Rome: The Catholic diocese of Rome has asked homosexual priests to "come out" because their behaviour "slings mud on others".
The Vicar of Rome - the office that governs the Rome diocese in the name of the Pope – on Friday urged homosexual priests to renounce priesthood.
It was responding to an article in Italian weekly Panorama, which claimed to have documented the lives of homosexual priests in Rome.
The article said many priests were "leading double lives".
"We don`t wish them harm but we can`t accept that their behaviour slings mud on the honour of others," the diocese statement said.
"No one is forcing them to stay in the priesthood to exploit the benefits. If they are coherent, they should come out into the open."