Eighty percent of the priests in the Vatican are homosexual, though not all are sexually active. This is what journalist Frederic Martel says in his new book Sodoma: the secret of the Vatican that will be in the bookstore from tomorrow. The work is the result of four years of research and 1,500 interviews with insiders. “A mind-boggling description of corruption and hypocrisy in the heart of the Vatican,” says publisher Bloomsbury.
Author Frederic Martel, a former adviser to the French government in the 1990s, worked on the book for four years and spoke with 41 cardinals, 52 bishops, and monseigneurs, 45 papal ambassadors and diplomats, eleven members of the Papal Swiss Guard. And more than 200 priests and seminary members. He traveled to 30 countries and was assisted by 80 researchers, translators, fixers and local journalists, as well as a team of fifteen lawyers.
Martel, himself homosexual and not religious, observed during the conversations that some priests accept their homosexuality. Some of them even have a relationship, but others enter into loose sexual contacts with male prostitutes. Some clerics, however, refuse to accept their nature. The author is particularly critical for high-ranking figures in the Catholic Church who openly condemn homosexuality openly, but are themselves secretly gay. The more a cardinal or bishop disapproves of homosexuality, the more likely he is to be homosexual, says Martel.
According to Martel, the high percentage of homosexuals in the clergy is due to the fact that Catholic homosexual men certainly had few options until the 1970s – when homosexuality was gradually becoming more accepted. “So these pariahs were initiated and made their strength weak,” he writes. That would also explain why fewer and fewer men choose the priesthood: homosexual men no longer have to hide their sexual orientation and can even marry.
Following Rik Torfs, professor of ecclesiastical law at the KU Leuven, the explanation for a large number of homosexuals in the church may be twofold: “In many countries, the church is no longer at the center of the debate and this creates a niche market,” he says. “Moreover, priests are often involved in rituals, with chasubles and ritual clothing and perhaps attract homosexuals.”
Culture of secrecy
Although the book deals with homosexuality and not about pedophilia in the Church, Martel quotes that the culture of secrecy among priests leads to abuse being ignored, sources say in the book.
The publication date of the book, which appears simultaneously in 20 countries, coincides with the start of a church top about child abuse in the Catholic Church, which runs from Thursday to Sunday and is led by Pope Francis.
Proponents of the work say that Martel’s book reveals how disrupted Catholic clerical culture is by concealing sexuality in such a way. Critics fear that the timing of the publication will lead to homosexuality and child abuse being brought back under one denominator, which will further increase the witch hunt for homosexual priests.
Cardinals want to eradicate “scourge of homosexuality
Today, two conservative cardinals call the bishops who will participate in the summit from tomorrow to condemn “the scourge of the homosexual cause” in the Church. “The scourge of the homosexual cause has spread within the Church, fueled by organized networks and protected by a climate of conspiracy and general silence,” claim the American Raymond Burke and the German Walter Brandmüller, with whom they also cover the cover-up culture within the Catholic Deny church.
The two cardinals are particularly concerned that “the terrible crime of abuse of minors” is explained by “clericalism” and not “the evil that some circles in the Church are destroying.”