'I Was Only Pretending to Be Gay'
Booted Vatican priest claims he was gathering info as psychoanalyst
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2007 11:15 AM CDT
"It's all false; it was a trap. I was a victim of my own attempts to contribute to cleaning up the Church with my psychoanalyst work," the accused priest told reporters.   (AP Images)
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(Newser) – A high-ranking Vatican official suspended after he was caught on video making advances to a young man said yesterday in an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica that he posed as a homosexual as part of his work as a psychoanalyst. Monsignor Tommaso Stenico said he is celibately heterosexual and only pretended to be gay to gather information.

Tommaso claims he frequented online gay chat rooms and met with gay men merely in order to "better understand this mysterious and faraway world which, by the fault of a few people—among them some priests—is doing so much harm to the Church." Tommaso was suspended when Vatican officials recognized his office in the secretly filmed video.