What’s this; another sex scandal brewing for the already scandal-plagued Catholic Church? Yup, only this time it isn’t about priests raping children and the Church lying and covering it up with new jobs out of town and payoffs to the victims. No, this particular sex scandal is right in Papa’s house, The Vatican, where a former member of the Swiss Guard has claimed that he was regularly propositioned for sex by the ALLEGED 'gay lobby' of high-ranking clergy in the Vatican.
The man, who was responsible for the Pope's security and for now remains unnamed — which doesn’t help with his credibility, I will say that — says that Cardinals, bishops, priests and other officials regularly tried to coerce him into illicit sex acts inside the Vatican.
The former guard said he received up to 20 'unambiguous requests' from members of the clergy and that he was asked for sex by a dignitary close to Pope John Paul II; he also swears that a senior official fondled him and that a bishop left a bottle of whisky on his bed with a visiting card placed next to it. And one other incident occurred when a priest invited the guard to dinner saying that the guard would be “served” after for dessert.
Now, this is all hearsay and innuendo and rumor and gossip, but the fact remains that they are many closeted gay men within the clergy, inside and outside the Vatican, and because they must remain closeted the idea of trying to procure a sexual relationship with an employee of sorts is not that far-fetched.
The guard also claims that he reported the harassment to Vatican officials who offered him no support and he maintains that his experiences add weight to allegations of a 'gay lobby' being active in the Vatican.
This isn’t the first sex scandal involving Vatican officials and members of the Swiss Guard. In 1998, the commander of the Swiss Guard, Alois Estermann and his wife were shot and killed by a young guard, Cédric Tornay, who later turned the gun on himself.
According to a book about the Vatican by British journalist John Follain, Tornay and Estermann had a homosexual affair. After Estermann began yet another sexual relationship with a different guard, and then refused to award a three-year service medal to Tornay, Cédric Tornay killed Estermann.
And just last July, an Italian weekly reported that Battista Ricca, appointed by Pope Francis to a top position at the Vatican bank, had engaged in a sexual relationship with a Swiss army officer and several others.
Naturally, a Vatican spokesman dismissed this latest allegation as 'not credible' but here’s the deal: if the Church welcomed gay men and women, and renounced their whole celibacy spiel, would there be these continued reports of the ‘gay lobby’ at the Vatican; would there still be priests and bishops and cardinals using their positions of power to coerce guard members into having sex with them?
This could all be over and done with if the Catholic Church simply joined the rest of us in the 21st century.