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Scandal rocks Vatican as police discover drug-fuelled gay orgy at Cardinal's apartment

(Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi)A guard stands at the Vatican April 18, 2016.

The Vatican has been rocked by a new scandal after police raided a Cardinal's apartment where a supposed drug-fuelled homosexual orgy was taking place.

The apartment was reportedly occupied by a priest who serves as a secretary to Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, who is the head of the Pontifical Council for Legislative texts and a personal adviser to Pope Francis.

The raid took place in June after neighbors complained about the unusual behavior of people visiting the apartment, International Business Times (IBT) reported, citing Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano.

The police reportedly found drugs and a group of men engaged in sexual activity when they entered the apartment. The priest was subsequently arrested, presumably on drug charges as it is not a crime to take part in same-sex activity in Vatican City.

The Daily Mail reported that the apartment belonged to the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is tasked with investigating clerical sexual abuse.

According to IBT, Coccopalmerio had recommended his aide for promotion to bishop, but the consideration may be stalled due to the latest incident as well as two previous alleged drug overdoses.

Il Fatto Quotidiano, which was the first to publish the news about the incident, suggested that Pope Francis was infuriated about the scandal and he may force Coccopalmerio to retire.

Coccopalmerio had reportedly spoken positively about homosexual relationships in the past. In a 2014 interview, the Cardinal stated that Catholic leaders must "emphasize" the "positive realities" that are present in homosexual relationships.

"If I meet a homosexual couple, I notice immediately that their relationship is illicit: the doctrine says this, which I reaffirm with absolute certainty. However, if I stop at the doctrine, I don't look anymore at the persons," the Cardinal said in an interview with Rossoporpora, according to Life Site News.

"But if I see that the two persons truly love each other, do acts of charity to those in need, for example ... then I can also say that, although the relationship remains illicit, positive elements also emerge in the two persons. Instead of closing our eyes to such positive realities, I emphasize them. It is to be objective and objectively recognize the positive of a certain relationship, of itself illicit," he added.

The latest scandal comes after Vatican's finance chief Cardinal George Pell was charged with historical sexual offenses.

Pell, who claimed to be innocent, said he is looking forward to his trial following a two-year investigation, "leaks to the media," and "relentless character assassination."

Critics have reportedly blamed Francis for picking the wrong people for key positions. Pell, who was appointed to clean up the Vatican's finances, has taken a leave of absence to face the charges against him in Australia.

The police have declined to reveal details about the charges against Pell, citing the need to preserve the "integrity of the judicial process."

In March, the Vatican was also hit with claims of priests being involved in orgies, prostitution and porn videos.

The pope has been trying to clamp down on unethical behavior ever since he was elected, and he has often spoken out against the pitfalls of "temptation."

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