Friday, November 1, 2013
Sodomite Army @ the Vatican marches again.
The Secret Gay Life of the Vatican: Inside a Hidden Netherworld of the Catholic Church
By Vanity Fair
As rumors of a powerful “gay lobby” within the Vatican make headlines and a new Pope promises reform, Vanity Fair contributing editor Michael Joseph Gross interviews dozens of current and former priests, gay monks, veteran Vatican journalists, Italian aristocrats, and gay men at Roman gyms, bars, nightclubs, sex clubs, and restaurants and finds that “to be gay in the Vatican is no guarantee of success, mark of belonging, or shortcut to erotic intrigue. Most basically it is a sentence of isolation,” a life “in a closet that has no door.”
According to Gross’s piece in the December issue of Vanity Fair (on stands today), a significant number of gay clerics at the Vatican are in positions of great authority, but they inhabit a secretive netherworld because homosexuality is officially condemned. The principal requirement of their power and priesthood is silence about who they really are—at least in public. According to Gross, “Clerics inhabit this silence in a variety of ways. A few keep their sexuality entirely private and adhere to the vow of celibacy. Many others quietly let themselves be known as gay to a limited degree … sometimes they remain celibate and sometimes they do not. A third way, perhaps the least common but certainly the most visible, involves living a double life.
Gross goes on to describe the codes and signals by which gay priests navigate life in the Vatican. “Camp is perhaps the most powerful and pervasive” code, with ironic, effeminate self-mockery allowing priests to “exercise some limited rebellion against their own isolation and invisibility.” One former gay priest describes clerical camp to Gross as “a natural way of expressing [gay identity] while celibate.” Yet in the Church, as in Italian society, Gross writes, “the right appearance—la bella figura—is all…. Parties celebrating appointment to the Vatican and other high Church offices can be lavish … with many clerics in attendance being ‘gay men wearing everything handmade, perfect, queer as it comes,’” as a prominent figure in the Roman art world tells Gross. Still, Gross finds an every-man-for-himself dynamic in Rome’s gay clerical culture: gay clerics often fail to help one another, says a gay former seminarian who was robbed one night in a park while numerous men stood by, because solidarity entails the risk of being outed.
For clerics who break the vow of celibacy, gay saunas are good places to meet other gay priests and monks (though some gay celibate clerics use the saunas not for sex but to experience a sense of fellowship with others like themselves), according to Gross.
If a gay clergy member makes a connection, it’s possible to use your monastery cell for sexual assignations, as long as you don’t make much noise. “You can sneak people in, no problem,” one gay monk tells Gross, “but try to avoid consistent patterns of movement.” That said, a former monk tells Gross that “no one has sex” with other residents of his own monastery, “because it is like a Big Brother house. Everyone knows everything.”