Homosexuality as a key in Vatican crises | Society

Homosexuality as a key in Vatican crises | Society

From seminars to the dome of Vatican, homosexuality is omnipresent in the Catholic Church and helps to understand the crises that have hit her in the last decades, from the fall of priestly vocations to the cover-up of child abuse, through campaigns against Pope Francis.

So he holds it French sociologist and journalist Frédéric Martel, who in four years has interviewed 41 cardinals, 52 bishops, apostolic nuncios, foreign ambassadors and more than 200 priests and seminarians in search of the "best kept secret" of the Church. The result is Sodom. Power and scandal in the Vatican, more than 600 pages in which Martel (Châteaurenard, France, 1967) exposes the double life and morality in Roman Catholicism. The book "that will shake The Vatican", as summarized in the front page of the newspaper Le Monde, it is published in eight languages ​​and in 20 countries, coinciding with the summit on pedophilia convened by the Pope. Roca Editorial is published in Spanish, on February 21 in e-book and March 14 on paper.

The author interviewed 41 cardinals, 52 bishops, apostolic nuncios, foreign ambassadors and more than 200 priests and seminarians

Homosexuals, according to Martel, "represent the great majority" in The Vatican. It does not figure the amount, although one of its sources assures you that it is "of the order of 80%". The author adds that among the 12 cardinals who surrounded John Paul II in the eighties and nineties - in full devastation due to AIDS and who defined his policy against condoms-, the majority were homosexuals. It is based, to affirm, on the interviews conducted, some with the cardinals themselves.

"The private life of individuals concerns them and I would almost say it does not concern us," he says in an interview with EL PAÍS. "But the effects of this secret and this lie on the ideology of the Vatican, and its consequences in the world, are considerable ".

The author refuses to talk about "lobby gay ":" It's not a lobbyIt is a community. It is not a minority that acts, but a silent majority. A lobby It would be people united for a cause. Here every bishop or cardinal hides before the others and attacks the homosexuality of others to hide his secret. "

The conclusions of the book and some scenes may seem daring and at times morbid. "My theme is not the holidays chemsex"Martel said in reference to the orgies with drugs that jumped to the Italian press last summer. "My theme is not the abuses. My subject is the banal and tragic life of priests condemned to a contranature chastity. And these people are trapped in the trap of a closet in which they have locked themselves, from which they do not know how to get out, while abroad everyone has fun. "

Cover of the book.
Cover of the book.

The originality of his research is that he establishes homosexuality-a quiet homosexuality mixed with homophobia-as the nucleus of the ecclesiastical system. "The more homophobic a bishop is, more chances are that he is homosexual. It's the code, "he says in the interview.

It is the key that allows you to understand many of your problems. The reduced ability to attract future priests, for example. "Before, when you were a 17-year-old boy in an Italian or Spanish town and you discovered that women did not appeal to you, the Church was a refuge. You went from being a pariah that people made fun of in the schoolyard to being considered God, "he argues. But times change. "Even in the Italian village there are other options than to become a priest."

Martel focuses on the apparent paradox of an antihomosexual discourse in a Vatican mostly homosexual. It covers the trajectory of several hierarchs of the most rigorous line, such as the Colombian Alfonso López Trujillo, now deceased, before the use of condoms, or Spanish Antonio Rouco Varela before gay marriage.

The author sets himself apart from the allegations of ultraconservative archbishop and adversary of Francisco, Carlo Maria Viganò, and denies that there is a link between homosexuality and sexual abuse in the Church. But he believes that the culture of secrecy derived from the need to keep homosexuality hidden protects abusers.

"If you are a bishop and you protect a priest, why do you do it?" He asks. "I think that, in a great majority of cases, the bishops who protect the abusers protect themselves. They are afraid I think the vast majority of bishops and cardinals who protect pedophile priests are homosexual. "

Angelo Sodano, who was nuncio in Chile during the Pinochet years and Secretary of State with Juan Pablo II, appears like one of the villains of the book. For the compromises that he attributes to him with the Pinochet regime. And by the case of the Chilean priest Fernando Karadima, whom Francisco expelled from the priesthood in September.

"It seems clear to me that Sodano, according to all the testimonies, victims and lawyers of the victims, would not have participated in Karadima's sexual abuse. On the other hand, it seems impossible that he has not been aware of [sus] abuses. "

And, if Sodano is the villain of Sodom, the hero is Francisco. "Behind rigidity, there is always something hidden; in many cases, a double life, "the Pope said in October 2016." The Pope ", the book agrees," puts on guard certain conservative or traditional cardinals who reject their reforms by letting them know that they know their hidden life. "

The "Who am I to judge?" That Francisco pronounced in July 2013 resonates throughout the book. Martel has sent him a copy.

Specialist in the homosexual movement

Frédéric Martel (Châteaurenard, France, 1967) is not a Vaticanist, but a specialist in the homosexual movement and author of two reference books, The pink and the black, a chronicle of homosexuals in France since 1968, and Global gay, on the globalization of the homosexual question. Your new book, Sodom -A mixture of journalistic reporting and cultural essay- is not presented as much as an investigation about a religious community but about a gay community, one of the "most numerous in the world". And he writes: "I doubt there are so many even in the Castro of San Francisco, that emblematic gay neighborhood, today more mixed."


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