A sacked Vatican insider has estimated that half of all the priests in Vatican City are gay.
David Berger, who taught at the Pontifical Academy and was the editor of the Catholic monthly magazine ‘Theological’, told German magazine Stern that gay men are over-represented in the Catholic church, but especially so in the Vatican. Although Berger previously claimed that 20%-40% of priests are gay, he claims the total is much higher in the Vatican.
“I experienced the number of gay men [in the Vatican] to be even higher,” he told Stern. “I guess around half were gay.”
Berger, who was forced to resign from the Pontifical Academy after coming out, continued to say that gay priests work “incredibly well” for the church because their feelings of guilt cause them to work harder. He also said the priesthood is an attractive proposition for many gay men as the pressure to marry is removed, while the opportunity to take part in dramatic operatic rituals is increased.
“The production is for many gay men, I can say as a gay man, attractive,” said Berger. “Gays like opera, you want to dress up, they present themselves on the Christopher Street Day (Pride).
“I have sat together on many evenings with gay priests and who had no other issues than what chasubles, hats and other rags they’ll buy themselves.”
Berger says that despite Pope Francis’ “more relaxed” attitudes towards gays, the Pontiff lacks “the courage and intellectual faculties” to make the Catholic Church a safe place for LGBT adherents.
“Francis knows a recognition of same-sex marriage would lead to a decline of the church. He will not risk it.”
Berger’s interview comes just days after the similar dismissal of another high-ranking Vatican official, Father Krzystof Charamsa, who revealed that is gay, and in a relationship, at the weekend.
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