Venerabilis: the “homosensible Roman Catholic priests fraternity.”
It sounds like a parody, but reports say that the site is real, and being run out of the Vatican itself.
“Venerabilis” (the Latin word for venerable, meaning “worthy of honor”) is a title for someone who has been ordained within the Roman Catholic Church; traditionally bishops refer to one another as “Venerable Brother.”
Though nothing on the site is in itself pornographic, nor the language explicit, at least part of the intent is to facilitate consensual sexual encounters between “like-minded” priests.
Under Catholic doctrine, where both priests and homosexuals are called on to be celibate for life, some theorize that men who are in the closet about their sexuality are overrepresented in the priesthood. Catholic church leaders have said only that the orientation of priests is “irrelevant.”
Usernames are automatically generated upon registration on the site, which is hosted on Blogspot, but despite this security precaution, looking at posts on the site shows that many Venerabilis users have listed their personal email addresses. A multilingual detective—or a group of people with several languages between them—could likely discern the identities of dozens of message posters in only a few hours of investigation.
Venerabilis’ five chat-rooms, in Italian, English, French, Spanish, and German, have reportedly been used to arrange real-life meetings, including those where sexual activity is intended. The site also has “missed connections” posts, as well as a Twitter feed for keeping current on news stories related to the LGBT community and Catholicism.
The hookup site was discovered by Gloria.TV and mainly used for “homosensitive priests.” The revelation of Venerabilis comes on the heels of Pope Francis supposedly admitting the existence of a “homosexual lobby” inside the Vatican.