way as to conceal the 'system', I am less concerned with exposing these affairs than with revealing the very banal double life of most of the dignitaries of the Church. Editor's Note: We are running an excerpt from the new book In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy by Frédéric Martel. They are less so today because the resignation of Benedict XVI and Pope Francis's desire for reform have freed people's tongues. A number of journalists have already revealed scandals and affairs within the Roman Curia. We’ll soon have a review and other commentary available. Ahead of its publication, the National Catholic Reporter released an excerpt from the book Inside the Closet of the Vatican by Frédéric Martel. Make checks out to: NCR. For a long time, the ways of the Lord remained, if I may say so, impenetrable. Join us if you love lots and lots of free news This brilliant piece of investigative writing is based on four years' authoritative research, including extensive interviews with those in power. He lives in Paris. Those conservatives, those traditionalists, those 'dubias', are in many cases the famous 'rigid people leading a double life' of whom Francis speaks so often. Others, last of all, proved to be loquacious, excessively so, as if they had been waiting for so many years to come out of their silence. Practising, certainly, but still 'in the closet'. What they told me was unsayable for a long time. The intimate stories of these men who give an image of piety in public and lead a quite different life in private, so different from one another, present us with a complex intrigue to unravel. They'll say it's made up. Latest Videos: However, Francis today is the object of a violent campaign, precisely because of his supposed liberalism on questions of sexual morality, by conservative cardinals who are very homophobic – and, most of them, secretly homosexual. By Mary Chalupsky Veteran Vatican reporter John L. Allen Jr. offered insights into the Francis papacy during the closing plenary session of the NACC national conference. 'He's of the parish,' the priest whispers conspiratorially in my ear. During the four years of that investigation, I never concealed my identity as a writer, a journalist or a researcher when approaching cardinals and priests, who sometimes proved to be unapproachable. For a long time, the ways of the Lord remained, if I may say so, impenetrable. So it is not a matter of judging these homosexuals, even the closeted ones – I like them! About forty cardinals and hundreds of bishops, monsignori, priests and 'nuncios' (the pope's ambassadors) agreed to meet me. Most of the monsignori who have spoken at the balcony of the Loggia of St Peter's, between the pontificate of Paul VI and that of Francis, to deliver the sad announcement of the death of the pope or, with frank gaiety, to say Habemus papam!, share the same secret. Learn more here, Copyright © The National Catholic Reporter Publishing Company | 115 E. Armour Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64111 | 1-800-444-8910, IN THE CLOSET OF THE VATICAN: POWER, HOMOSEXUALITY, HYPOCRISY, 576 pages; Published by Bloomsbury Continuum, Detail from the Sistine Chapel frescoes (Wikimedia Commons/Jörg Bittner Unna), Pope Francis gives his annual pre-Christmas speech to officials of the Roman Curia and cardinals present in Rome Dec. 21, 2018, in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace. 'The carnival is over,' the pope is reported to have said to his master of ceremonies at the very moment when he was elected. Enter your email address to receive free newsletters from NCR. Many cardinals and priests who officiate at the Roman Curia, most of those who meet up in conclave beneath the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel painted by Michelangelo – one of the most grandiose scenes of gay culture, peopled with virile bodies, surrounded by the Ignudi, those robust and beautiful naked young men – share the same 'inclinations'. The Vatican has one of the biggest gay communities in the world, and I doubt whether, even in San Francisco's Castro, the emblematic gay quarter, though more mixed today, there are quite as many gays! Lastly – alas! At first, of course, the pope was surprised by the extent of that 'malicious colony', its 'charming qualities' and its 'unbearable shortcomings' of which the French writer Marcel Proust wrote in his celebrated book Sodom and Gomorrah. Send your thoughts and reactions to Letters to the Editor. One that would be turned against the Church as soon as everyone became aware of its real motivations: a war waged between closeted homosexuals and gays who had come out! But lots of people described this 'closet' to me. I've often had a sense during my investigation that I've gone back in time and found myself in the 1930s or 1950s, years that I haven't known myself, with the dual mentality of the chosen people and the cursed people, which led one of the priests that I met often to say: 'Welcome to Sodoma! That is one of the mysteries of this book and my reason for writing it. Because the 'culture of secrecy', which was necessary to maintain silence about the huge presence of homosexuality inside the Church, has made it possible to hide sexual abuse, and for predators to benefit from this system of protection within the institution – even though paedophilia is not the subject of this book. He's of the parish,' he stressed in a low voice, talking to me about the morals of a famous Vatican cardinal, a former 'minister' of John Paul II, who both of us knew well. How? Fifty years after Stonewall, the gay revolution in the United States, the Vatican is the last bastion still to be liberated! In fact, in an aside that had something of the disco-queen about it, another priest whispered to me in English: 'We are family!'. So I had to spend a long time investigating and living immersed in the Church. Double life? Oct. 6, 2018: Pope Francis orders a "thorough study of the entire documentation" present in the Vatican's archives regarding McCarrick's career. Since arriving in Rome he has known that he is dealing with an organisation that is quite extraordinary in its way, and that isn't restricted, as people believed for a long time, to a few lost sheep. I've often had a sense during my investigation that I've gone back in time and found myself in the 1930s or 1950s, years that I haven't known myself, with the dual mentality of the chosen people and the cursed people, which led one of the priests that I met often to say: 'Welcome to Sodoma!'. Open secrets? Send your thoughts and reactions to Letters to the Editor. Fifty years after Stonewall, the gay revolution in the United States, the Vatican is the last bastion still to be liberated! Vatican Addresses Catholic Trump Supporters Lulu Garcia Navarro talks with National Catholic Reporter's Joshua McElwee about an article that criticizes religious Trump supporters. « Previous Page 1 of 1 Next ». In the Closet of the Vatican exposes the rot at the heart of the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church today. That's why he spends so much time denouncing fake devotees, whited sepulchres and hypocrites. Open secrets? So this book criticizes not the Church overall, but a very particular 'genre' within the gay community; it tells the story of the majority of those in the College of Cardinals and the Vatican. It's not quite true: he's among the queens. Excerpted from In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy, by Frédéric Martel (Bloomsbury Continuum, 2019). The New York Times bestselling account of corruption and hypocrisy at the heart of the Vatican. In this gossiping society, Francis is well informed. Many cardinals and priests who officiate at the Roman Curia, most of those who meet up in conclave beneath the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel painted by Michelangelo – one of the most grandiose scenes of gay culture, peopled with virile bodies, surrounded by the Ignudi, those robust and beautiful naked young men – share the same 'inclinations'. There have been carefully chosen words about homosexuality: 'Who am I to judge?' Whether they are 'practising', 'homophile', 'initiates', 'unstraights', 'wordly', 'versatile', 'questioning', or simply 'in the closet', the world I am discovering, with its 50 shades of gay, is beyond comprehension. But that isn't my subject. But that isn't my subject. (CNS/Vatican Media), Michelangelo's 16th-century frescoes in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican (CNS/Paul Haring). Francis knows that he has to move on the Church's stance, and that he will only be able to do this at the cost of a ruthless battle against all those who use sexual morality and homophobia to conceal their own hypocrisies and double lives. They even suggest, when questioned, that by forbidding priests to marry, the Church has become sociologically homosexual; and that by imposing a continence that is against nature, and a secretive culture, it is partly responsible for the tens of thousands of instances of sexual abuse that are undermining it from within. The phrase has been uttered, and this time the evidence cannot be challenged. In fact, in an aside that had something of the disco-queen about it, another priest whispered to me in English: 'We are family!'. (CNS/Vatican Media), Michelangelo's 16th-century frescoes in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican (CNS/Paul Haring). Because here reality goes beyond fiction,' I am told by a Franciscan friar, a man who has also worked and lived inside the Vatican for over thirty years. 'How much filth there is in the Church,' said Cardinal Ratzinger, who also discovered the extent of the 'closet' through a secret report by three cardinals, the content of which was described to me and that was one of the major reasons for his resignation. We might also put forward the hypothesis, even though it isn't the subject of this book, that lesbianism is a major key to an understanding of convent life, whether that of cloistered orders or not. They have a 'family resemblance'. This Latino pope is the first to have used the word 'gay' rather than just 'homosexual' – and if we compare him with his predecessors, we may see him as the most 'gay-friendly' of modern pontiffs. The details, certainly, but also the great laws – and there are, as we will see, 14 general rules in this book. ', as the Poet says, are practising. Let's just say: they represent the great majority. Here is the pope: threatened and attacked on all sides and generally criticized, Francis is said to be 'among the wolves'. Francis has often denounced this duplicity in his morning homilies from Santa Marta. Many Catholics now have a sense of this lie without yet having been able to read the revelations in this book. Often, those priests, influential or otherwise, came on to me decorously, and some, with very little reluctance, more intensely. The homosexual sociology of Catholicism also helps us to explain another reality: the end of vocations in Europe. The National Catholic Reporter is a progressive national newspaper in the United States that reports on issues related to the Catholic Church. Anthony Egan SJ shares the power that he believes such a book could have for the Catholic Church today, scandal plagued as it is. 'He's of the parish,' the priest whispers conspiratorially in my ear. With the homosexual liberation of the 1970s, and particularly since the gay socialization of the 1980s, Catholic vocations, especially in European countries, have naturally fallen. web 20181221T1121-23109-CNS-POPE-CURIA.jpg, Capitol riot mirrors insurrections outside US, say sisters with international duties, Danish proposal on translating sermons gets pushback from bishops, Historians: Capitol Hill breach damaged U.S. politics, EarthBeat Weekly: Racial inequality colors response to environmental protests, Some Canadian provinces close churches to contain pandemic, Following attempted coup, Biden administration must prioritize anti-racism work, Catholic Extension receives $1.5 million grant for Puerto Rico recovery work, Amid travel break, pope cheers Lisbon youth jamboree plans, Amid cover-up allegations, German prelate steps down from lay organization, Latino communities have enriched the church, pope says, Bishops approve pandemic-influenced budget for 2021, West Virginia high court deals setback in state's Catholic church suit, Catholic LGBT advocates praise Francis' meeting with Jesuit Fr. Peter Stanford on In the Closet of the Vatican, by Frédéric Martel, who claims up to 80 per cent of the Catholic Church’s most senior figures are gay. The author claims to have done exhaustive interviewing and research both personally and with a large team of interviewers and translators. Why did these men, who were used to being silent, agree to break the omertà? 'The problem is that if you tell the truth about the "closet" and the special friendships in the Vatican, people won't believe you. War between gays, in short. Read Our Feature Series. Practising, certainly, but still 'in the closet'. It's a system; and a huge herd. ', The reason for this, among the older cardinals, should be sought in the past: their stormy youths and roguish years before gay liberation explain their double lives and their homophobia in the old style. During that long investigation I spent more than a hundred and fifty nights a year reporting, away from home, away from Paris. Since then, the Argentinian has overturned the little games of connivance and the homosexual fraternity that developed clandestinely after Paul VI, were amplified under John Paul II, before becoming ungovernable under Benedict XVI, leading eventually to his downfall. ', The reason for this, among the older cardinals, should be sought in the past: their stormy youths and roguish years before gay liberation explain their double lives and their homophobia in the old style. Often, those priests, influential or otherwise, came on to me decorously, and some, with very little reluctance, more intensely. It is not a matter of denouncing these men, nor of 'outing' them while they are alive. There is, as Hamlet might have said, something rotten in the state of the Vatican. By failing to recognize the broadly homosexual dimension, we deprive ourselves of one of the keys to a greater understanding of most of the facts that have stained the history of the Vatican for decades: the secret motivations that led Paul VI to confirm the prohibition on artificial contraception, the rejection of condoms and the strict obligation of celibacy on the priesthood; the war against 'liberation theology'; the scandals of the Vatican Bank in the time of the famous Archbishop Marcinkus (he too was a homosexual); the decision to forbid condoms as a way of battling AIDS, even when the pandemic would lead to more than thirty-five million deaths; the VatiLeaks I and II affairs; the recurrent and often unfathomable misogyny of many cardinals and bishops; the resignation of Benedict XVI; the current rebellion against Pope Francis … Every time, homosexuality plays a central part that many people can only guess at, and the truth of which has never really been told. But what Francis is unable to bear is not so much the homophilia that is so widespread, as the dizzying hypocrisy of those who advocate a rigid morality while at the same time having a companion, affairs and sometimes escorts. Learn more here, Copyright © The National Catholic Reporter Publishing Company | 115 E. Armour Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64111 | 1-800-444-8910, IN THE CLOSET OF THE VATICAN: POWER, HOMOSEXUALITY, HYPOCRISY, 576 pages; Published by Bloomsbury Continuum, Detail from the Sistine Chapel frescoes (Wikimedia Commons/Jörg Bittner Unna), Pope Francis gives his annual pre-Christmas speech to officials of the Roman Curia and cardinals present in Rome Dec. 21, 2018, in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace. We might also put forward the hypothesis, even though it isn't the subject of this book, that lesbianism is a major key to an understanding of convent life, whether that of cloistered orders or not. It's not quite true: he's among the queens. Afrikaans Albanian Amharic Arabic Armenian Azerbaijani Basque Belarusian Bengali Bosnian Bulgarian Catalan Cebuano Chichewa Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Traditional) Corsican Croatian Czech Danish Dutch English Esperanto Estonian Filipino Finnish French Frisian Galician Georgian German Greek Gujarati Haitian Creole Hausa Hawaiian Hebrew Hindi Hmong Hungarian … Here we will have to be counter-intuitive in order to understand it. Since arriving in Rome he has known that he is dealing with an organisation that is quite extraordinary in its way, and that isn't restricted, as people believed for a long time, to a few lost sheep. The Vatican says Francis received the resignation request, accepted it, and ordered McCarrick to a life of prayer and penance. He isn't part of the parish! That is one of the mysteries of this book and my reason for writing it. I'm like St Thomas: I need to check to believe. The statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary adorns the 2020 Nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square (photo: Edward Pentin / National Catholic Register) Edward Pentin Blogs December 15, 2020 Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on an editorial featured on the website of the National Catholic Reporter (NCR):. During the four years of that investigation, I never concealed my identity as a writer, a journalist or a researcher when approaching cardinals and priests, who sometimes proved to be unapproachable. Over the past 20 years, I have reported on the phenomenon of gay priests in the Catholic church, but mainly in the United States.. I'm not the first to discuss this phenomenon. The homosexual sociology of Catholicism also helps us to explain another reality: the end of vocations in Europe. He knows his 'parish'. For what it's… What detours I am taking to say such simple things – things which, so shocking yesterday, are so banal today! Evil gossip? There have been carefully chosen words about homosexuality: 'Who am I to judge?' So it is not a matter of judging these homosexuals, even the closeted ones – I like them! It is not a matter of denouncing these men, nor of 'outing' them while they are alive. Frédéric Martel (PhD) is a French writer and researcher. Contributions may be sent to: National Catholic Reporter 115 E. Armour Blvd. È Bianca! The Vatican said Domenico Giani, head of its police force since 2006 and Pope Francis' primary bodyguard, resigned "out of love for the church." They also know that sexual desire, and homosexual desire first and foremost, is one of the main engines and wellsprings of Vatican life. Book is based on four years ' authoritative research, including extensive interviews those! I told you all the blood that flows in their veins the lack of vocations has multiple causes, still., who were present in the Closet | National Catholic Reporter 115 E. Armour Blvd the. 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