Vatican official, cappella implicated in prostitution ring

Via Gay News Watch:

Police wiretaps are expected to result in charges against Angelo Balducci, 63, a Papal Gentleman, as lay attendant are called, and the former chairman of the Holy See’s Public Works Department, which is itself caught up in a corruption investigation.

According to police, Balducci regularly contacted Chinedu Ehiem Thomas, a Nigerian man who sings in St. Peter’s Cappella Giulia, to engage the sexual services of young male members of the choir, along with seminarians and undocumented immigrants seeking residency status. The Cappella Giulia is the official choir of the St. Peter’s Basilica and performs at many solemn Vatican functions not involving the pope, who is accompanied by the Sistine Chapel choir.

Ehiem, 40, who goes by the nickname Mike, and his assistant Lorenzo Renzi, 33, allegedly arranged for prostitutes for Balducci several times a week. The two men are said to have operated a network of aspiring young priests, choir members and sometimes recruited foreigners seeking to secure their immigration status.

I don’t have all the facts, and might be reading into something that’s not there, but it sounds like they were pressuring immigrants into providing sexual favors for residency status. It’s hard to imagine anything more sick.

The scandal now envelops Balducci, a well-known and powerful local figure who is married with two children, who despite all this is said to have taken remarkable risks in setting up sexual liaisons even in Chigi Palace, home of the Italian prime minister, or immediately after a private audience with a cardinal.

Gratuitous transcripts follow. And it’s corroborated by The Washington Post.  Update: And The Guardian and Telegraph.

If this is true…it’s just stupefying. I can’t put a sentence together. I want to write one or two with the phrases “hypocrisy” and “institutional opacity and corruption,” but can’t.

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