An Italian priest is facing charges after he stole church funds to buy drugs for gay sex parties.
According to The Times, 40-year-old Francesco Spagnesi, a highly regarded Catholic priest (though, aren’t they always?) from Prato, Italy is amid controversy. Spagnesi is accused of not only taking money from the parish coffers to buy drugs but also dealing those drugs at gay circuit parties. And, these were parties that Spagnesi hosted himself. Due to this, the priest is facing charges in the sale and import of drugs, according to the Prato public prosecutor’s office.
After catching wind of these parties, local police interviewed 200 people who said they have attended his parties over the past two years. All the while, Francesco Spagnesi has been under house arrest. But what led to the police investigation? They allegedly discovered that Spagnesi’s roommate imported the “date-rape” drug GHB from the Netherlands. That created a trail that led to Spagnesi himself.
Il bel don Francesco Spagnesi che a Prato che rubava soldi alla chiesa e faceva con il suo compagno, festini a base di droga e sesso. pic.twitter.com/c2iHuLTjGv
— gregorio (@gregbucc) September 16, 2021
Police believe the roommates used gay hookup apps and sites to invite men to parties. Spanesi then allegedly stole around €100,000 (approximately $117,244.50) from church funds to buy the GHB as well as cocaine.
According to Wanted In Rome, Spagnesi has since stepped down from his post in the parish of the Annunciazione in the Castellina district of Prato. Spagnesi has already confessed to supplying drugs at his parties and is expected to soon confess to taking the church funds as well.
Francisco Spagnesi, of course, isn’t the first Catholic priest to be outed this year. During the Summer, online newsletter The Pillar reported claims that Wisconsin Monsignor Jeffrey Burrill “engaged in serial sexual misconduct” by using Grindr and frequenting “gay bars and private residencies.” However, in that case, Burrill did not commit any crimes. The outing of Jeffrey Burrill was more of a homophobic attack then a legitimate and justified investigation. However, that story ended up much like this one, as the top U.S. Catholic Church official eventually resigned due to the high profile outing.