MONREALE, ITALY - 11 JUNE 2021: Francesco Lepore - a 45-year-old journalist and gay activist formerly known as Father Lepore,a Catholic priest and Vatican Latinist - is seen here in the Cathedral of Monreale during a mass, in Monreale, Italy, on June 11th 2021.
Mr. Lepore’s Latin column has included recent columns about “Ioannes Biden” considering “Vladimirum Putin” a “pro homicida habet” and another, about the legalization of bitcoin -- or “bito nummario” -- in El Salvador, was retweeted by that country’s president. He is the editor of GayNews.it and later this month will publish “The Crime if Giarre,” an investigation into the decades-old murder of two Sicilian gay men which helped spark Italy’s gay rights movement.
His years in the corridors of power within the Roman Curia that governs the church ended badly when officials forced him out because of his sexuality, a development he found ironic given, he said, that the vast majority of the clergy he met in the Vatican were themselves gay, and that he slept with at least several of them. In the process of leaving the priesthood, Pope Francis told him he was moved by his “consistency” and “courage” and once he was out, he became the star witness of Frédéric Martel’s buzzy 2019 book “In the Closet of the Vatican,” where Mr. Lepore’s naming names and estimates of 80 percent of the Vatican being gay made a splash.