For four years the French journalist Frédéric Martel documented the situation of members of the Catholic Church in the face of homosexuality and the oppression that the religious institution exerts on them, all supported by direct testimonies.
In the book Sodom, power and scandal in the Vatican, Frédéric sustained his research with about 1500 people interviewed; 41 Interviews with Cardinals, 52 bishops and Monsignori, 45 apostolic Nuncios and foreign ambassadors, and more than 200 priests and seminarians with a common pattern: homosexuality repressed.
In Mexico, the author mentioned the Cardinals Norberto Rivera and Juan Sandoval of the Archdiocese of Guadalajara, whom he interviewed, and highlighted the speech in which both speak against homosexuality and the cases he found within the Catholic Church.
“From cardinals to priests in Mexico with double standards, schizophrenia, doctrine and scandals,” he said.
In addition to the interviews and more than two thousand bibliographical references that the author consulted, Martel lived a time within the Vatican, allowing him to access the testimonies he presents in the book, without forgetting the route he made for 30 countries including Spain, Mexico, Colombia and Chile.
During his visit to Mexico City, Frédéric said that Sodom It is not a book of cases of sexual abuse, but about homosexuality; It is important for him to make this distinction and not to confuse both subjects.
“Victims of sexual abuse by members of the church are 80% males, between men and children. There are also records of abuses of male victims when there is no consent, as from a priest to a seminarian, or from a bishop to someone with a low rank in the church, “he said in an interview to Political Animal.
Martel also relied on documents from the U.S. Department of State that released in Chile, Colombia, Argentina and Italy, as well as the results of hundreds of cases of sexual abuse in courts where you can find many elements that have to Do with homosexuality.
A testimony puzzle
With over 1500 interviews Frédéric described his book as a puzzle, in which for four years has been finding the pieces that, in the end, together discover all the code of what is Sodom.
Among the interviews, there are also testimonies of doctors who worked in the Vatican with AIDS cases, as well as diplomatic telegrams.
“There is substantial and numerous evidence, many I can not use or decided not to use, because if it is a cardinal, I will not force him out of the closet,” he said.
Despite the liberalisation of society and the sexual revolution with Pope Paul VI, citizens struggle to confront taboos such as sexual relations before marriage, divorce and homosexuality but, in the author’s opinion, the church goes in the direction Opposed to that reality, “even in Mexico with an almost impossible to close gap.”
The church vs the LGBTIQ community
Although the current representative of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, has touched on the issues that make visible the gay community, it is still difficult for him to understand the changes in society such as gender theory and LGBTIQ issues, according to the author of the book.
“I personally see the crisis of sexual abuse and I believe that, in general, there is a great separation between the church and reality. I think it does have to change in terms of allowing women to be a cure, to allow gay marriage and to recognize people’s sexuality. ”
Talk about Sodom, power and scandal in the Vatican It is to go back to the scriptures of the Gospel and remember that Sodom comes from Genesis 19, which mentions the people destroyed by God, where all men were homosexuals, which is why Frédéric takes that title.
“It is probably false; One, because in a city they cannot be all homosexual and two, because God does not destroy a city and if there was something that was destroyed it was by natural causes, like an earthquake. The title is good because it talks about the church and talks about homosexuality. ”
Read Sodom, power and scandal in the Vatican is to delve into an investigation into homosexuality in one of the most important religious institutions in the world.
“For more than 50 years, which is my age, the church blames everyone for things like sex before marriage, divorce or homosexuality, so it’s fair to blame them now,” he declared.
With permission of the author Frédéric Martel and Roca Editorial with Penguin Random House, Political Animal Gives you a gift chapter:
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