Three questions about the "Sodoma" survey book

Pope Francis at the Vatican on February 10, 2019. – Andrew Medichini / AP / SIPA

A shocking book on the Catholic Church. In a 600-page book to appear on February 21, Frédéric Martel describes a "gay system", hypocritical and secret, within the clergy. The French journalist and sociologist relies on a long investigation and many interviews with clergymen. Here are three questions about Sodoma, investigation in the heart of the Vatican (Editions Robert Laffont).

How did the author investigate?

The work lasted four years, tells Point, during which Frédéric Martel spent one week a month at
Vatican. The journalist and researcher interviewed 1,500 clergymen, including 41 cardinals and 52 bishops, he said in an interview with the weekly. He traveled to some thirty countries to meet the Cardinals at home, and did not lead this titanic work alone: ​​80 employees were mobilized.

What does his book reveal?

The writer describes "the omnipresence of homosexuals" in the Catholic Church, and at the top of the clergy in the Vatican. "There are homophiles, non-practicing gays who are faithful to their chastity pact. Then there are people who may have had desires, relationships but live very badly, flogging. Then there are people who live with their lovers, cardinals, often an assistant or a friend. Then there are cardinals who come out, who have lovers. Others, at least two cardinals close to John Paul II, have used male prostitutes, "he told AFP.

The author describes Point the hypocrisy of this system: "the prelates who hold the most homophobic and traditional speeches on the level of morals prove themselves in private homosexuals or homophiles".

The very strong homosexuality within the clergy nourishes according to him a strong omerta in the Church on other subjects, as the pedophilia or the scandals of corruption. The protection of priests accused of having committed sexual abuse is often the fact, according to Frédéric Martel, of homosexual ecclesiastics who are afraid that their sexual orientation will be revealed if they are exposed to scandal or media coverage. "Pedophile priests use the information they have on the Catholic hierarchy to protect themselves. Bishops who have homosexual relations themselves are forced to shut up, "says Frédéric Martel Point.

Is the Vatican summit criticized?

Frederic Martel goes back to Paul VI, pope from 1963 to 1978, whom he scratches, just like John Paul II, and Benedict XVI. Under the mandate of the Polish pope, "a real war against gays has been launched," he writes. "Ironically, most of the people in this endless campaign against homosexuals were personally."

Benedict XVI is described as "homosexualized dandy". Pope Francis is a little spared. "Never did a pope testify, in fact, of such empathy for homosexuals and what he calls the" peripheries "". In 2013, the Argentine said: "If a person is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge? ".

In a maintenance book published in December, the pontiff declared that "homosexuality is a very serious matter that must be the subject of proper discernment of candidates" to the priesthood and religious life. "In our societies, it even seems that homosexuality is fashionable and this mentality, in a way, also influences the life of the Church (…) This is something that worries me."

The book's release date coincides with an international summit held in the Vatican on the prevention of child abuse in the Church.