Vatican sends gay priests to be ‘cured’ at religious retreat
Posted by doctore0 on October 6, 2015
A row over the Vatican’s attitude towards gay priests has been stoked further by a claim that clergy with “homosexual tendencies” are sent to a religious retreat to be “cured”.
The Holy See was embarrassed by a senior Vatican official’s decision to come out as gay at the weekend, just as 270 bishops gathered in Rome to attend a synod on family issues.
As Vatican officials called Krzysztof Charamsa’s gesture “very serious and irresponsible”, it was claimed yesterday that priests suspected of being gay are often sent to a convent in the northern Italian city of Trento to “reflect”.
The convent’s role in trying to “cure” priests of homosexuality was revealed by a former priest who was thrown out of the Church three years ago for being gay. Mario Bonfante was forced to leave his parish in Sardinia, even though he had maintained his vow of celibacy.
“It’s a place where they help you to rediscover the straight and narrow. They wanted to ‘cure’ me but I refused to go,” he told ‘La Repubblica’ newspaper.
According to its website, it can offer priests “an open and tranquil environment in which they can confront their problems” with psychiatrists and psychologists on hand.
Father Gianluigi Pasto (71), the head of the convent, said: “Priests come to us for a period of formation and personal reflection. At the moment we have neither gay priests nor paedophile priests here. Certainly our job is to welcome everybody.”
The facility dealt with priests suffering from depression, alcoholism and who had “problems connected to sex”, he added.