Retired Swiss Guard commandant Elmar MÃ¤der has claimed to a Swiss newspaper that he was aware of gay priests during his time working at Vatican City in Rome
A former commander of the security force charged with guarding the pope has told a Swiss newspaper that he fears a ‘network of homosexuals’ has formed within the church.
Elmar Mäder commanded the Vatican guards from 2002 to 2008 and told Schweiz am Sontag that he had had to warn his guardsmen about the behavior of some priests in the Vatican.
‘I cannot refute the claim that there is a network of homosexuals. My experiences would indicate the existence of such a thing,’ Mäder said.
Mäder said the Vatican bureaucracy was a haven for gay men.
‘A working environment in which the great majority of men are unmarried is per se a draw for homosexuals, whether they consciously seek it out or unconsciously follow an urge,’ he said.
‘The Roman Curia is exactly this kind of environment.’
Mäder told the newspaper that he did not have a problem with gay people but feared a network of gay men within the Vatican could become a security issue as they tended to be loyal to each other.
‘I … learned that many homosexuals are inclined to be more loyal to each other than to other people or institutions, he said.
‘If this loyalty were to go as far as to become a network or even a kind of secret society, I would not tolerate it in my sphere of decision making. Key people in the Vatican now seem to think similarly.’
Mäder’s comments follow on the heels of another guardsman telling Schweiz am Sontag about being propositioned by gay priests in the Vatican.
The unnamed veteran of 20 years in the guard told the newspaper he had been on the receiving end of ‘unambiguous sexual requests’ telling an anecdote about a meal he had shared with a Vatican priest.
‘As the spinach and steak were served, the priest said to me, “And you are the dessert.”’
In June last year Pope Francis admitted to a ‘current of corruption’ inside the Curia.