The Vatican is embroiled in another sex scandal.
Sometime last month, Vatican police raided an apartment home belonging to the secretary of Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio and discovered an ongoing gay orgy that was fueled by drugs, Italian media reports say.
Those same media reports have identified the man in question as Monsignor Luigi Capozzi, the secretary for Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, who serves as the president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.
Capozzi was ordained in 1992 and has worked in numerous roles within the Roman Catholic church ever since. He was about to be appointed a bishop, Italian media reports say.
Here’s what you need to know about Capozzi:
1. Capozzi Was Brought in to Detox & Is on a Retreat
iL Fatto Quotidiano reported June 28 that police raided the apartment in the palace of the former Holy Office, the same place where former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, before becoming Pope Benedict XVI, lived while he was the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
When they entered, they caught Capozzi and others red-handed performing a gay orgy while under the influence of unspecified drugs. He was removed by authorities and hospitalized at the Roman Pius CI clinic so that he could detox. After that, reports say that he had a short period o retreat at a nearby monastery and then spent time at the Gemelli Hospital in Rome.
It’s believed that Capozzi faces charges, presumably for the drugs because it’s not illegal to perform gay sex in the Vatican.
2. Neighbors Had Complained About People Coming & Going From the Apartment
The police were tipped off as to the ongoing illicit activities in the apartment by neighbors, who complained about different people coming and going from the entrance of the apartment in the evening hours.
Many have questioned what he was doing in the apartment in the first place, as it’s typically only reserved for “superiors, prefects, presidents or secretaries of the Roman Curia,” iL Fatto Quotidiano reported. The entrance of the building opens out onto the square of the Holy Office, located on Italian territory outside of the control of the Swiss Guard and Vatican police.
It’s also believed that the unknown drugs were brought to the apartment using a luxury car, which had a license plate of the Holy See. That allowed for the vehicle to transport drugs without raising suspicion or being stopped by police.
3. Capozzi Was Ordained in 1992
According to his biography, Capozzi was born in Salerno, a city and comune in Campania located on the Gulf of Salerno on the Tyrrhenian Sea with a population of over 130,000 people as of 2014.
On December 19, 1992, Capozzi was ordained as a priest in Amalfi and continued his work in the Roman Catholic church from then on.
In May 2007, Capozzi was appointed to be a chaplain of then Pope Benedict XVI, which earned him the title of Monsignor.
As Coccopalmerio’s secretary, Capozzi was tasked with answering calls and inquiries placed to the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, a congregation that Coccopalmerio is the president of.
When reports started to surface that it was Capozzi who committed the act, Italian media came calling.
:a Citta, a newspaper of the city of Salerno, called his office for an interview and were greeted by a voice saying: “Hello? Do not give interviews, thank you,” before being hung up on.
4. Pope Francis is Said to be ‘Enraged’ & May Force an Early Retirement of Coccopalmerio
When news of the transgressions were heard by Pope Francis, sources said he became “enraged.” It’s rumored that with the older age of Coccopalmerio, who’s 79, Pope Francis has decided to “accelerate his retirement.”
The typical age of retirement of cardinals is 75-years old, but Coccopalmerio has served under Pope Francis for some time and is a member on numerous congregations.
One source told the Italian newspaper iL Fatto Quotidiano that Capozzi was proposed by Coccopalmerio to become a bishop recently, but it hadn’t happened yet.
“Luckily they have not made a bishop, now what would have happened?” the source told the newspaper.
5. The Raid Comes Just Days After a Cardinal Was Charged with Sexual Abuse of a Child
There has been no shortage of scandals to rock the Vatican, and when Pope Francis’ papacy began in 2013, he worked to rid the church of the reputation it’s earned recently as well as reforming numerous policies.
However, a senior official at the Vatican was charged with multiple sexual assaults of a minors June 29 in Australia and is now set to appear in a Melbourne court later in July.
Cardinal George Pell, who is considered the third-most senior official at the Vatican, was charged in court with “multiple historical sexual assaults.”
For years, Pell had been in the news in Australia involving whether as Archbishop of Melbourne had covered up the sexual abuse of others.
The Catholic archdiocese of Sydney released a statement after the charges were filed that said Pell intended to “return to Australia as soon as possible to clear his name.”
In 2016, Pell said to an abuse commission that he regretted not doing more to protect the sexual abuse victims.
Investigators have previously traveled to Rome to discuss sexual assault allegations, including those that said he inappropriately touched children while swimming next to them.