Contributed by reader. Author/Outlet not specified.

“More on Frédéric Martel’s In the Closet of the Vatican: The Dark Heart of Martel’s Story — Corruption of Pretend Heterosexuality Coupled with Abominable Treatment of Queer People


I have now made my way about halfway through Frédéric Martel’s In the Closet of the Vatican, trans. Shaun Whiteside (London: Bloomsbury, 2019), and am finding the book grim going. It’s, as many commentators have noted, eye-popping, and overwhelming in the detail with which it tells — and documents — its story of corruption. To quote Mary Oliver in her poem “The Chance to Love Everything,” this is for me the dark heart of the story here: it’s a story of incredible corruption running through the governing structures and clerical culture of a major Christian institution, a story that does a very convincing job, I think, of rooting that corruption genetically in the intense homophobia of the governing elite of this institution.
This passage leaps out at me:

It was when I met the cardinals, bishops and priests who worked with him that I discovered the hidden side – the dark side – of his very long pontificate. A pope surrounded by plotters, thugs, a majority of closeted homosexuals, who were homophobes in public, not to mention all those who protected paedophile priests.
“Paul VI had condemned homosexuality, but it was only with the arrival of John Paul II that a veritable war was waged against gays,” I was told by a Curia priest who worked at John Paul II’s ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Irony of history: most of the players in this boundless campaign against homosexuals were homosexual themselves” (p. 194).

This is an important passage, it seems to me. Due to the intense adulation of many media folks of the rock-star pope John Paul II, few commentators have been willing to touch the corruption that surrounded him in his papal court — and the quite specific source of that corruption in the intense, vicious homophobia of many of the corrupt men surrounding John Paul II, who themselves had homosexual secrets in many cases.

While hiding those homosexual secrets, they chose to mount war against the queer community, combating its rights, scapegoating LGBT people — especially for the abuse crisis in the church — and targeting theologians calling for compassionate outreach to queer people.

So much of the corruption in the church right now is rooted in this historical matrix of the papacy of St. John Paul the Great — though it may take many years before people who are no longer blinded by the rock-star glitz of that image-savvy pope to recognize this.

And then there’s this grimly funny passage in Martel’s book:

For conservatives, lending credence to Viganò’s testament meant shooting themselves in the foot, while at the same time risking involvement in a civil war where any means were permitted. There are probably more closeted homosexuals on the right than on the left of the Church, and the boomerang effect would be devastating (p. 52).

Homophobic hard-right Catholics were initially deliriously happy that Viganò was bashing the gays and exposing the gays inside the hierarchy.

Then they realized that the gays included them and their heroes, and they had walked into a trap.

Bash McCarrick, and you immediately have to confront the fact that St. John Paul the Great elevated him to powerful positions — having received reports, we now know, about McCarrick’s sexual propensitiies and activities.

It’s hard to bash the gays in the church when you have people like Raymond Burke at your helm, and when your papal heroes — St. John Paul the Great and Benedict XVI — were surrounded by gobs and gobs of right-wing gay hierarchs.

The commentary of Louis Cornellier in his essay about Martel’s book “L’Église survivra-t-elle à Sodome?”seems to me right on target. Cornellier writes,

[Martel writes,] “Derrière la majorité des affaires d’abus sexuels, suggère-t-il, se trouvent des prêtres et des évêques qui ont protégé les agresseurs en raison de leur propre homosexualité et par peur qu’elle puisse être révélée en cas de scandale. La culture du secret qui était nécessaire pour maintenir le silence sur la forte prévalence de l’homosexualité dans l’Église a permis aux abus sexuels d’être cachés et aux prédateurs d’agir.”
Martel montre même que cette culture du silence, à son apogée sous les règnes de Jean-Paul II et de Benoît XVI, explique en partie une foule de malversations financières vaticanes, les compromissions de divers cardinaux avec les dictatures argentine, chilienne et cubaine et la répression de la théologie de la libération dont les grandes figures, note Martel, ‘étaient des religieux manifestement non gays’ alors que leurs adversaires ‘étaient, eux, des homophiles ou des homosexuels pratiquants.

[My rough translation: “Behind the majority of cases of sexual abuse, he (a priest interviewed by Martel) suggests, can be found priests and bishops who have protected the abusers due to their own homosexuality and out of fear that it might be revealed as scandal. The culture of secrecy that has been necessary for maintaining silence about the overweening prevalence of homosexuality in the church has permitted sexual abuse cases to be kept hidden and predators to prey.”

Martel shows, even, that this culture of silence, at its zenith in the papal reigns of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, helps in part to explain a plethora of embezzlement cases in the Vatican, the compromised behavior of several cardinals involved with dictatorships in Argentina, Chile, and Cuba, and the repression of liberation theology, the chief promoters of which, Martel notes, “were religious who were manifestly not gay,” while their adversaries “were themselves homophlies or practicing homosexuals.”]

It’s not the corruption of homosexuality itself, then. It’s not, as we’ve been told for far too long by these very same people in the bosom of the church, the (non-existent) corruption of having a homosexual sexual orientation, of having been shaped queer by God’s hands.

It’s the corruption of pretend heterosexuality coupled with abominable treatment of queer people — all engineered by homosexual clerics posturing as heterosexual — that’s the very dark heart of the corruption within the Catholic institution. So much of the corruption — real corruption, as in Vatican financial shenanigans and policies throwing progressive priests in Latin America to murderous wolves — begins with this dark heart of the story.

While people’s attention has been diverted to the non-existent corruption of simply having a gay sexual orientation, real, toxic corruption has spread through the Catholic institution as closeted, hateful gay clerics have attacked open, self-accepting gay people, while pretending to uphold and live by moral rules they themselves do not live by at all, those mounting these ugly attacks.

And here’s the nadir of this approach to being Catholic at this point in history:

His [Marcial Maciel’s] way of life was also highly unusual for the times – and for a priest. This father – who showed absolute humility in public, and great modesty on all occasions – lived privately in an armoured apartment, stayed in luxury hotels on his foreign travels and drove incredibly expensive sports cars. He also had false identities, kept two women by whom he would have at least six children, and had no hesitation in abusing his own sons, two of whom have since registered complaints against him.
In Rome, where he went often in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, he was welcomed as a humble servant of the Church by Paul VI and as a guest star by his “personal friend” John Paul II (p. 234).

Put the title “Saint” in front of John Paul’s name here, and you’ll see starkly what I mean by corruption running through the Catholic institution, but especially its clerical club — corruption directly related to the attempt to stigmatize as corrupt every human being in the world shaped queer by God’s hands. While the very persons disseminating that toxic message making queer people susceptible to scorn and violence are tightly guarding their own homosexual secrets ….”


At the 60th anniversary Mass for St. Louises in St. Peters Cathedral the principal addressed the congregation and said:

“Bishop Treanor could not be here today so our school chaplain Fr. Dallat will celebrate the Mass”.

So the principal of St. Louises introduced Dallat as the school chaplain.

The Down and Connor press officer Fr. Eddie McGee issued a statement saying that Dallat was not the chaplain and yet he concelebrated the St. Louises Mass!!!

Down and Connor is trying to hide Dallats presence in the school.

There is a bigger scandal behind what’s happenung.

It involves a female!


Your “rough translation” of the French??? 😂 You mean Google Translate’s rough translation don’t you, Buckley?? Sure you’ve no feckin French!! Do ye think we all came up the river in a bubble? 😂😂 Ah! I know! +Noel helped you translate it didn’t he? 😆🤣


Pat, fair play to ye. You’re a talented linguist on top of your many other skills. I would venture to say you are a polymath indeed.


The fat deacon of derry is not happy with your focus on him Pat. Why? Does he have something to hide? He had no male presence in his life…or did he?


1.30: Pat, you are still allowing your followers to make offensive and insulting remarks about the physical appearance of others. This is BULLYING. If you knew the damage done to children and young adults by such fat shaming remarks, you’d not allow such ignorance. Why do you allow the continuance of such horrible comments? You are an idiot, dressed up as a buffoon.


The indecent canonization of JPII is proving to be the Right’s undoing, as it clearly undermine’s the Church’s claim to certainty. And who was his right hand man throughout his sorry reign but the man who became his successor? Should we then infer that he is one of those homophobic homosexuals who have disgraced the Church?


1. You’re a very slow reader!

2. “My rough translation” (of the French) 🤣🤣😂 Yeah right. Google Translate more like, you pretentious buffoon. 😆


8.51: One thing we know about you, vicious Magna: You certainly don’t care, both just about bishops or priests, but practically everybody. It’s not possible for goodness, decency or caring to be in you when you have an overload of hatred, jealousy, anger and pride!! What a pitiable creature you must be!


The word ‘bully’ is mentioned here today. Bullying happens day in and day out in CCMS schools, the weapon of choice for Catholic clergy. Dallat has bullied his way in and will bully his way through that school. Like many other clerical types, he and they leave a trail of destruction as they swagger through different roles. I said it yesterday, I’ll say it again – CCMS are untouchable!


4 25: If I was close to you now I’d give you a belt or two, you idiot, you moron! Such generalisation about clerics is appalling, untrue, unjust. You deserve a box or two…….


Thug discourse of a happily gullible neanderthal. False equivalence of celibacy and deviancy: priests are not perverts because they cannot marry, but simply because they are sui generis perverts. Castrate all at ordination.


Sorry for delay in publishing comments.
Am celebrating a priests funeral in Donegal today + poor signal.


7 31: A priest’s funeral? Did you dose him with medication to allow you to officiate? Answer legitimate questions put to you about article today. Coward.


7.47: Pat, what age was your priest friend? Can you confirm for us how many priests//deacons/deaconnesses and brothers comprise the Oratory?


Comon now hi. All this territorial bitchy stuff. Bit of auld bitterness as well. Was Jesus a City or United man or does it make any difference but


8.53: Magna – if you were close to me I’d wallop you into the ground. You nasty piece of scum. God bless our many, many wonderfully good priests. It’s so sad that a “reject” is so embittered and has morphed into a spiteful, vindictive, divisive bitch. Again, God bless our committed and kind priests. Poor old Magsy, Wagsy, she has taken to the piss…(whiskey)…


‘Many, many wonderfully good priests?’😅

If you’re going to tell a porkie, make sure it’s at least plsusible.😆


10.00: Last night. Magna, what’s your problem with the TRUTH? Get yourself to a psychiatrist. You are just crazy, irrational and in need of help.


Goodness, the holy Catholics were out in force yesterday. Sneering at Pat (although you really should give your sources, Pat), and then threatening Magna with violence. Keep it up, your attitude is exactly the one which has made your church the disaster area it is today. I laughed out loud at the comment which both implored God to bless our many holy priests and threatened Magna. Whoever you are, have you ever thought of a religious vocation yourself? You would fit in perfectly.


What do you expect Pat when you allow, and encourage, commenters to publish lies, hate and innuendo all under the guise of anonymity?

You are the only one that can stop the culture of bullying on this blog.


Oh yes, poor wee innocent Magna Carta the poor wee harmless martyred soul, sure God love it. It wouldn’t hurt a fly and still all these nasty Catholics attack it, completely unprovoked, without any cause whatsoever.
Pat, know why you don’t know the identity of Magna Carta? Why it has never made any human contact with you unlike, say, MMM?
Because, behind its arselicking on your blog, it is laughing at you and using you. It views you as a fool and with amused contempt. It’s playing a game with its fawning flattery, very rarely criticising you and then only very gently.
It would answer you better if you would wise up and firmly close the door on this troll.
Furthermore, anyone who threatens Magna Carta with “violence”, is as barking mad as Magna Carta itself (or themselves).
How on earth can anyone, in any case, threaten with violence something they haven’t a chance of identifying (unless you’re Barking Bill Mulvihill with his magic IP address discovering Crystal Ball)!


8.57: Pat, you made a commitment some time back that you would desist from allowing vitriolic, nasty, vulgar and personalised comments. Yet, within days you reneged on this promise. All too frequently, under the guise of anonymity you have facilitated horrendous abuse against many priests. Your own language is very full of innuendo, half truths and vengeance. Criticisms of the Church and its personnel is legitimate and necessary but the hate language expressed here is way beyond acceptable and crosses boundaries. I have no difficulty with genuine dialogue and debate but what is presented here is not conducive to real, meaningful debate. It’s often a hatefest! I believe you would elicit greater respect and be a catalyst for necessary renewal and new life if you ditched your own baggage of vengeance and vindictiveness.. Our church (Catholic) and our communities need people who are true to the vision of Jesus and his gospel and who focus on, and live by the values of the gospel. This challenge is difficult in the present changing culture but not impossible. There are some very imaginative and visionary events happening in many parish communities which need to be affirmed and acknowledged. The focus of many commentators is to only see the bad and negative but there is much that is good and positive. We build on these. The divisive, vituperative and deeply offensive comments on your blog do not encourage any unity or wisdom among those who truly care. Building up is better than tearing apart, affirmation better than vitriol, healing gestures better than hatred.


8.57: Pat, when you choose to be fair, balanced and just you maybreceuve more intelligible comments. However you both facilitate and encourage the vitriol and nastiness that’s evident in.many comments. You somehow blame everyone else but yourself for the gross, ignorant and offensive comments expressed. Some of the comments are personalised, hate inciting, prejudiced and perpetuate lies…innuendo and gossip. Not acceptable to me but when spewed out on your blog, then expect the same in return.


Yes if it is slagging you off but if it’s damaging someone else’s reputation you print without checking facts.


9.13: Be consistent Pat. While commentary on many church issues are vital, you should not however allow deliberate, derogatory, personalised, nasty and offensive comments. Some are so horrendously hate inciting that it beggars belief you allow them to be printed. When Magna is in vicious mood, his comments are probably the most hate inciting of all, vulgar and very dangerous. Many of your bandwagon warriors wiuld appear to have lots of past baggage which they should deal with through a psychoanalyst. useful but it should not be hijacked by hatemongers.


9.13: Pat, is there a button for deleting Magna, not just his words but “he” himself into oblivion. We have too much of his predilections to vulgarity, abuse and nastiness.


Hey! Is my post at 10:47 ‘hate-inciting’, too? Because it expresses only one of MANY shocking and myth-debunking truths about the piety and authority 😅 of Roman Catholic clergy as a caste and of how far they have willingly deviated from the mind of Christ (and, therefore, from any supernatural ground for claiming licence to teach and preach in Christ’s name).
The problem with you, and your revolting clerical kind, is that you label as ‘hate-inciting’ ANY truth that does not fit your self-serving, Roman Catholic-clericalist narrative. You so abhor truth (are so frightened of it, in fact) that you once brutally put people to death for speaking it. These days you content your vile corpulent selves with allowing the suicide of countless numbers around the world raped by your fellow priests.
You Christ-betrayers hate truth so much that you would have strangled to death the source and summit of all truth (including those inconvenient to the theological fiction of priesthood) as he slumbered in his mythical manger, the infant Jesus.😕


Off topic, but interesting nevertheless. Am nearly halfway through Kieran Tapsell’s ‘Potiphar’s Wife’. Jesus, Mary and Joseph! If even 50% of this read is true, it’s absolutely appalling…about Roman Catholic clergy, especially the entitled, worldly, privileged episcopate.
Just one example, as recently as 2007 the Vatican was INSISTING that the Colombian Government honour a concordat (treaty) it made with Vatican City State in 1973, in which, among other clauses, Roman Catholic bishops would not, under any circumstances (including murder committed by any one of them) be arrested, and put on trial. These men, quite literally, sought to be placed above the Law, and were successful in doing so. They were, after all, special, ontologically different from everyone else on the planet and were entitled, therefore, to be treated very preciously indeed. Every pope, from at least Paul VI, has had some sort of hand in either negotiating or maintaining this treaty, which institutionalised in Colombia the centuries-old tradition of ‘privilege of clergy.


10.47: Magna, bet you’d love to be living in Columbia as a priests! You’d get away with murder, vulgarity, hatred. You wouldn’t have to worry about your pseudonym…You could just be your true self: A vicious, obnoxious, nasty, mean, ugly little queen. Never to late for you to try applying for a Columbian Diocese!! Go, Go, Go, you boyo!!



Hah, hah, hah 😅

As ‘Hannibal’ in the ‘A-Team’ used to say: ‘I love it when a plan comes together.’

Thank you for your comment. It proves my point about clericalism and corruption in the Roman Catholic Church.

You are more incensed by me, arent you Father, than by the fact that a colony of entitled episcopal parasites in Colombia has such worldy regard for itself that it would seek even to murder with legal impunity, and all with the moral approval of Christ’s Vicar on Earth?

Jesus Christ! What kind of people are you? You are so far removed from the image and likeness of Christ that your form is hideous to the point of demonic unrecognizability.😅


3.21: Maggie, you keep hitting the bull’s eye! Your description of priests removed from the likeness of Christ is laughable. Keywords reflect anything about our personality, your words reveal a pathologically disordered mind, probably as a result of rejection, abuse, anger, immaturity, stunted emotional development, addictions. You require very professional help to defrost your demented, deranged and dangerous mind. Somehow the mention of the wird priest into an explosive hatred and angst that must be very disturbing to witness. Yes, Mags the Wag, hatred is indeed a very volatile trait in you, robbing you of any joy, happiness, normality. Because you seem so fond of hatred, long may it continue to keep you disturbed within!!!🐱🐱🐱🐱🐮🐮🐮..🎃🎃🎃….Now go and enjoy a pumpkin for tea!!


I upset you, didn’t I?
Never mind…cos I don’t.😆
I notice that you also are not troubled by the fact that men who were meant to function as servants end up as a privileged, entitled, supercilious caste…the very antithesis of Jesus’ model of discipleship. Why doesn’t this bother you? Why am I your focus and not something so obviously out of step with Gospel teaching.
Wait! You’re one of them, aren’t you?


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