An Italian priest accused of sexually abusing minors and supplying them with illegal drugs has admitted to prison doctors that he is HIV-positive, Italian media reported Saturday.
Father Riccardo Seppia was arrested last week.
He is accused of abusing a 16-year-old boy and giving him cocaine.
Investigators have since said Seppia, who regularly frequented discotheques, saunas and gyms, would frequently ask his drug dealers to provide him with young boys.
According to dailies La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera, Seppia later confirmed a prosecutor’s report on his medical condition and has since asked staff at the Marassi prison in Genoa to be transferred to another prison because of the constant abuse he has been receiving from other prisoners.
The Vatican, which has already suspended Seppia from all priestly duties, has recently urged parishes to report sex crime suspects to civil authorities.
The Catholic Church has in the past been accused of not reacting strongly enough to allegations of sexual abuse by priests in Italy and elsewhere.
The Vatican has suppressed a Cistercian abbey in Rome.
The abbey of Santa Croce in Jerusalem, associated with the Roman basilica of the same name, was formally suppressed in March, by a decree from the Congregation for Religious, signed by the prefect, Archbishop Joao Braz de Aziz.
The Cistercian monks living in the monastery were given two months to relocate to another abbey.
The Vatican has not made a public announcement of the unusual move, nor have officials of the Holy See offered an explanation for the decision.
The suppression follows an apostolic visitation of the Cistercian community in Rome.
There had been reports of liturgical and doctrinal abuses at the Cistercian abbey, and the suppression of the venerable institution – established in Rome in 1651 – appears to be the final outcome of a long conflict with the Vatican.
Taken from The Age
Pope’s dismay at disco-dancing nuns
May 25, 2011
Pope Benedict XVI has shut down a famous community in Rome that organised dances by a former nightclub-dancer nun and hosted VIPs including Madonna, earning the disfavour of the Vatican.
The closure of the monastery of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, which holds some of the Catholic Church’s most prized relics, was reported by Italian dailies La Stampa and Il Foglio.
The reports said the community of Cistercian monks based at the church for more than five centuries was being transferred to other churches in Italy.
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Contacted by AFP, the Vatican did not deny the reports.
The basilica had become a hub for the “Friends of Santa Croce”, an aristocratic group, and had been criticised for some unorthodox practices including dances in which nuns pranced around the altar.
One of the nuns who performed at the church, a former disco dancer, can be seen in a YouTube video performing a modern dance with a crucifix.
The basilica’s longtime abbot, Simone Fioraso, a flamboyant former Milan fashion designer, was already moved out of the basilica two years ago.
The ban was adopted in March by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life following an inquiry but has not yet been made public, the reports said.
Pope Benedict, the leader of the world’s 1.1 billion Catholics, is also the bishop of Rome, so the basilica is part of his diocese.
Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, built around a chapel dating to the fourth century, is one of Rome’s oldest and most prestigious churches.