Pope embarrassed as Vatican embroiled in ‘gay orgy’ scandal

The Vatican police have raided a ‘gay orgy’ at an apartment occupied by a Catholic official who works for one of Pope Francis’ key advisers.

It’s understood that the monsignor who lives in the Rome apartment is the secretary to Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, who heads the influential Pontifical Council for Legislative texts.

According to the Italian media, the police were “stunned” last month to discover “a gay-based drugs” orgy taking place in the flat, following complaints from neighbours.

The home, which is close to the Vatican, is owned by the church’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, which is responsible for reviewing cases of priests found guilty of sexual abuse of children.

The monsignor, who has not been named, was detained and taken to hospital to be detoxified from the drugs he’d ingested at the party. He is said to now be in retreat at an Italian convent.

The priest had earlier been recommended for promotion to bishop by Cardinal Coccopalmerio, an advancement that now appears unlikely.

According to Catholic dogma, gay sexuality is defined as “acts of grave depravity”, as “intrinsically disordered” and “contrary to the natural law”.

While Pope Francis has hinted at a willingness to be more accepting of gay people he remains deeply opposed to same-sex relationships and especially gay marriage, describing these as threats to the family. The church has campaigned in a number of countries in a bid to stop the spread of marriage equality.

The scandal follow news last week that Australia’s most senior Roman Catholic official and third highest-raking official in the Vatican, Cardinal George Pell, has been charged with multiple “historical sexual assault offences”.

Pell, who has insisted that he is innocent, will return to Australia later this month to defend himself in court. He is the most senior Catholic cleric in the world to ever face such charges.

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