The Case of the Chorister and the Closeted Crook

Posted by Censor Librorum on Jun 27, 2010 | Categories: Humor, Lesbians & Gays, Scandals

“At what time does he have to be back in the seminary?”

It might be an innocent question, except for the fact the man asking it is a Papal Gentleman, Angelo Balducci, and the man he’s talking to is his pimp, Vatican chorister, Thomas Ehiem.

In addition to his escort service, Ehiem, 29, a professional chorister born in Nigeria, was a member of Cappella Giulla. This choir is used in St. Peter’s for Mass and other ceremonies which do not involve the pope.   balducci 3

The silver-haired Balducci, 63,   was arrested on February 10, 2010, suspected of involvement in widespread corruption in the awarding of public works contracts by Italy’s Civil Protection Agency. He is alleged to have steered public works contracts towards favored bidders.   A well known and powerful local figure, Balducci is married with two children.

A Papal Gentleman since 1995, Balducci has long worked closely with the Holy See on behalf of the Italian state. He has overseen the logistical and infrastructural requirements of events such as Holy Year in 2000, the canonizations of Padre Pio and Opus Dei founder Jose Maria Escriva in 2002, and the beautification of Mother Teresa in 2003.

The Gentlemen of His Holiness, or Papal Gentlemen, are ceremonial ushers of the Papal household. In the words of a 1968 ordinance, they are expected to “distinguish themselves for the good of souls and the glory of the name of the Lord.”

Ehiem said he had been introduced to Balducci more than ten years ago.   He claims: “He asked me if I could procure other men for him. He told me he was married and that I had to do it in great secrecy.”

At was during the time he was investigated for corruption that wiretaps revealed his sexual activities.

Phone taps of the last two years reveal that Balducci regularly contacted two men, Thomas Ehiem and Lorenzo   Renzi, to ask them to set up “appointments” for him.

Balducci is recorded describing the precise physical details of the men he wanted: the man’s height, weight, skin color, and several availability.

In one wiretap from December 2009, Renzi is heard explaining the rules: “You’ll get up to 2,000 euros…Do not touch his balls. You need the money. Put on some music, take out the (inaudible), swallow the Viagra, and adelante!”

In 72 pages of transcribed wiretaps, Ehiem tells Balducci about one possible candidate:   “I saw your call when I was in the Vatican, because I was doing rehearsals…in the choir…in St. Peter’s…. Angelo..I’ll say no more. Two meters (6 -foot-7) 97 kilos (250 lb.), 33 years-old and completely active (top).

The transcripts record that during five months in 2008, Ehiem procured for Balducci at least ten contacts, including “Two black Cuban lads, a former male model from Naples, and a rugby player from Rome.

Balducci’s escorts came from many different backgrounds, some being illegal immigrants who badly needed money.

Others were seminary students in Rome.

In January 2010, the Carabinieri recorded an exchange in which Balducci and Ehiem discuss a seminarian. Balducci is said to have asked: “Listen, have you spoken with the seminarian by any chance?” Ehiem says he is “probably at Mass or something.”

On January 11th Ehiem calls again to recommend “a colleague or friend” of the seminarian because the latter is unavailable. He says the colleague is “better, taller, a bit taller than you.” Later Ehiem asks: “Can I send (him) around straight away?”

He asks where Balducci is.   Balducci tells him: “Up at the seminary…where the cardinal lives.” Ehiem replies: “He could get there within half an hour…the time it takes to catch a taxi and get there.”

I wonder if Angelo Balducci ever met Enrico Luizi, a Papal Gentleman who was murdured by a hustler in 1998.

That story can be found here.

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2 Responses to “The Case of the Chorister and the Closeted Crook”

  1. Póló Says:


    Could we have your take on the latest Vatican decree which puts the ordination of women on a par with clerical child sex abuse.

    They have finally lost it, but will anyone notice?

  2. Censor Librorum Says:

    Hi Polo – I wrote about it this morning. It bumped a post about the Vatican exorcist I was drafting.

    In addition to psychology, the Vatican could use some help with modern PR practices. It lurches along from one public relations debacle to another.

    Unless, of course, the powers that be are so out of touch with reality–and so convinced of their version of the truth–no one thought anything was amiss in announcing the same penalty for women’s ordination and clerical sex abuse.

    Unfortunately, that was probably the case.

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