In an interview with the Italian daily “La Repubblica,” Cardinal Julian Herranz, president emeritus of the Commission for Legislative Texts of the Holy See, said in response to news of a Vatican official suspended over accusations of homosexual activity that the Vatican is the first to want a “profound internal cleansing.”
“We are the first to want an internal cleansing, but that cleansing will be done with respect for human rights and after the ruling of judicial authorities,” he said.
Cardinal Herranz noted that Msgr. Tommaso Stenico, the priest involved in the scandal that rocked the Vatican this past weekend “has been immediately suspended from his position while he awaits a verdict from the Tribunal.”
Despite the evidence from the program “Exit” which showed him making homosexual advances towards another man, Msgr. Stenico says he is innocent and that he was pretending to be gay in order to discover “the true enemies within the Church.”
According to Cardinal Herranz, the tribunal charged with Stenico’s case “will have to work calmly and avoid the hysteria created by the media.” He noted that sexual misconduct carries with it “severe penalties such as reduction to the lay state.”
“When these things happen, the Church is saddened,” the cardinal said. “But these cases are the exception and they do not affect the entire community because in the Church and at the Holy See there are many serious people strongly dedicated to serving the Pope with seriousness and determination.”