A 1,200-page dossier compiled by a male escort identifying 40 priests and seminarians engaged in homosexual activity in Italy has been sent to the Vatican by the archdiocese of Naples.
In a statement on the diocesan website and reported by AP, Cardinal Cresenzio Sepe stressed that none of the identified priests worked in Naples, but said he forwarded the file to the Vatican because 'there remains the gravity of the cases for which those who have erred must pay the price, and be helped to repent for the harm done'.
The dossier, which contains WhatsApp chats and other evidence, was compiled by a gay escort, Francesco Mangiacapra. He has told Italian media that he outed the priests because he could no longer stand their hypocrisy.
None of the 34 priests or six seminarians who are named in the file was accused of having sex with minors, Mangiacapra was quoted as saying in the diocesan statement.
'We're talking about sins, not crimes,' he said in the statement.
This is the second sex scandal to hit the Vatican in recent weeks.
A Vatican judge last month pleaded guilty in a Rome tribunal to having child porn on his computer after police were brought in when he allegedly tried to fondle an 18-year-old man.
Monsignor Pietro Amenta was a judge on the Roman Rota, the Holy See tribunal that hears marriage annulment cases among other roles. The Vatican said that he resigned after the plea deal.