Priest arrested for grooming gay teens on Grindr

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The priest was arrested after he was found having sex with a youth in his car.

An Italian priest was arrested last week for allegedly having sex with teenage boys he met and groomed on hook-up app Grindr.

Antonello Tropea had sex with the teens in both his car and his rectory in Calabria, local media have reported.

He allegedly called himself ‘Nicola’ on the app – the patron saint of his parish in Messignadi, southern Italy.

The priest was arrested after he was found in a car with a teenage boy in a ‘secluded area’ by police officers.

Tropea initially claimed that he was a sports teacher, after the officers enquired into the ‘suspicious objects’ he had in his backpack.

The boy later admitted that Tropea had paid him €20 for oral sex.

The arrest led police to launch a two-month long investigation, during which they discovered that the priest’s seniors also knew of his behaviour.

Bishop Francesco Milito chose to ignore Tropea’s crimes – instead warning him to “continue as before” and “avoid speaking to the police.”

Tropea faces a series of charges, including soliciting a minor for sex.

Last week, a Catholic priest was accused of stealing millions to pay for his ‘rent boy lover’, leading to his resignation.

In October, a former Catholic priest claimed that the Vatican is funding therapy to ‘cure’ the homosexuality of gay clergymen.

The claim came amid heightened tensions over the Church’s anti-LGBT stance, after a Polish priest was sacked for coming out as gay.