Suspended Vatican Official Swears He's Not Gay

Chrys Hudson | October18, 2007

ROME — Monsignor Tommaso Stenico has lashed out against Vatican officials for suspending him after he appeared in recent Italian television documentary about gay priests.

In the documentary, Stenico and three other priests talked about their homosexual experiences, with Stenico saying he "did not feel in sin" for being gay but preferred anonymity "to avoid being reprimanded by my superiors, given the current firm position of Catholic doctrine regarding priestly celibacy and homosexuality,” according to a Reuters report.

Although his face and voice were distorted during the interview, Stenico reportedly was identified by church officials who recognized his Vatican office in the background.

He has since been suspended from duty pending an internal investigation.

In a recent interview with Italian daily newspaper, La Repubblica, Stenico defended himself, saying that he is not gay and has remained faithful to his vow of celibacy.

"It's all false; it was a trap,” Stenico reportedly told the newspaper. “I was a victim of my own attempts to contribute to cleaning up the church with my psychoanalyst work.”

According to La Repubblica, the priest said he met with the interviewer and pretended to talk about his experiences as a gay man "to better understand this mysterious and faraway world which, by the fault of a few people – among them some priests – is doing so much harm to the church.”

Although the Catholic Church doesn’t consider “homosexual tendencies” sinful, it does condemn homosexual acts and instructs priests to adhere to a vow of celibacy. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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