According to a new book, 80 percent of priests at the Vatican are gay. The book by Frédéric Martel, In the Closet of the Vatican, that is a detailed account of homosexuality within the Catholic Church, is a “startling account of corruption and hypocrisy at the heart of the Vatican” according to its publisher, Bloomsbury.
Martel, a non-Catholic and a gay man himself, conducted around 1,500 interviews with clergymen and diplomatic officials while researching for the book. According to the Catholic Website The Tablet, 41 cardinals, 52 bishops and monsignors, 45 papal ambassadors or diplomatic officials, 11 Swiss guards and more than 200 priests and seminarians were interviewed. This piece of investigative writing is based on four years of research, including extensive interviews with those in power.
Martel’s research reportedly reveals that while some priests accept their orientation and maintain discreet long term relationships, there are others who take it to the extreme in living a double life through casual encounters and hire male prostitutes. There are still others who are in denial of it.
The book also asserts that more the homophobic a priest is, the more likely it is that he is gay. According to Bloomsbury’s promotional material, Martel’s book “reveals secrets” about celibacy, misogyny and plots against Pope Francis. It uncovers “a clerical culture of secrecy which starts in junior seminaries and continues right up to the Vatican itself”.
“The celibacy of priests, the condemnation of the use of contraceptives, the cover-up of countless cases of sexual abuse, the resignation of Benedict XVI, misogyny among the clergy, the dramatic fall in Europe of the number of vocations to the priesthood, the plotting against Pope Francis – all these issues are clouded in mystery and secrecy”, says the promotional material of the book.
One of the most explosive claims in the book is about deceased Colombian Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo. Trujillo, a former President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, is presented as both an arch-defender of the Church’s teaching on contraception and homosexuality while also using male prostitutes.
The book is to be released February 21, on the same day as Pope Francis’ sexual abuse summit. It will be released in 8 languages across 20 countries, and the book already available on e-commerce sites for pre-order.