The director of the Holy See’s Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, confirmed this weekend that a Vatican official has been suspended from the priesthood after he apparently confessed to homosexual practices on a television program.
Father Tommaso Stenico, who works at the Congregation for the Clergy, appeared on a documentary on October 1 in which the producers arranged for a young homosexual man who finds “blind dates” on the internet to carry a hidden camera and microphone on his visits with three homosexuals who claimed to be priests.
The three alleged priests appear on camera with their faces and voices distorted, but one of them arranged to the meet the young man at St. Peter’s Square and took him to his office at the Vatican. Vatican officials said the office was that of Father Tommaso Stenico of the Congregation for the Clergy.
On Saturday, Father Lombardi confirmed reports of the priest’s suspension and of the launch of an investigation. “His superiors are treating the situation with appropriate discretion, even if this person has made a mistake,” he explained.
“Vatican authorities must intervene with decisiveness and severity in response to behavior that is not compatible with priestly service and the mission of the Holy See,” Father Lombardi said.