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article imagePapal attendant received male prostitutes in the Vatican

By R. C. Camphausen     Mar 5, 2010 in Lifestyle
While police listened to wiretaps during a corruption investigation, they found phone calls by Angelo Balducci, an ex head of Italy's public works council, where he arranged meetings with male prostitutes. They had to be tall and virile.
The Guardian reports today on a scandal, and it summarizes the tale with these words: The Vatican was today rocked by a sex scandal reaching into Pope Benedict's household after a chorister was sacked for allegedly procuring male prostitutes for a papal gentleman-in-waiting.
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.
One must know that a Gentleman of His Holiness, sometimes also called Papal Gentleman, is a lay attendant to the pope and his papal household. As such, he has a highly regarded position and can move about the Vatican freely.
In one phone call, for example, he said that he wants to receive his visitor "up at the seminary … where the cardinal lives."
Previously, Angelo Balducci had been arrested on February 10 under the suspicion that he was involved in a corruption case while still in politics. He allegedly steered lucrative contracts towards favored companies. However, the investigation is still running and he has not yet been charged.
Of course, hiring professional or amateur prostitutes is way more civilized than abusing pupils and students, but for an institution which proclaims that homosexual acts can under no circumstances be approved - as it says in the catechism of the catholic church, this latest revelation is a most damaging one. One can therefore understand well why the Vatican has not yet officially commented on the affair.
An interesting addendum is the fact that Balducci is also a senior adviser in what is known as The Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, a department that oversees all missionary activity for the Roman Catholic church throughout the world.
Other publications, for example At Largely, even speak of a 'prostitution ring' linked to the Vatican. These and other publications also report that the person who arranged Balducci's secret meetings, a Nigerian named as Ghinedu Ehiem, has already been dismissed by the Vatican on Wednesday.
Balducci wanted his men hand-picked, and it emerged from the phone calls that his preferences were for tall, well built and active men around 30 years of age. He once succeeded in getting a rugby player from a Roman club.
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