A drug-fueled homosexual orgy was discovered in a raid by members of the Vatican Gendarmerie in an apartment at the former palace of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (or Holy Office), which is a Vatican-owned extraterritorial property not far from the Vatican City. According to Italian journal Il Fatto Quoditiano, a priest who serves as secretary to a cardinal. The priest was taken to the Pius XI clinic in Rome for medical treatment for drug addiction. According to reports, he is currently on a spiritual retreat at convent somewhere in Italy.
The former Holy Office palace is now home to various high-ranking churchmen, such as prefects, presidents, and secretaries to the Roman Curia -- the administrative body that regulates the functions of the Vatican and the wider Catholic Church.
According to Il Fatto Quotidiano, neighbors became suspicious and then complained about irregular goings and comings at the apartment. When police investigated, they found a party in full swing and immediately arrested the priest. According to police, the priest had been able to traffick illegal drugs through the use of a car that bears Vatican City license plates. It was therefore that he had not been previously subject to searches, which is a courtesy extended to high-ranking representatives of the Church.
The building that formerly housed the Holy Office is an extraterritorial property of the Holy See -- the Vatican city-state which is entirely encircled by Italy -- but does afford easy access to Vatican territory. Even while the building lies within the territory of Italy, it is not usual for Italian police to patrol there or interfere with persons crossing from the building into Vatican territory. In addition, because the building is outside of the borders of the Vatican City, neither the Swiss Guards or Gendarmerie have jurisdiction over the courtyard that is between the building and the border of the Vatican State. The article at Il Fatto Quotidiano stated, “A perfect location to enjoy the privileges of extraterritoriality without having to undergo neither the checks of the Italian State nor those of the Vatican City.”
Il Fatto Quotidiano did not name the prelate for whom the priest in question was working as secretary. However, other news sources have named him as Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio. Il Fatto Quotidiano reported rumors that the high-ranking churchman had been working late into the night at the apartment where the later unfortunate events occurred.
Cardinal Coccopalmerio is the president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, which serves to interpret canon law of the Church. Born in 1938, he is well past the mandatory age of retirement: 75 years. The Italian news site suggested that Pope Francis has been infuriated by the news and may move to accelerate Coccopalmerio’s retirement. Additionally, the website reported that Coccopalmerio had proposed the secretary to serve as a bishop, “But someone stopped this appointment before it was too late,” it said.
Above is a plan of the Holy See (Vatican City State). The Palace of the Holy Office is in the lower right corner, colored tan.