An Italian monk has been exposed for taking bribes in annulment cases in the Italian city of Fermo.
The unidentified monk, a member of the Missionaries of Faith religious order, allegedly asked for thousands of Euros to speed the progress of annulment applications through his tribunal in the region of Marche, according to ANSA.
He was secretly taped and exposed by a private investigator who posed as a desperate husband trying to obtain an annulment.
"What this official did borders on blasphemy," the former head of the Marche Ecclesiastical Tribunal, Monsignor Vinicio Albanesi, told Il Resto del Carlino. Monsignor Albanesi likened the monk's action to simony, the buying or selling of spiritual things.
Some ecclesiastical sources said the monk's alleged actions would not be viewed as serious enough to warrant further punishment. The monk reportedly had been moved to Fermo after being removed from a similar assignment in Rome.
Annulment cases must prove that a marriage was entered into invalidly. Evidence for annulment requires some defect in one or both parties to a marriage, such as lack of sound mind, a lack of intention to remain faithful to the spouse, or an intention never to have children.