Rent boys and dodgy financial dealings: just another normal week in the life of the Vatican

AN INVESTIGATION into claims that a former Rome policeman recruited underage boys for nine Catholic Church clergymen is being investigated by the authorities.

News of the investigation was  reported in the same week that a senior Italian cleric was arrested over allegations of corruption and fraud.

The paedophile rent boy ring claim was made by Don Patrizio Poggi, 46, who served a five-year sentence for abusing teenage boys while he was a parish priest at the San Filippo Neri church in Rome. He said he revealed that clergymen had hired very young rentboys for sex inside churches  in order to:

Protect the Holy Church and the Christian community.

He claimed the boys were chosen because they were starving and desperate, and that the former policeman would recruit the boys, mostly eastern European immigrants, outside a gay bar named Twink near Rome’s Termini train station. The cop reportedly sat in his Fiat Panda – marked “Emergency Blood” to avoid parking fines – to make his selection.

The boys were paid €150-€500 (£130-£425) to perform sex acts in church premises across the capital. Poggi also accused the former Carabinieri of selling consecrated hosts for satanic rites.

Poggi identified the nine clergymen, including two senior church officials and a religion lecturer. Three people have been placed under formal investigation.

The allegations were rejected by the Vatican. Cardinal Agostino Vallini, head of the Catholic Vicariate of Rome, said the priest made false claims out of a desire for vengeance and personal resentment because the Vatican refused to reinstate Poggi after he served his term.

Vallini said:

The cardinal expresses his full confidence in the magistracy and declares himself full convinced that this slander will be demolished, demonstrating Poggi’s claims to be untrue. God will hold everyone accountable for their deeds.

Monsignor Scarano

Monsignor Scarano

Meanwhile, the senior Italian cleric arrested over allegations of corruption and fraud has been named as Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, who works in the Vatican’s financial administration. A secret service agent and a financial broker have also been arrested. They are suspected of trying to move €20-million illegally.

Scarano was suspended from his post “about a month ago, after his superiors learnt about an investigation into his activities”, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said.

Scarano has been under investigation by Italian police for a series of suspicious transactions involving the recycling through the Vatican bank of a series of cheques described as church donations.

Scarano is a priest from Salerno in southern Italy, who is called “monsignor” in recognition of his seniority at the Vatican.

The two others who were arrested are Giovanni Maria Zito, described as an Italian secret service agent, and the other, Giovanni Carenzio, is a financial broker.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn (Scarano report)

Update: The Times reports today that Poggi has been arrested for slander after prosecutors concluded he had made up the allegations. They said his claims were “untrue or based on mere hearsay” and motivated by personal animosity against some of the clerics named. They accused him of attempting to coach possible victims to back up his allegations.

19 responses to “Rent boys and dodgy financial dealings: just another normal week in the life of the Vatican”

  1. AgentCormac says:

    If Scarano was hoping that no one in the vatican would miss €20 million, you do have to wonder just what the rcc’s coffers are really worth. Thieving bastards.

  2. Trevor Blake says:

    “For this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” 2 Thessalonians 2:11

    “And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will persuade him … I will go forth and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all His prophets. And He said, Thou shalt persuade him and prevail also; go forth and do so.” – 1 Kings 22:21-22

    If God wants something He will force His people to lie

  3. tony e says:

    The current incumbents make the Borgias look like amateurs.

  4. Broga says:

    The suckers who gather in St Peter’s Square to be blessed by Papa just don’t get it. They think the priests and cardinals are special and holy. The reality is that the priests are embarked on a wonderful scam where acts that would shame a Mafiosi are covered by a manufactured patina of holiness. The ritual, the robes, the big hats, the music, the paintings are used to sweeten the stench coming from the moral sewer.

  5. AgentCormac says:


    Moral sewer – excellent!

    However, it is a moral sewer lined with riches beyond our imagination. According to the following nbcnews report, the vatican is an operation that is worth at least (that’s right, at least) $8 billion. Yet somehow it also managed to make an $18.4 million loss in 2011. No doubt to avoid paying any tax – if it is even required to do so in the first place.

    After a little more digging I discovered that in 2011 there were, in the midst of Italy’s financial turmoil, attempts to get the vatican to pay taxes, but these were (surprise, surprise) unsuccessful. What’s more, it seems that the vatican actually receives €1bn a year from Italian taxpayers and as result of Article 6 of the 1929 Lateran Treaty, the Vatican State also pays no water bills.

    As previously stated, these corrupt, two-faced, power-hungry liars are nothing more than thieving bastards.

  6. Matt+Westwood says:

    Jesus had an epithet for people like that: “Whited sepulchres”. Clean and bright and shining on the outside, full of rot and corruption and stagnation on the inside.

  7. Robster says:

    Monsignor Scarano, what a great name for a new Bond villian! Writers could include elements of the Da Vinci code, bit of the ol’ fun filled catholic dogma, a serve of jesus blood with a side of flesh and popcorn, wow…what a plot!

  8. Catswhiskers says:

    Trevor, Why does God need money?

  9. Broga says:

    @Robster: Mr Big, the cynical user of the Vodoo cult, in “Live and let Die”, uses superstition just like an RC. Monsignor Scarano would fit perfectly. Mr Big, encouraging the belief that he is Baron Samedi,a zombie, has his flock in thrall. The Bond books are so much better than the films which soon descended, if they were not there already, into vacuous tat. Bond, a product of his author’s era, is a racist, misogynist and Flemings’ chilling detail of the torture scenes is sadistic.

  10. Broga says:

    @BarryDuke: This must leave the RCs shocked and stunned. Not at all what they expect. The BBC continues to provide plenty of positive publicity for RCs. The trailer for the Sunday programme said that Vincent Nichols was going to be interviewed about the suffering of the poor as a result of the proposed welfare cuts. I switched off pronto. There is only so much that flesh and blood can endure. A reverential interview with Vince would not be a good way to start Sunday.

  11. lucy 1 says:

    It is possible that the story about rent boys is made up. I always have doubts when people start talking about consecrated hosts used in satanic ritual. Too Dennis Wheatley by half

    But if not this exact chain of events, then certainly others. What a bunch of bastards.

  12. Daz says:

    I always have doubts when people start talking about consecrated hosts used in satanic ritual.

    I must admit, that bit made me wonder as well, especially considering the source, who could conceivably be trying to spread the blame for his own crimes.

    Time will tell.

  13. Marky Mark says:

    …crooks and liars, all of them.

  14. barriejohn says:

    What could be more Satanic than the Roman Catholic Church? I agree that these are just “claims” at the moment, though.

    Dennis Wheatley used to live here at Lymington, and was rsponsible for either the building or restoration of some of our famous “wavy (serpentine) walls”, depending upon whom you listen to:

    This site is SO educational!

  15. Broga says:

    @barriejohn: In my adolescence I was a big fan of Dennis Wheatley. All very Tory and upper crust English as I later realised. However, beside my dull life Roger Brook, Mr Pitt’s favourite agent, had a great time taking risks and shagging upper crust women. I also read the Black Magic books. I soon realised that life just ain’t like that.