Priest filmed making a pass

2010-06-13 08:40

Rome - An Italian priest has been suspended after being secretly filmed by a TV programme allegedly making homosexual advances to a young actor, the ANSA news agency reported on Saturday.

A young Italian man from the Milan area in April told a television programme about being approached by a 51-year-old priest from Caravaggio, whom he had consulted about some family problems, the news agency said.

The television station decided to send an actor who would pretend to be a minor with homosexual tendencies to the priest and film what happened with a hidden camera.

The priest allegedly made advances telling the young man that he too in the past had had homosexual experiences.

In the video, the priest allegedly tried to kiss the young man, ANSA said.

The television programme confronted the priest to demand explanations.

"I perhaps exaggerated... without realising it," the priest said, adding that he was trying to help the young man.

The programme was broadcast without identifying the priest but he was recognised by some people who informed his bishop.

The priest has been suspended until the case is addressed by Rome.

The Roman Catholic Church has been rocked by a wave of sexual abuse scandals by priests in Europe and the United States.