Secret documents leaked by officials within the Vatican claim that its properties are being used as sites for brothels and massage parlors.
A report stated that locations close to the Italian parliament were being used for these purposes, and it specifically singled out a Vatican department known as the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, according to Daily Mail. This Vatican department reportedly owns hundreds of properties in central Rome.
The leaked document also stated that powerful colleagues of the Vatican were being allowed to rent out the buildings at cheap rates.
Similarly embarrassing scandals emerged two years ago when it was revealed that some apartments used by priests were in the same building as Europe’s largest homosexual sauna.
At that time, the Vatican had spent over $30 million on 19 apartments in that block in Rome, including the apartment of Cardinal Ivan Dias, who is referred to as the “Prince of the church.” The purchase of the apartments was reportedly arranged by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who is described by Daily Mail as Pope Francis’ “right-hand man.”
The latest revelations emerged shortly after the arrest of two individuals accused of involvement in leaking the secret documents was confirmed, Reuters reported. The two people -- a high-ranking Holy See official and an Italian woman who works in public relations -- were arrested on Nov. 2 for allegedly leaking the documents to two journalists.
These journalists then went on to write books based on information from the leaked documents. On Nov. 11, the Vatican announced that they were now investigating the journalists for "complicity in committing a crime."
“Investigators are also looking into the role of people who, because of their office positions [in the Vatican] may have cooperated in obtaining the confidential documents,” spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said in a statement, according to Reuters.
The journalists recently published two books which claimed church funds were being mismanaged and that cardinals and other senior officials were resisting change.
The scandal is the first to hit during Pope Francis’ term in office. Francis is currently trying to push through financial reforms at the Vatican, and he called on the church to reject the temptations encouraged by power.
Francis described the leaks as “deplorable” on Nov. 8.
In a speech to bishops on Nov. 10, Francis said he desired a church that was “humble and poor” rather than one seeking power.
“The life of every community requires that we fight the cancer of corruption, the cancer of human and labor exploitation and the poison of illegality,” Pope Francis told a crowd in the Italian industrial town of Prato.