The archdiocese of Naples sent the Vatican a 1,200-page dossier compiled by a male escort, Francesco Mangiacapra, identifying 40 priests in Italy.
Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe said none of the identified priests worked in Naples. But he said he decided to forward the file to the Vatican because
“there remains the gravity of the cases for which those who have erred must pay the price, and be helped to repent for the harm done.”
It contains WhatsApp chats and other evidence, compiled by the onpenly gay escort who told the Italian media that he outed the priests because he could not stand their hypocrisy any more. According to NBC News, Mangiacapra said in the statement,
“We’re talking about sins, not crimes.“
But there are crimes and it’s a lot more complicated than that. This scandal involves threats, fraud, drugs, embezzlement, extortion and money laundering.It all began after Mangiacapra, decided to go public about ‘services’ he had been rendering to Father Luca Morini, known as ‘Don Euro’ because of his extravagant lifestyle. He had presented himself as a judge so when the escort found out his client was just a simple parish priest, he was curious about how he paid for his services and all of the fancy dinners and expensive gifts. Mangiacapra suspected the money came from the his flock and reported him.
According to Church Militant,
The diocese only acted once it found out that national broadcast show Le Iene was after the priest, so the bishop suspended him from his activities ‘due to sickness’ and then transferred him to a €200,000.00 house, bought especially for him (monthly utility bills and maid included). These were allegedly obtained from the bishop of Massa Carrara-Pontremoli, Giovanni Santucci, through blackmail, as Morini had
‘threatened to expose to the public eye unpleasant facts about many diocesan priests.’
Bishop Santucci also gave Don Euro €4,500,00 from his own personal bank account, as well as €1,000.00 from diocesan funds. The bishop is also currently under investigation.
The episode aired by Le Iene shows footage of Fr. Morini snorting cocaine and parading in the company of several male escorts, as well as interviews with many of the parishioners, who testify that the priest was constantly pestering them for money, even during confessions.
One of the priests interviewed by Le Iene declared that Morini,
‘arrived to the point of blasphemy: He would choose a member of the faithful and tell them he had seen Padre Pio in the Host, and that Padre Pio had mentioned that person by name. … He would then request thousands of euros from that person, promising that the offer guaranteed Padre Pio’s protection.’
Another diocesan priest wrote an anonymous letter to the show’s staff:
‘It hurts me to say that Fr. Morini has behaved this way for approximately 20 years, stealing and deceiving the elderly and those most in need, all seemingly under the protection of the powerful.‘
When the investigation was concluded last June, the police managed to trace to Fr. Morini €700,000 in cash and €150,000 in diamond investments. He was known in the best restaurants, resorts and five-star hotels in Rome and in Tuscany, and would always provide the drugs.
‘The cocaine was always Morini’s. I’m an escort, I’m not a drug dealer.‘
Wow, right? Before this all came out, Mangiacapra was not unknown. He wrote a book, Number One: Confessions of a Male Escort, but no names were mentioned. He got an anonymous death threat early this year which made references to the book. (Has Ryan Murphy bought the movie rights to it yet?)
“I am worried because the letter arrived at my home address, which is not public. I am reporting it to the police, because if others letters were to arrive, we can take action.“
That might not be the last letter as it says,
“Your popularity makes you very traceable, as you can see now, and will see again in the future.“
“The goal isn’t to hurt the people I’ve mentioned [in the dossier], but to help them understand that their double life … isn’t useful to them or to the people who rely on them for guidance. Their behavior is, in many cases, a result of the impunity that the high hierarchy of the Church has made habitual: that unjust tolerance that feeds the idea that it is possible to separate that which is lived from that which is professed, as typical of those who have a schizophrenic, double morality.”