Just so you know that this sort of thing isn’t confined to the Church in the US, the Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported some, uh, extracurricular activity by an unidentified, but high-ranking priest of the Roman Curia. The story is in Italian but the gist of it is that last Thursday night, Roman police working in an area known for gay/transvestite prostitution stopped a car and asked for the driver’s identification. The driver fled, damaging three cars in the chase, and when he was finally stopped, he got in a fistfight with the cops.
The newspaper claims that the perp is a monsignor who works for the Vatican Secretariat of State and lives in the Domus Sanctae Martae, but no name was given. His soutane was allegedly still in his car and he told the police that he was looking to pick up adults only, no minors. Because, you know, that makes all the difference in the world.
Let’s get one thing straight (no pun intended): Sin is everywhere. None of us are perfect and we all sin. Neither should we expect mere proximity to the Pope to instill virtue in all who work for him.
Still, we must ask whether the monsignor’s proclivities were known to any of his colleagues, not just his penchant for late-night cruising in bad neighborhoods, but a sexual orientation that has apparently led him well astray of the Christian ideal.
Update: The Vatican’s official response is apparently that there’s nothing to see here and move right along:
Vatican officials suggested that the priest had fled when he was approached because the police officers were not in uniform, and he thought he was being robbed. The Vatican statement hinted that the published report was an unwarranted attack on the cleric’s good name, and action could be taken for defamation.