In a sordid new sex scandal, Vatican police raided the apartment of a 50-year-old priest, breaking up a gay orgy fueled by drugs and alcohol.During last week’s blitz, Msgr. Luigi Capozzi, assistant to Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, was arrested by the Vatican gendarmerie and sent briefly to a Roman clinic for drug detox. The priest, a native of Salerno, is currently on retreat at an unspecified convent in Italy.
Capozzi’s apartment where the raid took place is in the palace of the Sant’Uffizio within the Vatican City, where a number of high-ranking prelates have lived, including then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before being elected Pope.
Theories abound regarding who tipped off the police concerning the sordid affair, but reports suggest that Capozzi had made a number of enemies. According to local media, the apartment where Capozzi lived—the scene of the raid—was never supposed to be assigned to a mere secretary of a department head, but was reserved for higher level prelates of the Roman Curia.
Discontent had been brewing as well because Capozzi had somehow come into possession of a car with the license plate of the Holy See, another privilege reserved for prelates. This car would also allow its owner to transport drugs without being stopped by the Italian police, a fact employed in reconstructing possible scenarios behind last week’s events.
The priest is considered an “ardent supporter of Pope Francis” and according to his Linked-in account is an “expert in canon law and dogmatic theology.”
Reports of a “gay lobby” within the Vatican have circulated for years.
Not long after his election, Pope Francis acknowledged the existence of a gay lobby, suggesting he would try to root it out.
“In the Curia there are holy people, it’s true, there are holy people,” Francis said in June, 2013. “But there is also a current of corruption, this as well, it’s true. People talk about a ‘gay lobby’ and it is true. It exists and we will have to see what we can do about it.”
For his part, Pope Benedict XVI revealed in his 2016 memoirs titled Last Testament that a “gay lobby” within the Vatican had tried to influence his decisions, but that he thought he had managed to “break up this power group.”
According to Reuters, the idea of a gay lobby in Vatican would allegedly refer to a group of homosexuals who have “banded together to support each other’s careers and influence decisions in the bureaucracy.”
In October, 2015, a homosexual priest working undercover in the Vatican’s doctrinal office organized a media blitz in which he publicly outed himself, just a day before an international Vatican synod on marriage and the family was scheduled to begin.
Msgr. Kryzstof Charamsa had prepared a “manifesto of liberation” for the occasion, consisting of a list of ten “demands,” in which he insisted that the Catholic Church had to change its teaching on the morality of gay sex as well as its interpretation of the Bible as condemning sodomy.
The priest had apparently been biding his time, going to work every day and pronouncing doctrinal judgments on the work of other theologians, while all the time harboring resentment toward the Church and plotting his revenge for its “homophobia.”
Prior to last week’s raid, Msgr. Capozzi was reportedly slated to become a bishop, but the nomination has since been halted by the Pope himself.