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By John-Henry Westen and Maike Hickson, LifeSiteNews, October 10, 2018
ROME, October 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, a close collaborator of Pope Francis, was present at the homosexual drug-fuelled party raided by the Vatican police in the summer of 2017 at which his secretary, Monsignor Luigi Capozzi, was arrested.
A highly-placed Vatican source with direct knowledge, who must remain anonymous for fear of reprisal, tells LifeSite that the Pope himself knows of Coccopalmerio’s presence at the party. The party took place in an apartment in the building of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).
Coccopalmerio was head of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts until his retirement in April.
The same Vatican source spoke in more depth in a private meeting this summer with a group of priests, three of whom spoke to LifeSite about it.
One of these priests told LifeSite that according to the Vatican source, Cardinal Coccopalmerio, 80, was not only an attendee. The source said “in fact, that he ‘was presiding’ over it when the Vatican Gendarmes broke in, and that they instructed him to absent himself before they started making arrests,” according to the priest.
Another priest who was at the private meeting said the Vatican source “stated clearly to me and a number of others that, when the police raided the apartment and arrested Capozzi, Cardinal Coccopalmerio was actually present at the orgy.” He was then told by the police to leave “immediately.” This priest added that the source “gave us to understand that Coccopalmerio is a practicing homosexual.”
A third priest told LifeSite that he “heard in an informal conversation in the presence of other priests from a high-ranking cleric within the Roman Curia” that at the reported ‘homosexual orgy’ “said Cardinal was present and quickly whisked away by Vatican police.”
As LifeSiteNews reported earlier, Pope Francis himself insisted that Monsignor Capozzi be given that apartment in the CDF building, instead of the secretary of the then-prefect for the CDF, Cardinal Gerhard Müller.
Coccopalmerio has spoken in the past about the “positive realities” that can be found in homosexual relationships. Prior to working in the Vatican he was an auxiliary bishop of Milan under Cardinal Carlo Martini. He said in a 2014 interview with Rossoporpora: “If I meet a homosexual couple, I notice immediately that their relationship is illicit: the doctrine says this, which I reaffirm with absolute certainty. However, if I stop at the doctrine, I don’t look anymore at the persons. But if I see that the two persons truly love each other, do acts of charity to those in need, for example … then I can also say that, although the relationship remains illicit, positive elements also emerge in the two persons. Instead of closing our eyes to such positive realities, I emphasize them. It is to be objective and objectively recognize the positive [parts] of a certain relationship, of itself illicit.”
The cardinal’s reduction of moral truth to a vague notional status (an “ideal”), with no necessary bearing on conduct, is the same as Pope Francis’ approach in his post-synodal exhortation Amoris Laetitia.
Accordingly, Coccopalmerio is a strong supporter of Amoris Laetitia. He wrote a booklet titled The eighth Chapter of the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia praising the more lenient attitude toward “remarried divorcees.” Holy Communion, insisted the cardinal, “must be given” to them.
Benjamin Leven, a German theologian and editor of the German Catholic journal Herder Korrespondenz, explains in the October 2018 issue of that journal that, according to his own sources, it was Cardinal Coccopalmerio who approached the Pope in favor of the child abuser Don Mauro Inzoli in order to have him partially reinstated as priest. As Leven puts it, in this incident Coccopalmerio played here “an unworthy role.” This cardinal, Leven continues, is known in Rome for generally opposing the removal of culprit priests from the priesthood, which for him is a sort of “death penalty.”
In light of these new revelations, the fact that the roof of St. Joseph the Carpenter Church, Coccopalmerio’s own titular Church in Rome, collapsed in August 2018 might gain further significance.