Italy church defends ordaining seminarian in gay sex probe

VATICAN CITY - An Italian diocese is defending its decision to ordain a seminarian accused in a book and an investigative TV report of having engaged in gay sex with a fellow teenager while both studied at the Vatican's youth seminary.

A statement Tuesday from the diocese of Como said church superiors had investigated claims against the seminarian and determined that he was worthy of being ordained a priest. It said church authorities in Rome had given him a "positive" evaluation, which factored into the decision to ordain him.

Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi revealed the case of the unnamed seminarian in his new book "Original Sin." This weekend, investigative TV report "Le Iene" (The Hyenas) interviewed the subject of the seminarian's reported advances. He said the seminarian, who was a year older and had a position of authority over younger students, would come into his dorm at night demanding sex starting when he was 13 and continuing until he was 18.

The Vatican hasn't commented on the allegations, which were brought to its attention by a roommate who said he witnessed the escapades. The TV reporters interviewed the rector of the St. Pius X seminary who said the journalists had "invented" the story.

Seminarians at the institute serve as altar boys for papal Masses in St. Peter's Basilica.

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