Who better than Peter Stanford to review Frederic Martel’s new book for the Daily Telegraph? If I may borrow Martel’s style of innuendo; I think we can all agree that Peter is ideally placed to critique gay banter.
That, in truth, is largely what the book contains. The chapter, for example, on the sleazy priests and male prostitutes who haunt the area around the Termini Station tells us nothing we did not already suspect. And it adds little to the on-going narrative. But it makes for a suitably prurient read.
As Stanford acknowledges (and the text bears out), the enabler of this inflated journalistic foray into Sodom was (rather strangely) Antonio Spadaro.* He, it seems, was the Virgil who conducted Martel through the circles of Hell. Though, since eighty percent of the inhabitants of the Vatican are said by Martel to be gay, it must have been easy to find one’s way around without Spadaro’s involvement.
The Jesuit’s assistance, however, clearly indicates to us that the Holy Father must have known of the enterprise. One wonders what he made of the result.
*Readers will have encountered him in these posts as the editor of La Civilita Catholica, and one of the acknowledged mouthpieces of Francis.