Reports have emerged that the Vatican is sending gay priests to a monastery in the Italian Alps to be “cured” of their homosexuality.
The Italian media has identified the facility as the Venturini monastery, located in Trento, northern Italy. It is also known for its treatment of priests grappling with drug addiction and paedophilic urges.
The Independent reports that priests with “inappropriate sexual tendencies” are taken to the monastery for “a period of training, personal reflection and enlightenment.”
A gay former Catholic priest, Mario Bonfante, claims he was ordered to go to Venturini “to rediscover the right path.” When he refused, he was dismissed.
The head of the monastery, Fr Gianluigi Pastò, told Italian newspapers: “I can only say that here we help the priests become healthy.” The Vatican has refused to comment.
Major medical and mental health organisations around the world have denounced efforts to change sexual orientation or gender expression as ineffective and harmful.
The latest revelation comes shortly after the Catholic Church fired Vatican priest Krzysztof Charamsa when he came out in the Italian media on the weekend and announced that he’s in a gay relationship.
Around 300 bishops are currently taking part in the Synod on the Family in Rome to discuss issues including same-sex marriage.