updated 10/13/2007 9:13:26 AM ET 2007-10-13T13:13:26

An Italian monsignor was suspended from his position at the Holy See after the cleric said in a television interview he “didn’t feel he was sinning” by having sex with gay men, the Vatican and news reports said Saturday.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi told journalists that while the case was under investigation the monsignor was suspended from his job as a top official in the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy, an office which aims to ensure proper conduct by priests.

“The case is being handled with utmost reserve,” Lombardi said.

Office recognized
A private Italian TV network earlier this month broadcast a program in which some priests were interviewed about their homosexuality, which Vatican teaching holds is a sin.

The men, including the monsignor who was suspended, were interviewed with their faces obscured and their voices altered so they would not be recognized. But Vatican officials recognized the Vatican office in which he was being interviewed, Rome daily La Repubblica reported on Saturday.

The monsignor during the interview said he “didn’t feel he was sinning” by having sex with gay men, La Repubblica said.

The Vatican did not name the monsignor, who is Italian.

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