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Priest arrested on suspicion of 'stealing church funds to buy drugs for gay sex parties'

Police are interviewing 200 people said to have attended his parties over the last 24 months

2021-09-20

Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Pexels (posed by models)

A priest in Tuscany, Italy has been arrested on suspicion of stealing church funds and donations to buy drugs for gay sex parties.

Father Francesco Spagnesi, 40, is now under house arrest as police interview 200 people believed to have attended his parties over the last 24 months.

The investigation began after police allegedly discovered Spagnesi's flatmate had imported one litre of GHB from The Netherlands, reports The Times.

"Young, brilliant, all-involving and refined priest"

It also follows a parish accountant recently finding over €100,000 removed from the parish’s bank account; police suspect that the money, also taken from the Mass collection plate, was used to buy drugs. 

Spagnesi also allegedly solicited funds from parishioners, reportedly telling them he was raising money for low-income families.

Local newspaper La Nazione quotes parishioners as saying they “had great faith in their young, brilliant, all-involving and refined priest.”

However, they said they will now begin legal action to get their money back after learning of his arrest.

Costanza Malerba, Spagnesi's lawyer, told The Times last week that Spagnesi had confessed to supplying drugs at the parties and would confess to taking church funds.

The publication adds that no charges have been laid against the priest or his flatmate.