By Philip Pullella in Vatican City

Friday March 05 2010

One of Pope Benedict’s ceremonial ushers and a member of an elite choir in St Peter’s Basilica has been implicated in a gay prostitution ring, in the latest sexual scandal to taint the Vatican.

Ghinedu Ehiem, a Nigerian, was dismissed by the Vatican on Wednesday from the Giulia Choir after his name appeared in transcripts of police wiretaps, published by an Italian newspaper, in an unrelated Italian investigation.

The wiretaps were carried out in connection with a probe into corruption in contracts to build public works, including the planned venue in Sardinia of last year’s G8 summit. The summit was eventually moved to the Abruzzo region as part of efforts to help it recover from an earthquake.

Among four people arrested last month in the corruption probe was Angelo Balducci, a engineer who is a board member of Italy’s public works department and a construction consultant to the Vatican. Mr Balducci was arrested on corruption charges and the allegations of prostitution emerged only later.

Elite

Mr Balducci is also a member of an elite group called “Gentlemen of His Holiness”, ushers who are called to serve in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace on major occasions such as when the Pope receives heads of state or presides at big events.

“Gentlemen of His Holiness” carried the coffin of the late Pope John Paul II at his funeral in 2005.

Excerpts of the wiretaps and police documents published in the Italian newspaper ‘La Repubblica’ showed that Mr Ehiem (40) had been in regular contact with Mr Balducci before Mr Balducci’s arrest last month and the subject of their conversation was gay sex. A police document prepared for magistrates and published in part by ‘La Repubblica’ said Mr Balducci was in contact with Mr Ehiem and an Italian who were part of what the police called “an organised network … to abet male prostitution”. It was not immediately possible to contact Mr Ehiem’s lawyer.

A Vatican source said Mr Balducci, who is still in jail, had been dismissed from the elite group of ushers and that his name would not appear in the next edition of the Vatican’s directory.

“He obviously can’t come back here after being accused of these things,” the source said.

The latest black eye for the Vatican comes on the heels of major paedophilia scandals involving the abuse of children by priests in Ireland, Germany and the United States.

Mr Balducci’s lawyer, Franco Coppi, one of Italy’s highest profile attorneys, said he had no comment on the newest accusations against his client, saying: “We have much more serious things to be concerned with right now,” referring to the corruption charges.

Mr Ehiem had sung in the choir for 19 years. Wiretap transcripts published by ‘La Repubblica’ showed that among the men Mr Ehiem allegedly procured for Balducci were seminarians.

– Philip Pullella in Vatican City

Irish Independent

 

9 Responses to “Pope’s usher let go in gay prostitution ring claims”

  1. mmaguire says:

    Quote:

    (Paddy, I sent in a bit of letter about the relationship between gays and pedo crime but it is blocked by spam filters,,,what to do?)

    You would need to check that the ip number you are/were using at the time of sending was not spam listed.

    MM

  2. Dove Ui Dalaigh says:

    The Church Persecute Child abuse survivors and support Male and female orientated paedophiles and supports them even after knowledge and even after crime is proven but Pope kicks out user for Maybe Consensual Gay Prostitution and Paedophile Clergy for Child Sexual Slavery and Exploitation they get supported covered up for and the paedophiles get protected luxury life with no dependants while the survivors are abused and even more after settlements supported by Legal Profession.

    The Vatican has also supported and I have read blocked extradition requests for suspects transferred their but now oft proven to be criminal and guilty of churches knowledge. Do I smell a case of Discrimination Pope on behalf of sacked User. International Policy of your Church for Paedophiles required while User Breaks Celibacy Vows and sacked without recourse.

  3. Paddy says:

    I can’t think of any reason why it should have been blocked. I’ll investigate and see if I can resolve the issue.
    Best wishes. Paddy

  4. Redzer says:

    Paddy, I sent in a bit of letter about the relationship between gays and pedo crime but it is blocked by spam filters,,,what to do?

  5. Paddy says:

    It appears there’s one law for the laity and another for the men in frocks that glide around the Vatican and other parts of the world. I’m more than ticked off – I’m about to let rip!! Paddy.

  6. Kate Dowling says:

    I’m rightly ticked off Paddy!

    Balducci – a “Gentleman of His Holiness” – corruption and male prostitution charges!!
    “A Vatican source said Mr. Balducci has been dismissed from the elite group of ushers!”

    SO WHY HAVEN’T ALL THE ABUSERS AND THEIR PROTECTORS BEEN DISMISSED BY THE VATICAN, AND ARRESTED BY THE POLICE HERE AND IN THE OTHER COUNTRIES?
    To my mind, they are all guilty of corruption and prostitution and should be appropriately dealt with, including Ratzinger himself.

  7. doris dowling says:

    Paddy. How can this Horsman-Hogan person say how we are going to turn out. I must have gone in the institution from a poor family; because the Catholic Church made the mother have as many babies as she could. I know I certainly came out of the institution an absolute wreck. How can you love anyone when you have never been thought it. Not a kind word or nothing for us. I, and everyone else has spent the rest of our lives protecting our kids.THE CATHOLIC CHURCH DESTROYED OUR CHILDHOODS. WE DEFINITELY WANT REPARATION AND COMPENSATION FOR ALL WE HAVE LOST. WE WILL NOT GO AWAY. SEE YOU AT THE MARCH GUYS.

  8. Paddy,
    I hope nobody is surprised.

    The truth has its way of finding a door after all.
    Sieglinde

  9. Portia says:

    Keep the truth coming Paddy.

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