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04th Jul 2021

Ex-Vatican adviser to stand trial after offering sex to men as a cure for homosexuality

Tony Anatrella, an 80-year-old French psychotherapist, Catholic priest and former Vatican adviser, has been called to trial for assault

Kieran Galpin

Former Catholic priest to stand trial

Tony Anatrella, an 80-year-old French psychotherapist, Catholic priest and former Vatican adviser, has fought off numerous allegations of sexual assault for years.

Despite decades of allegations, it is only now that action is being taken. The Paris Archdiocese has confirmed that Anatrella will appear before a church court over the many allegations of sexual crimes.

Anatrella was an official adviser for the Vatican on matters of human sexuality, reports The National Catholic Reporter. Throughout his tenure, he was renowned for his ‘therapy’ that he claimed allowed him to convert homosexual people. French dioceses often sent gay men to Anatrella as he was particularly skilled in helping people repress their sexuality.

Details on the coming trial are scarce due to religious hearings being kept extremely secret.

The former priest was banned from ministering by Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit in 2018. This meant he could not celebrate Mass, hear confessions, practice therapy, or conduct public speaking with approval from the Archbishop. The French church repeatedly dismissed allegations as far back as 2006. Some were due to a “lack of evidence”, but Daniel Lamarca eventually turned to the church directly.

He claimed that Anatrella told him that he could cure homosexuality by having sex with the afflicted. The assault of a 14-year-old minor is prevalent in the case, but details are yet to be revealed. Anatrella has a long history of homophobia, something he perpetuated from within the church. Writing in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s newspaper, Anatrella wrote at length his feelings towards the LGBTQ community.

What did he think of gay people?

He insisted they be denied positions within the church, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. He also said that Queer people had a plethora of problems, including  “exaggerated, affective choices”, “a narcissistic position in front of a community that disturbs even to the point of dividing it”, “relations with authority based on seduction and rejection”, a “limited vision of truth”, and “relational and intellectual confusion”.

In 2013, as protests against same-sex marriage occurred, Anatrella was extremely vocal on his position:

“The confusion of sex and feelings leads to a confusion of the realities and an impasse.

“Marriage between persons of the same sex is simply ridiculous and the act doesn’t inspire any esteem as it doesn’t contribute at all to social relation.”

Anatrella’s two-decade-long abuse might finally be at an end. The exact date and proceedings of the trial have not been revealed, and it is doubtful that they will. However, the Vatican will announce the result at some point, no doubt, through their official channels.