Where is the one place you can find pedophiles, drug addicts and gay priests all in the same place? A monastery near the Alps, according to The Independent.
Apparently, the all-male institute, which was founded in 1928, is a place where the Vatican secretly sends gay priests to be “cured.” Priests that “show inappropriate sexual tendencies” are taken there for “a period of training, personal reflection and enlightenment.”
Forty-four year old former clergyman Mario Bonfanti said he was taken to Venturini monastery after it was discovered he was gay.
“It’s a place where they help you to rediscover the straight and narrow,” he said. “They wanted to ‘cure’ me, but I refused to go.”
The head of Venturini, Father Gianluigi Pasto, did not deny or confirm the comments.
“Priests come to us for a period of formation and personal reflection,” he said. “Right now we have neither gay priests nor pedophile priests here. Of course, our task is to welcome everyone.”
While he didn’t outwardly speak about homosexuality, Pasto did say that some priests come because they have “problems connected to sex.”
“We don’t speak of our work, but it is well known to many bishops and dioceses,” he said. “They know what we can offer.”
The story in The Independent came out just days after the Vatican fired a high-ranking Polish priest the same day he came out as gay.
With his partner at his side, Father Krzystof Charamsa announced his sexuality during a news conference in Rome, calling on Pope Francis to change the Catholic doctrine on homosexuality.
After his statement, the Vatican released a statement that said Charamsa “will certainly be unable” to continue his role with the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith and the Pontifical universities.
“It’s time for the church to open its eyes about gay Catholics and to understand that the solution it proposes to them – total abstinence from a life of love – is inhuman,” Charamsa said. “I know that I will have to give up my ministry which is my whole life. I know that the church will see me as someone who did not know how to fulfil his duty [to remain chaste], who is lost and who is not even with a woman but a man.”
Executive director of New Ways Ministry Francis DeBernardo, which ministers to gay Catholics, said that firing Charamsa was “sadly disappointing.”
“It is unfortunate that church leaders did not see Charamsa’s announcement as an opportunity for further dialoge with someone they have known and trusted,” he said.