Mailbag: Gay Cruising in St. Peter’s Basilica

(The old mailbox is filling up after yesterday’s post on my encounter with the demonic inside St. Peter’s Basilica.  This reader was a naive dummy for going up to the guy’s apartment, but super-smart in suspecting the beer had been Cosby-ed.  It almost certainly had been. Read this and further understand that St. Peter’s Basilica was one of the top gay cruising spots in Rome before the CoronaScam, AS I HAVE BEEN SAYING FOR YEARS. Just sit in stillness with that, and the implications.  I have to admit though, I laughed out loud at the casual invitation to take off his shirt. Thank God the sodomite predator gave himself totally away BEFORE our correspondent drank that Heineken. -AB)

Hi Ann,

Today’s post like many others describing the depravity of Rome has again reminded me of my own bizarre and disturbing encounter at St. Peter’s. I’m gonna go ahead and write it down this time and I’m sure you’ll find exactly none of the following surprising.

I spent a semester in Rome in the spring of 1997 with the University of [Redacted]. One fine day, as was common practice, I loaded up my guidebooks and headed into Rome to admire some of the stuff you never get to appreciate if you don’t have several months to wander about. While at the Vatican, standing in front of the bronze of St. Peter with the worn foot, an adult man I didn’t know approached me and in very good English asked what my book said about it. I told him, and he said recent scholarship suggests it was actually cast in this other year, blah blah blah.

We strolled around a bit more, me with my guidebook, him with what I presumed to be some level of equal or greater knowledge. After what might have been 30-45 minutes of casual conversation, he invited me outside to see the best view of the dome which I think must’ve been from the south side. Yes, very nice. And it just so happens his flat is a block away, would I like to come up for a drink? Now, I was 19 but not totally naive nor what I considered an easy mark. Nevertheless, it simply didn’t dawn on me at that moment that this was anything more than a friendly middle-aged guy just looking to chat with an American student abroad. Fast forward about 10 minutes and he’s pulling out some coffee table book on ancient Egypt and explaining that the obelisk in the piazza is a phallus and would I like to take off my shirt?

I immediately looked at my Heineken with suspicion. I stood up, grabbed my bag, and prepared to excuse myself. He was offended, told me there was nothing wrong with my beer, and asked me to sit back down. I told him I needed to leave. He escorted me out all the way back to the piazza. In my mind I’m thinking did I misread this? Is he just some flavor of normal Italian I hadn’t encountered in the wild until now? I tried to wrap it up civilly with a handshake, genuinely thanking him for sharing some insight about St. Peter’s. He declined my handshake, still very offended.

I was back at St. Peter’s several times before the semester closed. I never saw that guy again, nor did I give him much thought. In recent years though, especially every time you hammer home how much of a demonic playground the Vatican has become, I think of him and how that surely wasn’t his first time trying to pick up younger males in not just a church but the absolute center of the Catholic world. And, chillingly, he probably wouldn’t be doing it if he hadn’t already experienced some success.

Anyhow, I’ve been a reader since your original koran burning video and a donor since I think just before the wider Catholic world learned the name Carlo Maria Viganò. Thank you for your work. I appreciate the podcast too, and I think Vanessa is a fine addition. Please have her back on.

God bless.


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