A 40-year-old priest from Italy has been placed under house arrest after allegations have surfaced that he had embezzled more than $117,000 from his parish funds, to finance gay sex parties and the purchase of date rape drug GHB.

Father Francesco Spagnesi, a former medical student who became a highly regarded Roman Catholic priest from Prato near Florence, joined the priesthood at age 26, reportedly saying he found a “fullness and a joy in making myself available to others.”

Before Spagnesi was ordained in 2007 and made a parish priest in 2009, it is alleged that Spagnesi had experienced a troubled past and battled addiction for around two years. Others have reported the Spagnesi, and a childhood friend had for the past seven years, been sexually and romantically involved.

Priest Raised Funds Claiming They Were For Underprivileged Families

The lid was blown on Spagnesi’s elaborate scheme after it was revealed that his roommate had imported a litre of GHB from the Netherlands. It is alleged that the roommate and his conspirators used online dating apps to connect with men for sex and the purpose of trafficking and selling drugs.

During a raid on Spagnesi’s apartment, police also reportedly found home-made crack pipes from bottles.

The sexual meet ups would normally involve Spagnesi and his roommate, however police are investigating reports that some of their weekly drug fuelled-orgies would involve much larger groups of up to 20 or 30 participants.

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After suspicions were raised, bishop Giovanni Nerbini halted Spagnesi’s access to priest funds. An action which then led to Spagnesi dipping into Mass collections, deceiving parishioners into believing that he was privately raising money for underprivileged families.

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With some parishioners making individual donations of as much as $2,500, the thousands of dollars that Spagnesi had pilfered from unsuspecting churchgoers has now formed the basis of legal action against the now disgraced priest, with many demanding he pay back the money in full.

Police Interviewing 200 Men Who Attended Orgies In The Priest’s Apartment

Nerbini  said in a recorded message to parishioners at the Annunciation at Castellina that “so much pain”  had been caused by  Spagnesi’s actions, adding that he “was told that the money was aid for needy people in the parish.”

According to The Times, police are now in the midst of interviewing some 200 men who allege that that they attended his parties over the last two years.

Of course, this most recent scandal is not the first of such scandalous nature that the Roman Catholic Church has had to hose down. In 2017, the Vatican police raided the home of a cardinal, interrupting a drug-fuelled gay orgy.

According to Costanza Malerba, one of the lawyers representing Spagnesi, he has not only confessed to the crimes but wanted to take the further step of repaying his parishioners in full. No charges have as yet been filed against Spagnesi, while police investigate the case.

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