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Priest Arrested for 'Slander' Over 'Gay Sex Ring' at Vatican

July 1, 2013|10:34 am

A convicted pedophile priest, who named 20 other Catholic priests saying they used underage rent-boys for sex and pointed to an underage gay prostitution ring inside the Holy Roman Church, has been arrested for "making up" the allegations.

Don Patrizio Poggi, who spent five years in prison for sexually abusing underage boys at his parish on the outskirts of Rome, was arrested Friday, The Telegraph reported.

Italian prosecutors said the claims of the 46-year-old priest were "untrue or based on mere hearsay," and that he had personal enmity with some of the clerics he named. They also charged him with an attempt to coach possible victims to support his claims.

"Poggi conceived and put into action a slanderous plan, presenting circumstances that were false," prosecutors were quoted as saying. Poggi was hoping to be reinstate after he finished his prison sentence, but the Vatican did not.

Poggi, former priest of the San Filippo Neri church in Rome, had alleged a former Carabinieri police officer hired boys for clergymen, according to International Business Times. The priest said he wanted to "protect the Holy Church and the Christian community."

Poggi, who reportedly gave evidence in the presence of two senior Vatican clergymen, claimed the former police officer would recruit mostly eastern European immigrant boys and also bring rentboys from gay discos, saunas and gyms across Rome. Clergymen paid between $200 and $650 for sex acts in church premises, he alleged.

The priest also claimed that the officer would sell consecrated hosts to Satanists.

Cardinal Agostino Vallini, head of the Catholic Vicariate of Rome, had rejected the allegations. "The cardinal expresses his full confidence in the magistracy and declares himself full convinced that this slander will be demolished, demonstrating Poggi's claims to be untrue," Vallini was quoted as saying.

Pope Francis has said he will fight corruption and help improve the church's reputation. In April, Pope Francis set up an advisory board of cardinals from around the world, which includes U.S. Cardinal Sean O'Malley, to look into ways of reforming the Catholic Church.

On Friday, Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, a Vatican accountant, was arrested for planning to smuggle $26 million from a Swiss bank account into Italy aboard a private jet, The Associated Press reported. Scarano is also accused of money-laundering involving his Vatican bank account.

The revelation about Scarano came two days after the pope formed a commission of inquiry into the Vatican bank to identify the reasons behind its reputation as an unregulated, offshore tax haven.

Pope Francis is known for his pastoral skills and spirituality. He has urged leaders of the Church never to give in to discouragement, bitterness or pessimism but to keep focused on their mission. "Let us never give in to the pessimism, to that bitterness, that the devil places before us every day. Let us not give into pessimism and discouragement."

Source URL : http://www.christianpost.com/news/priest-arrested-for-slander-over-gay-sex-ring-at-vatican-99134/