Vatican Bank prelate accused of scandalous past

The Vatican has disputed a report that the prelate appointed by Pope Francis to supervise the reform of the Vatican Bank indulged in flagrant gay affairs while serving as a papal diplomat.

The report by Vatican journalist Sandro Magister said Monsignor Battista Ricca, 57, had a live-in lover when he served as a papal diplomat in Uruguay in the late 1990s and early 2000s, that he cruised gay bars and once got beaten up, and that he brought a young man back to the papal embassy and ended up trapped in an elevator with him overnight before being freed by firemen.

Magister said the Pope did not know of Monsignor Ricca’s past because his personal file was sanitized by members of a “gay lobby” in the Vatican.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi rejected the report as “not credible”.

But the newsmagazine L’Espresso, which published the report, backed it up with a strongly worded response, insisting it was based on “primary sources” and calling the Vatican’s denial “improbable and improvident”.

National Catholic Reporter correspondent John Allen said Pope Francis “appears to be standing by his man” so far. He quoted a senior Vatican official as saying that the Pope”has listened to everyone and has confidence” in Monsignor Ricca.

Allen added: “It should be noted there’s no suggestion in the story that Ricca was guilty of criminal conduct or sexual abuse and no suggestion he ever faced civil charges.

“Defenders of Ricca insist there’s another side to Ricca’s story not given in Magister’s piece but known to Francis. They say Ricca is a genuine reformer and dredging up a seamy chapter of his past from more than a decade ago may be a smear campaign by elements of a Vatican old guard that doesn’t want its power and privilege to slip away.

“Even if he is gay and perhaps struggled at one point with celibacy, they say, what does that have to do with his ability to implement reform in a bank?,” Allen added.



National Catholic Reporter

Daily Mail

Image: David Icke

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