This in itself marks a 180-degree turn from the past.
But the presence within the Vatican hierarchy of gay prelates is an open secret in Rome.From time to time, stories emerge in the local media alleging affairs between monsignori and young men, and it is perhaps worth pointing out that in other reported remarks to the same group of clerics at the Vatican, Pope Francis is quoted as saying: “In the Curia, there are also holy people, really, there are holy people.He was employed by a big Italian commercial bank before taking Holy Orders, and was nicknamed “Monsignor 500” inside the Vatican thanks to his habit of flashing his wallet to show colleagues that he only carried €500 banknotes.Even before Mgr Scarano’s arrest, Pope Francis revealed that he was determined to clean up the Vatican bank and its highly secretive operations, which in recent decades had been engulfed in scandal.Last week, Patrizio Poggio, a former Catholic priest, claimed that he had evidence of misconduct by a group of Roman priests with young Romanian male prostitutes, informing the police that he had “grave information harming the integrity of the Church” and giving them a list of alleged clients – all Roman clerics.
Poggio claimed that they had used the services of the prostitutes, who frequented a club near Rome’s main railway terminal.
It is believed that he was a victim of a Mafia hit man taking revenge for funds lost through the bank’s collapse.
The Vatican was the bank’s main shareholder, and Calvi was dubbed “God’s banker” due to his close ties with the Holy See.
Mgr Scarano is alleged to have masterminded a plot that sounds like an airport novel.
He attempted to bring €20million in cash belonging to a wealthy family of shipowners from a Swiss bank to Rome in a private plane, thereby evading customs and tax controls.
Pope Francis has given the commission powers to question anyone working inside the Vatican and ordered it to report back to him personally and “promptly”.