|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
The Vatican is facing allegations that one of Pope Benedict's ceremonial ushers, as well as a member of the Vatican choir, were involved in a gay prostitution ring.
"The latest shadow on the church's image," reports CBS News Correspondent Richard Roth, "comes from leaked police reports (on) wiretaps in a separate corruption case. The Vatican wasn't a target, but it's taken a hit."
The recordings, according to Italian press, reveal Angelo Balducci, an Italian executive who's been a Gentleman of his Holiness -- the elite group of black-suited men who serve the pope in unpaid roles as ushers -- negotiating with the 29-year-olf Nigerian Vatican choir member for the services of male prostitutes, as part of the larger prostitution ring.
Balducci is under arrest.
The Vatican reportedly has cut ties to both men but, notes Roth, "bad publicity over sex and sexual abuse charges still confronts the church.
"Irish bishops were called to Rome in february after Benedict expressed outrage over a pedophilia scandal in their country. A prominent Catholic religious order countered new corruption charges in Mexico this week over sex and money. And the pope's old diocese figures in some of the newest sexual abuse claims in Germany."
"We're just scratching the surface here," says CBS News consultant Father Thomas Williams. "There's definitely more to come. We only know of these two men connected with the Vatican in some way, but obviously, they're talking about a ring, and a ring means definitely more people involved. So, I'm sure more will be coming out in the days to come."