The Catholic Church in Italy was embroiled in a fresh scandal on Friday when photographs apparently showing homosexual priests attending gay nightclubs and engaging in casual sex were published in a magazine.
A journalist from Panorama, a conservative weekly news magazine owned by Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, used a hidden camera to film interviews with three gay priests, who introduced the journalist to the gay clubs they apparently frequent, and allowed the journalist to film their sexual encounters with strangers, including one in a church building.
The Catholic Church insists on celibacy for priests and sees homosexuality as a sin. In 2008 the Vatican issued guidelines which said that any would-be trainees should not join if they had “deep-seated homosexual tendencies.”
Panorama editor Giorgio Mule said: “This was a two week investigation and was not aimed at creating a scandal but showing that a certain section of the clergy behaves very differently.”