Male escort gives list of 40 gay priests in Italy to Vatican

A list of 40 gay priests and seminarians in Italy that a male escort in Naples compiled has been forwarded to the Vatican. The 1,200-page dossier has the profiles and erotic photos of 34 active priests and six seminarians, which also included their conversations with the escort on WhatsApp.

(REUTERS/Ints Kalnins)Names of 40 gay priests in Italy that came from a male escort have been turned over to the Vatican

The escort, Francesco Mangiacapra, revealed that he had reported those involved to the archdiocese in Naples because of their hypocrisy. He clarified, however, that the priests had not been accused of any crimes, such as engaging in sex with minors, but they have committed grave sins.

"The aim is not to hurt the people mentioned, but to help them understand that their double life, however seemingly convenient, is not useful to them or to all the people for whom they should be a guide and an example to follow," Mangiacapra told reporters.

Naples Archbishop, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, confirmed receiving the list, which has been supplied to the Vatican. He also said that those identified did not work in Naples but they were still reported to the Vatican.

"There remains the gravity of the cases for which those who have erred must pay the price, and be helped to repent for the harm done," Sepe said.

The Catholic Church specifically rejects homosexual behaviors or acts. Pope Francis, however, encourages the acceptance of homosexuals and transsexuals.

The news on the gay priests follows a recent sex scandal involving a Vatican judge who received a 14-month suspension for molestation and child pornography. Monsignor Pietro Amenta worked on family cases as a Roman Rota judge for the Catholic Church, but police in Rome arrested him in March 2017 after he inappropriately touched an 18-year-old man in public, who reported the deed to authorities.

Investigations further led to the discovery of porn images of minors on the monsignor's computer. They also learned that he had prior records of sexual molestation. Amenta pleaded guilty to the charges and resigned from his post.