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World News

Vatican discusses allegations of priests' use of Grindr dating app

by Donna Birrell

Vatican officials have met with representatives of a conservative Catholic blog over reports that Catholic priests at the Vatican and in the United States had been using the gay dating app, Grindr.

The New York Times says the Catholic media organisation, The Pillar, has published several reports claiming the use of dating apps at several churches and the Vatican. 

The New York Times says the first report, published late last month, led to the resignation of Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill, the former general secretary of the U.S. bishops’ conference. The second, posted online days later, made claims about the use of Grindr by unnamed people in unspecified rectories in the Archdiocese of Newark. The third, published days after that, claimed that in 2018 at least 32 mobile devices emitted dating app data signals from within areas of Vatican City that are off-limits to tourists.

John Gehring, the Catholic program director at Faith in Public Life, a progressive advocacy group, told the newspaper : 

"When there is reporting out there that claims to expose activity like this in parishes around the country and also on Vatican grounds, that is a five-alarm fire for church officials, there is no doubt about it," 

Vatican officials said they met with representatives from the blog in June but would not publicly respond to its reports.

It comes as Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of a Brazilian bishop this week after video showed the bishop allegedly engaged in sexual misconduct. The resignation came after Bishop Tome Ferreira da Silva of the Diocese of Sao Jose do Rio Preto, had been investigated twice previously for allegations of misconduct.

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