Does The Vatican Have A Special Retreat Where It Secretly Tries To ‘Cure’ Gay Priests?
Add this to the Vatican’s latest spate of PR disasters surrounding homosexuality and same-sex marriage.Â
A former priest who says he was fired for being gay revealed on MondayÂ that the Vatican maintains a formerÂ convent in northern Italy where it secretly sends priests to “cure” them of homosexuality. This news comes after Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa,Â a high-ranking priest who worked in the Vatican, was fired after he came out as gay on Friday â€“Â the eve of the Catholic Church’s synod on the family. The Vatican blamed not his homosexuality but his “irresponsible” timing for the sacking. (And, of course, there was the Kim Davis meet-and-greet with Pope Francis.)
“There exists a convent where priests who manifest inappropriate sexual tendencies are sent to reflect,” Mario Bonfanti the former priest, told an Italian newspaper,Â La Repubblica.Â “Itâ€™s a place where they help you to rediscover the straight and narrow. They wanted to â€˜cureâ€™ me but I refused to go,” the 44-year-old added.
That former convent, inÂ Trento, known as theÂ Venturini Institute, “was set up in 1928 by Father Paolo Venturini to offer residential accommodation for clergy who suffer from any number of maladies from depression and addiction toÂ pedophilic urges,” the Daily Beast reports.Â
Bonfanti, who says he refused the Vatican’s direction to go to theÂ Venturini Institute, and was let go even though he says he was not in a relationship, says the facility offers “treatment” for homosexuality to get priests “back on track.”
The head of the Institute,Â Father Gianluigi Pasto, says,Â â€œWe donâ€™t speak of our work but it is well known to many bishops and dioceses. They know what we can offer.â€
Pasto did acknowledge, according to the Telegraph, that priests can visit if they are suffering from depression, alcoholism, orÂ â€œproblems connected to sex.â€
â€œPriests come to us for a period of formation and personal reflection. At the moment we have neither gay priests nor paedophile priests here. Certainly our job is to welcome everybody,â€ Pasto offered.
Calling the atmosphere at the Institute, “extraordinarily sinister,” the Daily Beast detailed a horrific episode.
“In 1983, an elderly homosexual priest by the name of Armando Bison, who was there for ‘treatment,’ was killed in a bizarre incident during which two men drove a wooden crucifix into his skull.”
“Of course,” writesÂ Barbie Latza Nadeau, who reports from Italy for the Daily Beast,Â “the environment is more civilized now, but Bonfante says that priests who came out as gay in Italy before Pope Francis was elected in 2013 were sent to the Venturini institute to be treated with a type of multi-faceted ‘retraining’ that mixes psychoanalysis with meditative prayer.”
In other words, harmful “conversion,” “reparative,” or “ex-gay” therapy.
Image by Jeffrey Bruno/AleteiaÂ via Flickr and a CC license
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Trump Lawyer’s ‘Critical Evidence’ Will Help DOJ Make Decision to Charge ‘Without Significant Delay’: Former Prosecutor
Donald Trump‘s attorney Evan Corcoran, who allegedly directed another Trump attorney to draft the false statement claiming all classified and sensitive documents had been returned, has been ordered to testify before a grand jury and hand over documents and records to Special Counsel Jack Smith in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents criminal investigation.
Trump appealed U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell’s decision ordering Corcoran to testify and hand over documents, including handwritten notes. The Appeals Court in light speed mode, rejected Trump’s appeal.
Corcoran will be testifying before the grand jury on Friday, CNN reports.
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One former top DOJ official, Brandon Van Grack, says the “Special Counsel is about to get access to the most critical evidence in the case. Should allow DOJ to make a charging decision without significant delay.”
He did not define what “without significant delay” means in terms of days, weeks, or months.
Van Grack served at Main Justice for eleven years, including as a lead prosecutor in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, and later, as the Chief of the DOJ’s Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) Unit.
“The announcement from a panel of three judges in the appeals court – less than a day after Trump sought to put Corcoran’s testimony on hold – adds momentum to the special counsel investigation as it seeks to secure evidence that could make or break a federal criminal case against Trump,” CNN explains. “The Justice Department has successfully argued in court that prosecutors have enough evidence that Trump’s interactions with the lawyer were part of a possible crime that they can pierce the confidentiality of the conversations between the two.”
‘National Security Implications’: Former DOJ Official Speculates on Ruling Ordering Trump Attorney to Hand Over Docs
A former top Dept. of Justice official says a federal judge’s expedited ruling ordering an attorney for Donald Trump to testify against his client before a grand jury and hand over documents very well may be related to “national security.”
U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ruled that DOJ Special Counsel Jack Smith had successfully made the case Donald Trump may have committed a crime, via his attorneys, in his classified documents case. That finding allowed her to invoke the crime-fraud exception, and order Trump attorney Evan Corcoran to testify before the grand jury investigating the ex-president’s unlawful retention and refusal to return hundreds of classified documents.
Former FBI General Counsel Andrew Weissmann, who also worked for Special Counsel Robert Mueller and headed the DOJ’s Criminal Fraud Section, Wednesday afternoon on MSNBC said it’s possible Judge Howell’s expedited decisions were related to national security.
Tuesday night Judge Howell ordered DOJ to provide information by 6:00 AM Wednesday.
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Trump appealed Howell’s ruling, and Wednesday afternoon the Appeals Court denied his appeal related to the documents, Politico reports.
“I’ve never seen anything that quick. It’s very hard to know why. I have to say, to me, when I think about what can be a plausible reason– and this is pure speculation – is that there must be something in the papers that gave the judges concern about national security implications, because it’s such a short timeframe.”
“The reason this is a bombshell is you could end up with Evan Corcoran as a key, fundamental witness against Donald Trump in an obstruction of justice case and a false statements case,” Weissmann adds.
According to Politico, Wednesday’s appeals court ruling “effectively permits the Justice Department to circumvent Trump’s attorney-client privilege after a lower-court judge found that the documents likely contain evidence of a crime.”
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This article was updated to correctly spell Andrew Weissmann’s last name.
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
Trump Appeals After Judge Agrees With Special Counsel on Crime-Fraud Exception and Requires His Attorney to Testify
Donald Trump’s attorneys have appealed a ruling that requires one of his lawyers to testify before a grand jury investigating his unlawful removal, retention, and refusal to return classified documents from the White House.
Attorneys for the Special Counsel “said there is evidence of a deliberate effort not to turn over all the material covered by the subpoena,” The Washington Post reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell had reportedly agreed with Special Counsel Smith that there is sufficient evidence proving Donald Trump may have committed a crime via his attorneys, and ruled his attorney must testify before a grand jury. The ruling, which was not made public, was handed down Friday night, NBC News reported Wednesday afternoon.
Judge Howell “ruled in favor of applying the ‘crime fraud’ exception to Trump’s attorney-client privilege and ordered Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran to testify before the federal grand jury.”
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Trump’s attorneys have already appealed the ruling.
“People familiar with the matter said an appeals panel has already begun reviewing the decision, after Trump’s lawyers appealed,” The Washington Post adds. “The extraordinarily quick timeline suggests that the judges — all nominated by Democratic presidents — intend to rule swiftly.”
Trump could take his case all the way to the Supreme Court, but The Post says it’s “not clear he would have a much better chance of success there.”
According to an NBC News report from October, Corcoran directed another Trump attorney, Christina Bobb, to sign the letter claiming a thorough search of Mar-a-Lago had been made and all classified or “sensitive” documents had been returned. That was proven untrue after federal agents, executing a search warrant, recovered hundreds of documents with classified markings.
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