Gay Catholic priests looking to meet up for friendship and more now have a place to do it online.
Venerabilis, an unofficial gay dating site targeted for priests and the people who love them, is allegedly based in Vatican City.
The site offers five chat rooms in different languages, and by looking through the backlog there seems to have been plenty of face-to-face hook-ups.
It appears to have been online since 2007, but has only started making headlines after attacking the Catholic Church. Renowned journalist Vittorio Messori wrote an article in an Italian newspaper this week, outing the website.
On the website, it posted a manipulated picture showing Pope Francis with cardinals dressed as the Village People.
On Twitter, Venerabilis has spoken out against Pope Francis’ allegations of a ‘gay lobby’ within the Vatican.
‘Pope Francis talks about a gay lobby in the Vatican. What changes? Today there is a lobby everywhere,’ they write.
‘The problem is not gay priests but lying stupid thieves.’
The added: ‘The gay lobby in the Vatican? Just an excuse to reform the Roman Curia or TO DESTROY the Catholic Church from the inside.’
A local newspaper has also alleged in the Italian region of Luguria, where Genoa is the main city, many of the priests are gay.
The claim: ‘Former priest Franco Barbero has revealed in Luguria, there are 80 homosexual priests. That is 5% of the total. Among these there is a very famous cardinal…’
In February, it was claimed Pope Benedict XVI had resigned because of the ‘gay influence’ within the Vatican.
Referring to an internal report prepared by three senior cardinals, Italian newspaper La Republica said there was an ‘inappropriate influence’ by gay priests in internal Holy See affairs.
The internal report was commissioned after the so-called ‘Vatileaks scandal’ by the former pope himself, which ended with the arrest and conviction of the Pope’s butler Paolo Gabriele last year. He was found guilty of having stolen confidential documents from the papal apartment.