Monsignor Tommaso Stenico had a bad week.

The Vatican said Saturday it was suspending Stenico after he was secretly filmed making advances to a young man and asserting that gay sex was not sinful during a television program on gay priests broadcast Oct. 1 on La7, a private Italian television network.

It is bad enough getting outted to the world by a television sting operation, but when you are a high ranking Vatican Official, well it just doesn’t get worse than that. Or maybe it does?

Monsignor Stenico now says (paraphrasing) “What, me? Gay? No way! (the Larry Craig defense). Oh that, no, no. See, I um…was just doing research. Yeah research. (the Pete Townshend defense). I just wanted to understand all ‘those who damage the image of the Church with homosexual activity.’

No, I swear I am not making this up. From the AP’s Nicole Winfield, who manages to accurately depict Church teaching on homosexuality while relaying this bizarre story:

“It’s all false; it was a trap. I was a victim of my own attempts to contribute to cleaning up the church with my psychoanalyst work,” La Repubblica quoted Stenico as saying.

Stenico said he had met with the young man and pretended to talk about homosexuality “to better understand this mysterious and faraway world which, by the fault of a few people — among them some priests — is doing so much harm to the church,” La Repubblica quoted him as saying.

Now, I see a couple of possibilities here.

  • Scenario A: The Monsignor is lying and is just trying to use any excuse he can to wiggle his way out of this predicament.
  • Scenario B: The Monsignor is telling the truth and he is the most monumentally unlucky and stupid person on earth.
  • Scenario C: The Monsignor is telling the truth. While still deep in stupid, someone knew what he was up to and set him up in order to embarrass the Church.

Now, while Scenario A is likely the truth, Scenario C is something to ponder. Could anyone be so evil as to set someone up like that. I know the answer but it would still be shocking. Scenario B, in my mind, would be the most horrific.

Is it possible that someone could be a high ranking Vatican official and be so monumentally stupid as to go personally undercover as a homosexual only to get bagged in a TV sting? I would rather he just be gay. When you are gay, you can repent of your homosexual activity and move on. Eventually, life would get better. If he is not gay, then he is the kind of stupid you just don’t recover from.