Sex abuse within the Catholic Church is “protected” by a “culture of secrecy” because gay priests are scared of being outed, according to the author of a new book published on Thursday (February 21).
Frédéric Martel, a French journalist and writer, made the claims during a presentation for his latest book In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy in Rome on Wednesday night (February 20), reports Irish Independent.
The author appeared to suggest that closeted gay priests fear being outed if they report priests who are complicit in sexual misconduct and abuse of children.
Martel, who claims that the majority of clergy in the Vatican are gay, said: “Abuses are protected by this culture of secrecy.
“The two things are intrinsically linked.
“Bishops may not be abusers themselves but they protect priests because they are terrified that if there’s an investigation or a trial, then their own homosexuality may be revealed.”
It isn’t clear if Martel believes that gay priests are responsible for child abuse because of their sexuality, however, studies have shown there is no causal link between being gay and sex abuse.
Clerical sex abuse hidden by “culture of secrecy,” says author of new book
In his book, he quotes a priest who alleges that 80 percent of the clergy are gay, although he admits he cannot verify this.
Martel spent four years researching the book, interviewing 41 cardinals, 50 bishops, 45 Vatican ambassadors and 11 Swiss Guards.
Nine of the Swiss Guards are retired, but three are still serving for the Pope.
“The more homophobic they are, the more likely they are to be gay,” said Martel at the presentation.
“That’s the number one rule of the Vatican.”
“The more homophobic they are, the more likely they are to be gay.”
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Martel, who has previously written a book on gay rights and culture across the world, called Global Gay, alleges in his new book that the late Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, a Colombian cardinal, was one such closeted gay in the Vatican.
Trujillo was staunchly anti-gay, but Martel said he privately slept with male prostitutes. He died in 2008.
In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy is published by Bloomsbury.
Vatican summit seeks to address Catholic Church child sex abuse scandal
The Catholic Church is currently engulfed in a crisis over its handling of clerical sex abuse.
A Vatican summit, called “The Protection Of Minors In The Church,” has been scheduled from Thursday (February 21) to Sunday (February 24) to address the scandal.
Victims of clerical abuse have called on the Pope to take a no-tolerance approach at the conference.
According to The Telegraph, Peter Isely, an American who was abused as a child by a priest, said: “We want zero tolerance. Any priest who has sexually assaulted a child should be removed from the priesthood and the same goes for bishops or cardinals who cover up for them.
“That needs to be written into the universal law of the Church. It needs to be an infallible doctrine – and Pope Francis can order it with the stroke of a pen.”
One Wednesday, two traditionalist cardinals, Raymond Burke and Walter Brandmüller, criticised the Catholic Church for spreading the “plague of the homosexual agenda” in an open letter.