This is simultaneously the most delightful and depressing story I have heard all week: Father Riccardo Seppia, a 51-year-old Italian Catholic priest who has been a key adviser to Joseph Ratzinger in matters related to the ongoing pedophilia scandal, was arrested nearly two weeks ago on pedophilia charges.
Investigators say that in tapped mobile-phone conversations, Seppia asked a Moroccan drug dealer to arrange sexual encounters with young and vulnerable boys. "I do not want 16-year-old boys but younger. Fourteen-year-olds are O.K. Look for needy boys who have family issues," he allegedly said. Yeah. Delightful because every Vatican official who falls to the ongoing and terribly belated criminal investigations into charges of clergy sex abuse brings the world (I naively hope) that much closer to the day when the Pope himself faces justice for his crimes. Depressing because . . . well, I mean, come on.
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According to investigators, Seppia told a friend — a former seminarian and barman who is currently under investigation — that the town's malls were the best places to entice minors. In tapped phone conversations the two cursed and swore against God. The priest is charged with having attempted to kiss and touch an underage altar boy and of having exchanged cocaine for sexual intercourse with boys over 18.