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Book Describes Large Gay Subculture Within Vatican

French author Frederic Martel says it's at the heart of Catholic Church's troubles
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 15, 2019 2:00 PM CST
French writer Frederic Martel gestures during an interview with Associated Press, in Paris, Friday, Feb. 15, 2019.   (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

(Newser) – A gay French writer has lifted the lid on what he calls one of the world's largest gay communities, the Vatican, estimating that most of its prelates are homosexually inclined and attributing much of the current crisis in the Catholic Church to an internecine war among them. In the explosive book, In the Closet of the Vatican, author Frederic Martel describes a gay subculture at the Vatican and calls out the hypocrisy of Catholic bishops and cardinals who in public denounce homosexuality but in private lead double lives, per the AP. Martel says he conducted nearly 1,500 in-person interviews with 41 cardinals, 52 bishops or monsignors, and 45 Vatican and foreign ambassadors, many of whom are quoted at length and in on-the-record interviews. Martel said he was assisted by 80 researchers, translators, fixers, and local journalists, as well as a team of 15 lawyers.

The 555-page book is being published simultaneously in eight languages in 20 countries, many bearing the title Sodom. The Vatican didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Martel appears to want to bolster Pope Francis' efforts at reforming the Vatican by discrediting his biggest critics and removing the secrecy and scandal that surrounds homosexuality in the church. Church doctrine holds that gays are to be treated with respect and dignity, but that homosexual acts are "intrinsically disordered." "Francis knows that he has to move on the church's stance, and that he will only be able to do this at the cost of a ruthless battle against all those who use sexual morality and homophobia to conceal their own hypocrisies and double lives," Martel writes.

(Read more Vatican stories.)

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