The case against Italian Catholic priest Father Luca Morini is piling up. Morini is accused of blackmail, embezzlement, fraud, drug distribution and extortion (among other things). But Morini’s alleged wrongdoings have also opened up a gay prostitution ring involving as many as 60 other priests.
The case began when a male escort frequented by Luca Morini went public. Morini originally told Francesco Mangiacapra that he was a judge. But soon Mangiacapra figured out his client was actually a parish priest — who happened to be absurdly wealthy. So Mangiacapra went to the diocese to report Morini.
Unfortunately, the diocese didn’t do anything until it found out a national satirical TV show, Le Iene, was looking into the case. The diocese suspended Luca Morini “due to sickness” and then moved him into a nearly $250,000 house bought for him (including utilities and maid service).
But this wasn’t a simple case of the Catholic Church shuffling dangerous priests around — not that the church is any stranger to that. But in this case, Morini is accused of blackmailing Bishop Giovanni Santucci. Morini “threatened to expose to the public eye unpleasant facts about many diocesan priests.” To keep him quiet, Bishop Santucci gave him a little over $5,500 from his personal bank account, and an additional $1,200 from the diocese’s funds.
When Le Iene aired its episode, it included footage of Morini snorting cocaine with several male escorts. The show also interviewed Morini’s parishioners, who said he was always asking for money, even during confession.
Last week Mangiacapra sent a 1,200-page dossier to the Naples archdiocese. That dossier proves — with explicit photographs — that Mangiacapra had been involved with 60 priests throughout Italy. In an interview, Mangiacapra said he didn’t want to hurt the priests, but “help them understand their double life … isn’t useful to them or to the people who rely on them for guidance.”
Father Luca Morini, called “Don Euro” by his flock, is scheduled for a preliminary trial regarding the gay prostitution ring on Thursday, Mar. 8.
What do you think of the Luca Morini accusations? Let us know in the comments!
Featured image by JerryPDX via iStock