Sunday, March 07, 2010

THE INFLUENCE OF ROME

Cardinal Newman, who loved Father Ambrose St John.

Pope Benedict's brother, Mgr Georg Ratzinger, has denied knowing about child abuse cases during his time as leader of Germany's famous boys' choir, the Regensburger Domspatzen.

Former choirboys came forward to say they had been abused during the 1950s and 1960s.

Mgr Ratzinger led the choir from 1964 to 1994. (Pope's brother denies knowledge of sexual abuse in choir he led)




On 4 March 2010, the Guardian reported that the Vatican has been hit by a gay sex scandal

Thomas Chinedu Ehiem, a 29 year-old chorister, has been sacked for allegedly procuring male prostitutes for Angelo Balducci, a papal gentleman-in-waiting.

Balducci was caught by police on a wiretap.

Balducci was allegedly negotiating with Ehiem over the physical details of men he wanted procured.

A large number of men may have been procured for Balducci, at least one of whom was studying for the priesthood.

According to a report by the police, "he availed himself of the intercession of two individuals who, it is maintained, may form part of an organised network, especially active in [Rome], of exploiters or at least facilitators of male prostitution."

Transcripts suggest that among those Ehiem procured for Balducci were "two black Cuban lads", a former male model from Naples, and a rugby player from Rome.




The child sexual abuse scandal in Germany's Catholic Church continues to spread as a spokesperson has confirmed abuse at Regensburg’s cathedral school, which has a famous boys' choir, the Domspatzen.

Dozens of Catholics in the Netherlands have recently reported sexual abuses by priests, encouraged by coverage of similar cases in Ireland and Germany.

Clerical Whispers lists some Roman Catholic Church sex scandals

AUSTRIA - 1995 - The archbishop of Vienna was forced to retire after allegations that he had molested a schoolboy.

- July 2004 - The Austrian News magazine Profil had pictures of priests kissing and groping seminarians studying for the priesthood.

FRANCE - March 2000 - A court sentenced Abbot Jean-Lucien Maurel to 10 years in prison for sexually abusing three boys.

POLAND - March 2002 - Archbishop Juliusz Paetz quit following accusations of sexually molesting young priests.

UNITED STATES - February 2004 - A total of 10,667 individuals accused priests of child sexual abuse between 1950 and 2002.



Pope Julius III appointed a teenage boy as his first cardinal.

This boy was Innocenzo Ciocchi Del Monte.

Julius had picked up Innocenzo on the streets of Parma when Innocenzo was aged 15 and a beggar boy. [1].

The Venetian ambassador reported that Innocenzo slept with the pope. (Pope Julius III )

Julius allowed Innocenzo to become richer than the Medicis.

Reportedly, Julius made love with 'cardinals, pages and young men he fancied'. (Paul's Gay Stamps: "Out of The Closet" The Renaissance Julius III)

Julius loved banquets, theatre, hunting and the Villa Giulia where artwork depicts putti playing with one another's genitals. ( Image:Satirello che ne masturba un altro - Roma, Museo di Villa ...)

Julius gave his support to Michelangelo and to Palestrina.

Julius III and Innocenzo are buried in the del Monte chapel in the church of San Pietro in Montorio, Rome.

Other famous gay popes included, reportedly, Pope Benedict IX, Pope John XII, Pope Leo X, Pope Paul II, Pope Sixtus IV....


The Warren Cup, portraying a man and youth

Eros and Silenus

The Romans were bisexual.

Cato the Censor complained about 200 B.C.E. that a handsome slave boy cost as much as a farm.

Handsome slave boys were much in demand.

Of Julius Caesar, Suetonius wrote:

"When Thermus sent Caesar to Bithnyia, he wasted so much time at King Nicomedes' court that a homosexual relationship between them was suspected, and suspicion gave way to scandal when, soon after his return to headquarters, he returned to Bithynia: ostensibly collecting a debt incurred there by one of his freedmen." (The Twelve Caesars, Book 2, Pengiun Classics version).

Suetonius describes ten of the twelve emperors that he writes of as being bisexual.

Hadrian loved Antinous, a young ex-slave who was famous for his beauty. In 134 A.D. Antinuous died at the age of 21 under mysterious circumstances.

The 58-year-old Hadrian was so upset over Antinuous' death that he declared him a god, built a temple for him, and named an Egyptian city after him.

According to http://www.channel4.com/history/microsites/H/history/guide03/part10.html :

Tiberius, who spends most of the later years of his reign as emperor – from AD 26 to 37 – on the island of Capri, is said to have a special penchant for his spintriae (groups of young boys), with whom he surrounds himself and indulges in all manner of promiscuous behaviour.

The walls of his bedrooms at Capri are reported to be decorated with various sexual acts and positions 'in case a performer should need an illustration of what [is] required'...

Nero's reported sexual activities range from being seduced by his mother Agrippina to forcing his unwanted attentions on married women and boys.

Famously, he takes two homosexual lovers, Pythagoras and Sporus, in 'marriage'.

Nero is said to behave as the wife to Pythagoras and husband to Sporus, whom he has had castrated.

Taken together with his 'artistic' performances when he will often take on a female part and dress accordingly, Nero's behaviour scandalises Rome and plays an important part in his downfall.

Commodus emperor from AD 180 to 192, is said to have a harem of 300 girls and the same number of boys and to put on great orgies.

But for sheer shock value, none can compare with the Syrian, Elagabalus, emperor from 218 to 222, who believes himself to be a living god.

Elagabalus is remarkable not only for being only 14 years old when he becomes absolute ruler of the Roman empire but also for his sexual activities while holding that office... shocking in the eyes of respectable Roman society is his 'marriage' to a slave named Hierocles.

Elagabalus likes nothing better than to dress as a woman and go around with his 'husband', who is even encouraged to beat the emperor as if he is his real wife.

Sometimes Elagabalus plays out scenes in which Hierocles finds him with another man and punishes him for his 'infidelity'.

At http://www.glbtq.com/literature/roman_lit.html

Louis Crompton wrote:

The Romans condoned sex with captured or purchased slaves of either sex.

Since slaves formed a large part of the population in late republican and imperial times, young male bedmates were available in abundance and freely enjoyed without censure....

Homoerotic poems are part of the repertory of nearly all the major Latin love poets...

Virgil, as the author of Rome's national epic the Aeneid, ranks as Rome's greatest poet.

He is of importance for the gay literary heritage for two reasons. He wrote the most famous of Latin homoerotic poems (his second, or Corydon, eclogue) and he also made a serious attempt to introduce the heroic tradition of Greek love into Latin literature...

For Ovid, however, stories of the loves of the gods for beautiful boys were simply raw material to be exploited poetically.

As a result, Ovid was the main source for such myths in the middle ages, when he became, somewhat surprisingly, the favorite poet of Christian Europe, much admired and widely quoted and imitated in what has been called "the Age of Ovid."

...Not all the homoerotic stories of the Metamorphosis are in book ten. Book three tells the tale of Narcissus. In Ovid's version, Narcissus is loved by girls and boys, but it is specifically a boy he scorns who sets the curse on him; he falls fatally in love with another "lovely boy" when he sees his image reflected in a pool.

Eugene Rice , at http://www.glbtq.com/social-sciences/rome_ancient.html , wrote :

The Epicurean poet Lucretius (94-55 B.C.E.) took it to be a self-evident law of nature that attractive adolescent males, before they grew up and began to be desired by women, should be desired by men....

The sex of one's partner could be a matter of surprising indifference.

Horace, who never married, "burned with desire, sometimes for tender boys, sometimes for girls."

Martial writes, in the (fictive) first person singular, of penetrating males anally, penetrating females vaginally and anally, and being fellated by both male and female partners.

What mattered ... was role, age, and status.

The freeborn adult Roman who liked to copulate with males penetrated slave boys, eunuchs, and male prostitutes with as little reproach as he penetrated his female slaves, his female concubine, or female prostitutes.

In contrast, seducing a puer praetextatus, a freeborn male Roman who had not yet put on the toga virilis (this rite of passage happened at about age fifteen), was a serious offense; and fathers tried hard to protect the pudicitia (sexual modesty, chastity) of their sons. No easy task: "A handsome son," notes Juvenal, "keeps his parents in constant fear and misery, so rarely do pudicitia and good looks go together."

Nor did citizens who valued their reputations have sex with each other. For a free adult male to be penetrated anally or orally by another free adult male, by a freedman, by a boy, by a male prostitute, or by a slave was a disgrace.

Roman male homosexuality was predominantly a form of pederasty that did not exclude relationships with women and was governed by a firm distinction of role that stigmatized adult male passivity as servile and effeminate.

The contrast between Roman and Greek homosexuality is most striking in how the two societies tried to regulate the sexual relations of adult citizens and freeborn boys.

In Athens, ideally, both parties were freeborn and social equals; the tie between them was consensual; and (in some instances) educational as well as sexual.

At Rome, the typical same-sex relationship was between a citizen (active) and his adolescent slave (passive)....

Firmicus, like Ptolemy before him, recognizes all the commoner inflections of sexual taste. For example: "If Mercury and Venus are in conjunction in the 19th degree of Aries, they make the natives impure of mouth" (inpuros ore=fellators).

Saturn in aspect with Venus in any way "will make the natives molles, cinaedos, men who give themselves to slavish acts."

It is the celestial ambient that produces professional and amateur prostitutes, even lesbian prostitutes (mulieres vero viragines meretrices).

But what is most useful for us to retain from the ancient theorists is a renewed sense of the range of sexual categories available to Romans, of the elasticity and variety their sexual tastes, and of the candor with which they report and picture their sexual acts.


~~


1 comment:

james said...

Speaking of things Roman and 'flexible' -
Gay scene exists in priesthood: Pell (Australian Cardinal)

"Archbishop Pell rejected as a "slur" and "insulting" the suggestion that a group of priests close to him were known as the Spice Girls because of their keen pursuit of high liturgical practices involving incense and rejected any suggestion the group was gay." . . . .

"Mary Helen Woods, daughter of well known Victorian Catholic, the late Bob Santamaria, said she saw the group of priests as "girly", but not gay. . . . "They love their ceremonies and they love their incense and they love dressing up, and if they want to describe that inner circle as the Spice Girls I can sort of see where the comment's coming from.

"I don't see it as a sexual thing at all, I just see it as, if you like, a power thing.

"People are attracted to a powerful bloke, they tend to be a bit girly about it and I don't mean gay, I mean girly."


Yes, girly, that's the word we're all looking for!

 
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