Vatican Staff Member Suspended after TV Interview

Msgr. Tommaso Stenico, of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy, says he was only pretending to be gay while doing research. He was suspended after doing a television interview in which he opined that he didn’t think he was sinning by having gay sex. His face and voice were altered for the interview, but his colleagues recognized his office. CNN.

The Congregation for the Clergy is responsible for “the sanctity and the intellectual and pastoral updating of the Clergy … as well as their ongoing formation.”

Update: More details at the Guardian, including the nature of the interview.

A programme broadcast on October 1 by La7 – the only national channel not owned by Silvio Berlusconi or the state – included a sequence it said had been filmed secretly in a Vatican office. The six-minute sequence was said to have been captured by a young man who had come into contact with a Vatican official via an internet chatroom.

He was invited to have sado-masochistic sex and arrangements were made for a meeting in St Peter’s Square. Unknown to the older man, the other man, who said he wanted to expose the hypocrisy of the Catholic church, arrived equipped with concealed video and audio recording equipment.

Television viewers saw the Vatican official sit alongside his guest and say: “You’re very good-looking.”

“Thank you,” replied the younger man, before putting it to his host that he was about to commit a sin.

“I don’t feel it is a sin,” said the official. When the other man insisted that it was at odds with the teaching of the church, the Vatican official brought the conversation to an abrupt end.

When his guest bade farewell, saying “It’s been a pleasure,” the Vatican official replied: “Not for me, because you don’t fancy me.”