‘Francis Among The Queens’
National Catholic Reporter publishes an excerpt from the forthcoming book In The Closet Of The Vatican. The book purports to be a well-documented exposé of the overwhelmingly gay culture of the Vatican, written by openly gay French journalist Frederic Martel. Excerpts of the excerpt:
The best-kept secret of the Vatican is no secret to Pope Francis. He knows his ‘parish’. Since arriving in Rome he has known that he is dealing with an organisation that is quite extraordinary in its way, and that isn’t restricted, as people believed for a long time, to a few lost sheep. It’s a system; and a huge herd. How many are there? It doesn’t matter. Let’s just say: they represent the great majority.
At first, of course, the pope was surprised by the extent of that ‘malicious colony’, its ‘charming qualities’ and its ‘unbearable shortcomings’ of which the French writer Marcel Proust wrote in his celebrated book Sodom and Gomorrah. But what Francis is unable to bear is not so much the homophilia that is so widespread, as the dizzying hypocrisy of those who advocate a rigid morality while at the same time having a companion, affairs and sometimes escorts. That’s why he spends so much time denouncing fake devotees, whited sepulchres and hypocrites. Francis has often denounced this duplicity in his morning homilies from Santa Marta. His phrase should be placed as an epigram at the start of this book: ‘Behind rigidity something always lies hidden; in many cases, a double life.’
A number of journalists have already revealed scandals and affairs within the Roman Curia. But that isn’t my subject. Unlike those Vaticanologists, who denounce individual ‘excesses’ but in such a way as to conceal the ‘system’, I am less concerned with exposing these affairs than with revealing the very banal double life of most of the dignitaries of the Church. Not the exceptions but the system and the model, what American sociologists call ‘the pattern’. The details, certainly, but also the great laws – and there are, as we will see, 14 general rules in this book. The subject is: the intimate society of priests, their fragility, and the suffering bound up with forced celibacy, which has become a system. So it is not a matter of judging these homosexuals, even the closeted ones – I like them! – but of understanding their secret and collective way of life. It is not a matter of denouncing these men, nor of ‘outing’ them while they are alive. My project isn’t about ‘naming and shaming’, the American practice of making names public in order to expose them. Let it be clear that for me a priest or a cardinal should not be ashamed about being homosexual; I even think it should be one possible social status among others.
Lastly – alas! – homosexuality is also one of the keys that explain the institutionalized cover-up of sexual crimes and misdemeanours, of which there are now tens of thousands. Why? How? Because the ‘culture of secrecy’, which was necessary to maintain silence about the huge presence of homosexuality inside the Church, has made it possible to hide sexual abuse, and for predators to benefit from this system of protection within the institution – even though paedophilia is not the subject of this book.
… In this gossiping society, Francis is well informed. His assistants, his closest collaborators, his masters of ceremony and masters of liturgy, his theologians and his cardinals, where gays are also in the majority, know that in the Vatican homosexuality includes a lot of the called and a lot of the chosen. They even suggest, when questioned, that by forbidding priests to marry, the Church has become sociologically homosexual; and that by imposing a continence that is against nature, and a secretive culture, it is partly responsible for the tens of thousands of instances of sexual abuse that are undermining it from within. They also know that sexual desire, and homosexual desire first and foremost, is one of the main engines and wellsprings of Vatican life.
Francis knows that he has to move on the Church’s stance, and that he will only be able to do this at the cost of a ruthless battle against all those who use sexual morality and homophobia to conceal their own hypocrisies and double lives. But there we have it: these secret homosexuals are in the majority, powerful and influential and, in terms of the most ‘rigid’ among them, very noisy in their homophobic utterances.
Here is the pope: threatened and attacked on all sides and generally criticized, Francis is said to be ‘among the wolves’.
It’s not quite true: he’s among the queens.
The Vaticanist Marco Tosatti writes that the Martel book confirms what Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò said last year: that Pope Francis knew about Cardinal McCarrick’s molestation of seminarians, because he (Viganò) told him so! The Martel book quote says:
… Cardinals and bishops of the Roman Curia and the American episcopate who, according to him [Viganò], took part in this huge cover-up: it [the Viganò testimony] is an endless list of names of prelates, among the most important in the Vatican, who were thus “outed”, whether rightly or wrongly. (When the Pope dismissed the allegations, his entourage indicated to me [Martel] that Francis ‘was initially informed by Viganò that Cardinal McCarrick had had homosexual relations with adult seminarians, which was not enough in Francis’ eyes to condemn him’).
[I have heard from a second journalist who has also seen an advance copy of the book, confirming that this quote from it is accurate.]
Pope Francis made the Viganò story go away by refusing to answer questions about it, and depending on Father Spadaro and his faithful janissaries in the media to attack Viganò as a traitor and a liar. And now? How can Francis get away with maintaining his silence? This pope just reduced a cardinal archbishop of the Catholic Church to lay status over the man’s acts of sexual abuse — and now we have a pro-Francis journalist who was granted wide access to Vatican insiders reporting that Viganò did, in fact, inform Francis that McCarrick forced himself on seminarians.
But the Pope kept McCarrick busy doing errands for him, because forcing yourself on seminarians is a tolerable sin among cardinals? Really, is that it?
So, Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register (not the National Catholic Reporter!) asked leaders of this week’s coming Rome summit of bishops why they aren’t going to talk about sexual abuse of seminarians at the event. Watch the answers of Archbishop Scicluna and Cardinal Cupich, especially Cupich:
At Press Conference Conference for the Vatican’s upcoming sexual abuse summit, @EdwardPentin asks, in the light of the McCarrick scandal will the abuse of seminarians be addressed? Quite an awkward response followed. Cupich’s response in a separate video in this thread pic.twitter.com/J4kLIlDCXk
— Catholic Sat (@CatholicSat) February 18, 2019
… and here is Cardinal Cupich’s response to a question by @EdwardPentin, in light of the McCarrick scandal on whether the abuse of seminarians will be addressed at the Vatican’s sexual abuse summit pic.twitter.com/FWdujNWgOU
— Catholic Sat (@CatholicSat) February 18, 2019
How did the journalists present avoid laughing out loud when Cupich said that at this meeting, the conferees are going to focus “on those who have so little voice. Young people, minors, don’t have a voice.” Ah, so it’s for the sake of the children that the princes of the Church are going to ignore the seminarians Cardinal McCarrick and his ilk sexually assaulted.
These men deserve every bit of contempt that In The Closet Of The Vatican is going to bring down on their heads. I’ve said this before, and I’ll repeat it here: Martel’s book is going to need to be read with caution, to sort out the serious, documented reporting from the bitchy gossip. But finally, the thing that many of us have been saying for well over a decade — that you cannot understand the Catholic abuse scandal without understanding the homosexual culture within the Catholic hierarchy and clergy — is finally going to be made clear.
The New York Times, as recently as yesterday, was holding firm to the absurd, Duranty-esque P.C. party line (that is, that only right-wing bigots believe that a gay clerical network has something to do with the abuse scandal), but it sounds like Frederic Martel’s book is going to make fools of them. And not just the Times, either.