DoctorE

Turtles all the way down

Pope Francis to investigate ‘playboy priests’

Posted by doctore0 on October 24, 2014


priests.gone.wildA Catholic church representative is to probe the ‘black sheep’ diocese of Albenga-Imperia for alleged sexual harassment of parishioners and involvement in pornography

A scandal-ridden Catholic diocese in Italy where priests posted naked photos of themselves on gay websites, raided church coffers and sexually harassed parishioners is to be investigated by a special envoy to Pope Francis.

The Pope reportedly intends to send an “apostolic administrator” to assess allegations that the diocese of Albenga-Imperia, in the Liguria region of northern Italy, has hosted a string of “playboy priests” moon-lighting as barmen, stealing parish funds and getting tattooed.

Described by one Italian newspaper as “the most gossiped about diocese in Italy”, it has been run for the last 25 years by Bishop Mario Oliveri, 70.

He is expected to be replaced in the near future by an auxiliary bishop, according to Il Secolo XIX, the region’s main newspaper.

Pope Francis has already sent Adriano Bernardini, an apostolic nuncio, or ambassador, to conduct a preliminary investigation into the scandals thay have allegedly unfolded under Bishop Oliveri’s watch.

The bishop himself is not accused of any wrongdoing, but is reported to have been overly-charitable in recruiting “black sheep” priests with distinctly chequered pasts, including trainee priests expelled from seminaries for misconduct.

They include a priest who was found guilty of organising an under-age prostitution ring and others who posted nude photos of themselves on Facebook and gay websites
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