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Results of accepting a compromise on Morality and Truth, Gay Sex Scandals Rock the Vatican, Rome

Pope Francis speaks as he leads the weekly audience in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican, October 14, 2015. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

BY PHILIP PULLELLA | REUTERS

Pope Francis asked for forgiveness on Wednesday for scandals at the Vatican and in Rome, an apparent reference to two cases of priests and gay sex revealed this month during a major meeting of bishops.

“Today … in the name of the Church, I ask you for forgiveness for the scandals that have occurred recently either in Rome or in the Vatican,” Francis said in unprepared remarks during his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square.

“I ask you for forgiveness,” he said before tens of thousands of people, who broke into applause.

The pope then read his prepared address and did not elaborate, but there have been two scandals involving the Vatican and the Church in Rome in the past two weeks.

On Oct. 3, a Polish monsignor working in the Vatican’s doctrinal office since 2003 held a packed news conference in which he disclosed that he was gay and had been living with another man for years.

Related Story: First Lesbian Bishop Now Calling for Church to Remove Crosses and Make Room for Islam

The Vatican dismissed Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa, a theologian, from his job there as well as from teaching assignments in pontifical universities in Rome.

A spokesman said at the time that Charamsa’s high-profile coming out on the eve of a meeting of world bishops at the Vatican was “grave and irresponsible”. It accused him of trying to exert “undue media pressure” on the bishops’ debate on family issues, including the Church’s position on gays.

After he was fired, Charamsa gave interviews to Spanish and Italian media in which he criticized the Church’s rule on celibacy for the clergy.

The pope also appeared to be referring to a scandal exposed in the Italian media last week about an order of priests who run a parish in a well-to-do neighborhood in Rome.

Parishioners in the Santa Teresa d’Avila parish wrote to local Church officials alleging that a clergyman there had had encounters with “vulnerable adults”. Newspapers said these took place in an adjacent park often frequented by male prostitutes.

Read the rest at Reuters

Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Tom Heneghan

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