As Newly Enfranchised D.C. Gays Rush for Marriage Licenses, The Vatican is Rocked By Yet Another Gay Sex Scandal

Every time something like this scandal hits the airwaves, it adds more fuel to the raging funereal pyre of closets, hypocrisy and homophobia. The more the Vatican, the Mormons, and the Christian fundamentalists and their Republican and right-wing adherents inveigh against same sex marriage, the less legal and moral ground they occupy. Those so willing to point the finger at others’ behavior always find that fickle finger pointing right back at them.

As a stateside example, conservative State Senator Roy Ashburn (R-Bakersfield) of California recently joined the ranks of the Senator Larry Craig Escapees from Reality when he was arrested for driving drunk with a trick companion in the front seat of a state-issued vehicle after he left a Sacramento gay bar, Faces, this week. Ashburn, who formerly organized rallies against marriage equity as well as legislating against it in the California Senate through his “Traditional Family Values” campaign, is married with four children.

At the same time, being closeted didn’t stop Angelo Balducci, 54, a former “Gentlemen of His Holiness” from throwing caution to the winds and procuring willing sex partners–even some luscious Cuban black youths–for himself and possibly for other members of the Papal Household for parties and encounters, for a period of over five months.

Angelo Balducci, a Gentleman of His Holiness, was caught by police on a wiretap allegedly negotiating with Thomas Chinedu Ehiem, a 29-year-old Vatican chorister, over the specific physical details of men he wanted brought to him. Transcripts in the possession of the Guardian suggest that numerous men may have been procured for Balducci, at least one of whom was studying for the priesthood.

[…]

It was during [an] investigation into corruption that wiretaps revealed his alleged sexual activity. In one conversation, Ehiem tells Balducci: “I saw your call when I was in the Vatican, because I was doing rehearsals … in the choir … in St Peter’s.” He then suggests Balducci meet a man who he describes is “two metres tall … 97 kilos … aged 33, completely active.”

Balducci is also a senior adviser to the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, the department that oversees the Roman Catholic church’s worldwide missionary activities.

Since 1995, he has been a member of one of the world’s most exclusive fraternities – the Gentlemen of His Holiness, or Papal Gentlemen, the ceremonial ushers of the papal household. In the words of a 1968 ordinance, they are expected to “distinguish themselves for the good of souls and the glory of the name of the Lord.”

Yeah, right.

Thomas Chinedu Ehiem is a professional chorister from Nigeria, one of the Church’s target countries for propagation in Africa. Not much is known about the man. He had been with the Guilia Choir for 19 years. He was also a pimp–along with Italian Lorenzo Renzi–who has since sold his story to Panorama, a news program that is the equivalent of 60 Minutes or Sunday Morning here in the States.

Like Craig and Ashburn, Balducci is married, but apparently his real interests lay elsewhere, hence his insistence on discretion. He is an engineer by profession, but he was a construction consultant for the Vatican and a board member of Italy’s public works department. Balducci was under investigation for corruption connected to his questionable awarding of contracts to build public works projects, including those involving the G8 conference last year. Such expenditures inflated the cost of the conference several millions beyond its budget. Naturally, telephone wiretaps also picked up the extent of his connection to a gay prostitution ring. Balducci is still in jail.

Naturally, Ehiem also lost his position in the Guilia Choir when word of his involvement in the wiretaps was exposed. The Guilia Choir is one of two Vatican choirs that performs during ceremonies when the Pope is not present. When the Pope is in residence, the Sistine Choir sings. The Cappella Giulia, (Guilia is pronounced like JULIA) as it is officially called in Italian, is supervised by Cardinal Angelo Comastri, the chief priest of St. Peter’s Basilica. I’m sure he is going to be quizzed, or probably has been, in the near future.

The Irish Times, which has also reported on the rampant pedophilia the Catholic Church in Ireland, had more about how it all worked.

Phone taps of the last two years reveal that Mr Balducci regularly contacted two men, Mr Ehiem and Lorenzo Renzi, to ask them to set up “appointments” for him, “appointments” for which he would pay up to €2,000 (a little over $2700).

Mr Balducci would ask for a description of his “escort”, and would be furnished with details of the man’s height, weight, skin colour, age and sexual availability.

This is by no means the only incident regarding sexual misconduct recorded this year. There is one that just broke regarding the Pope’s own brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, now 86, in Regensburg, Germany. The elder Ratzinger once oversaw a famous German youth choir, the Regensburger Domspatzen or the Regensburg Cathedral Sparrows for over 20 years. That group has been rocked with accusations of repeated child physical, mental and sexual abuse over the years, along with three other parochial schools in Bavaria, the Ratzingers’ home province.

"Love Wins"

This woman, part of a 16-year heterosexual couple, had boycotted legal marriage until gays in D.C. got theirs. She and her prospective husband got their marriage license that same day in solidarity and celebration; I think her heart's in the right place about marriage equality (Courtesy: Legal Times)

In comparison, what a refreshing change from lying to yourself and others, and committing more egregious acts in the process of lying, when you have dozens of people cramming the D.C. Courthouse just to fill out marriage licenses, people not only from D.C. but from Maryland and Virginia. And it was not only white gay males–the usual standard of what gay means in the mainstream mind–but black gay males and black lesbian females filling out the forms and wanting to be family:

Galloway and Stanley

Rocky Galloway, left, and Reggie Stanley, right; one of the first couples to obtain a license to marry in the District of Columbia (Courtesy: Legal Times)

Sinjoyla Townsend, 41 and her partner of 12 years, Angelisa Young, 47, claimed the first spot in line outside the city’s Moultrie courthouse.

“It’s like waking up Christmas morning,” said Ms Young. “It’s really like a dream come true.”

Rocky Galloway, 50, received a license to marry his partner of six years, Reggie Stanley, also 50.

“This means our family is finally the same as any other family in DC and that is important to us,” Mr Galloway told AFP news agency.

The earliest many couples will be able to marry is Tuesday, due to a processing period of three business days for all license applicants.

Galloway and his partner are the parents of 15-month-old twins, and will marry next Tuesday.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts refused to block the implementation of the bill legalizing gay marriage in D.C., despite a last minute appeal by Bishop Harry Jackson of the Hope Christian Church in Beltsville to put gay marriage to a public vote. While opposition was indeed strong against gay marriage in the District of Columbia, this time gay marriage had its advocates in the religious commmunity.

Critical to their success, advocates said, was the diversity and depth of their network, which included a coalition of nearly 200 religious leaders. The group DC Clergy United for Marriage Equality, for instance, was led by Dennis W. and Christine Y. Wiley, co-pastors at Covenant Baptist Church, a black congregation in Ward 8. The group testified at hearings, held news conferences and presented a competing religious perspective.

However, the opposition will not accept defeat that easily, and in fact, many of the couples swarming for their licenses also felt that like in California, a way will be found to overturn gay marriage in D.C. and that their triumph will be short-lived, and not permanent. Oh hell, no. The fight must continue–and damn the veiled threats of Marion Barry and Bishop Jackson. Compared to what has been happening here and elsewhere, scrambling for a marriage license is infinitely more normal and life-affirming than scandal after scandal and the destruction of families and of lives over pedophilia and suppressed sexuality.

~ by blksista on March 5, 2010.

6 Responses to “As Newly Enfranchised D.C. Gays Rush for Marriage Licenses, The Vatican is Rocked By Yet Another Gay Sex Scandal”

  1. While I am surprise at your dislike of all churches; I must say that I do not agree with you entirely. A lot of people find great peace and solace in the church. I find your theory on the Priesthood to be quite interesting. After thinking about it for a while I certainly can conceive your views on the subject. If indeed you go back in the Bible Priests were allowed to be married. Why did it change? I guess if same sex was deserving of death and desertion from your love one I suppose that the Priesthood would be the perfect place to hide and to use the church’s authority with its Cannon Law to act as one so pleases and not be questioned because you represent God and you are not to be questioned.

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    • Excuse me, but I don’t dislike all churches. I dislike churches who use their money and power to discriminate and to harass others, even to the point of death. I named the ones that I perceive to be that way.

      The fact is that gays and lesbians in the early church were also allowed to promise to each other and in forsaking all others, and to name and endow each other and adopted children as heirs. It is true that priests were allowed to marry within the church; however, I believe that the prohibition against priests marrying came more from the distribution of property–your children or heirs could not inherit church property like fields, vineyards or endowments. Therefore the prohibition against marrying and enforced celibacy would certainly attract a person who wasn’t particularly attracted to women or to creating families. Some men simply wanted to have an education or were attracted to a life where they were not proscribed to have children. Some men were ambivalent about their sexuality. In a closed community where women and children were considered a trap and a snare, you would get a lot of men whose sexuality was suppressed, strange and weird. Not all of them were gay–there are instances where village girls and women were raped by priests, canons and bishops–but it certainly allowed for gay men to circumvent the rules to find other men that thought the same way.

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      • thanks blksista. After your response to Natalie, I took the time to research the Catholic Church and priests’ celibacy. What I found out is a little bit in more details that you explained but exactly what you shared.
        The law regarding homosexuality did not appear till the Roman Empire around the Second Century B.C. At that time homosexuality was regarded as less manly but was not ILLEGAL. Around the second to third Century B.C. a law was passed to outlaw homesexual male rape. Then, the Fourt Century was first to condemned homosexuality. Constantius and Constant (emperors) passed a law to miticulously punish unnatural sex (as they called it) altough it was discovered that Constant has SEVERAL MALE LOVERS.
        I GUESS NOT MUCH HAS CHANGED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        In 390 B.C. they passed the law that a man taking the role of the woman in a sex act would be burnt to death. And where did this scupulous law come from? The Biblical strictures. The Book of Leviticus (18,22,20,13) was pronounced and the imperial law was passed and homosexuality was punishable by death in Gods’eyes and death was inforced. Again it was reinforced in the New Testament (Roman 1,24-27) The growing influence of the Bible in a Christian Roman Empire led to the condemnation of homosexuality.
        NOW, the Catholic Church depends upon the ABILITY to CONTROL its followers in order to ensure it’s survival. Celibacy was not a necessity but a requirement. Priest who left to marry were allowed to come back. It does not make much sense to require the priest to be celibate if they can get around the rules by simply leaving, marrying and coming back. Imposition of celibacy was done largely for reasons of political, real estate and religious power. The extent to which religious rules and doctrines are created by HUMAN BEINGS for the purpose of maintaining POWER & CONTROL over others and attribute it to a divine source is sickening.
        Now why the church did not want the priest to marry: The problematic relationship the Catholic Church had with real estate and inherited land was the main factor. Priests and Bishops were not just religious leaders, they also had political power based on the land they controlled. When they died the land might go to the church or the man’s heirs and naturally the church wanted to keep the land in order to retain political power. The best way to keep the land was to ensure that no rivals could claim it. Making celibacy a religious obligation, ordering the priests who were married not to have sex with their wives as women were less pure and a form of CONTAMINATION, they went as far as in 1139 requiring all married priest to leave their wives leaving many of them destitute. And again as they had not succeded completely in 1545-1563 they passed the final blow through a technicality at the Council of Trent. The church asserted that a valid Christian marriage must be performed by a valid priest. Banning clandestine marriages eliminated marriage for the clergy.
        Now, when we know that more than 25@ of the priests are gay and that not many new priests are joining the priesthood and that most of the U.S. priests are over 60 years old. They want to pass a law that any man with homosexual urges cannot be in the prieshood.
        What are they saying? You are a sinner and we do not want you. Is it to be a good christian to want to own as much real estate as possible, to scorned the unpured, unclean women,to abolish homosexuality because it will expose your teachings. And I am sure by removing all the lower rank they would still be able to fool the masses and have all the gay sex they wish for. That should last for a while until another scandal come hitting them in the face.
        Ans yes I will reinforce. I do not want any part of this religion who insults my intelligence by imposing his lies and fallacies

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        • You could say that the prohibition against homosexuality had to do with the imposition of Old Testament law on Christians, not the bible.

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          • Yes. I thought that the Bible comes from 2 main causes. The Old and the New Testament. And I always heard preachers talked against homosexuality. Anyway, I do not believe in any organized religion. I try to live by the 10 comandements which I believe do come from God and not man because they are not opinions, whims or beliefs. That in itself is hard enough for me to live by and do not judge what religion brings to believers in RELIGION. I believe in God and that’s good enough for me and if someone feels a need to worship in a church that’s their business if it works for them.

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  2. I was raised catholic woth very devout parents. By the time I reached 8 years old I saw the lies and abuse of the priest. My mother was scared of the priest so she had a kid every year because the priest would name all the women in his sermon who did not have a kid that year therefore to avoid herself the shame and embarassment she had a kid every year even tough she could not even feed the one she already had. Every year the priest would pass and collect money from the families and you had to pay him per person in your household. Every years that I can remember we had to eat potatoes with a piece of lard in it for a month so that they can afford to pay the priest while he drove in his Cadillac and had a maid. I am not talking that long ago. I was born in the 1950 in Canada. I call that abuse. You dont’t take from people who have nothing and make them scared in the name of religion. To me there is not much difference between him and the Mafia. And to top it all everyone was forbidden to criticize the priest or the church.
    Now, on to the next subject of priest molesting children. The priesthood is the perfect cover-up for molesters. They have a supply of fresh young boys at their disposal. Because homosexuality was scorned upon for ages they came up with this perfect cover up. The catholic church worked so hard to keep us IGNORANT and misinformed and it was to thei best interest. Once someone gains knowledge and something does not add up you drop from this shameful perverted religion. I believe in GOD but not in church or priests. Why do they always try to establish strong hold where there is a ot of poverty? It is so easy to convince someone who is hungry or has not been exposed to much.
    As for all these other men in this articles who protest against same sex marriage while they have sex with other males. It is again another bunch of abusers, using the religion or their status or money to exploit others. To me anyone who exploit or abuse another in the name of religion is the worst criminal there is. I am happy that all this pretend religious people are exposed.

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