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The Vatican Circus - I

The Pellegrini Scandal

Randy Engel

Topless Acrobats Perform for Pope; Bare-chested Acrobats Perform for Pope; Pope Captivated by Shirtless Male Acrobats; Surprise Strippers in Vatican!; Benedict's Pretty Boys - These headlines that flooded the Internet and international media following the Papal General Audience of December 15, 2010 held at Paul VI Hall in Vatican City, were enough to unsettle even the most intrepid post-Conciliar Catholic.

Pellegrini Brothers perform at the Vatican

See more pictures of the Vatican circus show here
The scandal in question involved the Pellegrini Brothers, heirs to a well-known Italian circus dynasty, who were invited to entertain the Pope and his entourage and the more than 6,000 visitors assembled for the weekly audience during the Advent season in Rome. It was, however, not their short hand-balancing act, but rather their grand entrance and provocative salutation to the Holy Father that sparked controversy.

On cue, the four young men mounted the platform area, faced the Pope seated across from his secretary and cardinals on stage, and then in a manner reminiscent of the Vegas Chippendale male strippers, peeled off their jackets revealing their bare muscular upper torso.

The Fratelli Pellegrini were accompanied on stage by a statuesque, well-endowed brunette with stiletto boots who had been poured into a black skin-tight leather outfit and whose task was to gather up the performers' jackets, stroll across the stage and await the end of the exhibition. The only fashion accessory she lacked to complete the sadomasochist scenario was a whip.

The anti-climatic gymnast act completed, the Pellegrini Brothers followed by the madam in leather, left the stage to the sounds of clapping from an enthusiastic audience, including a smiling Pope and host of cardinals. [view video here]

Pellegrini Brothers performance at 'gay circus'

Barcelona Gay Circus features the Pellegrini Brothers

At the Barcelona Gay Circus, above, the Pelligrini Brothers performed the same strip show
On July 25-27, 2008, the Pellegrini Brothers appeared in the Gay Circus, a specially-staged 3-day event set within the framework of the XII EuroGames ('Gay Olympics') in Barcelona, Spain. Up until this point, the Pellegrini name had been associated with well-known international circuses including the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus (USA), the Circus Knie (Switzerland), and the International Circus Festival (Monte Carlo).

Billed as ' show for people without prejudices,' that is ' gay and lesbian friendly audience,' by publicist Irene Peralta, the 'Gay Circus' was created as an artistic tribute to gay culture and as a 'contribution to the normalization of homosexuality.' It featured male/male performers in a homoerotic setting. Peralta told reporters that the 'Gay Circus will transform the traditional understanding of the circus.'

The homosexual media touted the event as an opportunity for parents to introduce their sons to other forms of sexual love outside the traditional male/female model, and to give greater exposure to homosexuality as a legitimate sexual preference. Video selections of the Gay Circus show many children in the audience. Ticket sales were estimated to be over 12,000.

The theme of the Gay Circus centered upon the eternal struggle between Good and Evil. Sadomasochist elements which dominate gay culture were visible both in the costuming and demeanor of the performers.

One aerial act featured two male 'angels' in a tight embrace naked except for a g-string. Another, with two 'devils' in black leather jockstraps and harnesses. A short video of the Pellegrini Brothers performance at the Gay Circus, which was very similar to the portion of their act performed at the papal audience complete with an opening strip scenario, showed two burly shirtless men acting as jacket attendants.

According to Gay Circus producer Genis Matabosch, artistic performance and quality were the primary criteria for casting, not sexual orientation. Matabosch admitted he did not know who among the cast was homosexual and who was not.

A Vatican Circus Dicastery

So, how did the Fratelli Pellegrini make the transition from the Barcelona Gay Circus to a performance at a formal papal audience attended by thousands of Catholics from around the world as well as the international media?

The Pellegrini Brothers were in Rome to participate in the International Congress on the Pastoral Care of Circus and Traveling Show People being held in Vatican City from December 13-16, 2010. The event comes under the jurisdiction of the Curia's Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants, created by Pope John Paul II in 1988. The President of the Council is Archbishop Antonio Maria Vegliò. The staff is made up of 14 assistants and a large number of 'members,' advisors and consultants including U.S. Cardinals Adam Maida and Theodore McCarrick.

The last Vatican Circus Congress was held in December 12-16, 2004 with 90 official participants including national circus directors, chaplains, religious and lay circus performers. The theme of the Congress was 'Welcoming Circus and Traveling Show People 'From Diversity to a Friendly Coexistence.'

The stated purpose of the Congress is to promote the spiritual welfare of Catholic circus people, although it serves other purposes as well. For example, in a major address delivered to the 2004 Circus Congress, Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, Secretary for the Pontifical Council on Migrants, used the opportunity to hammer away at a favorite post-Conciliar theme'; 'dialogue.' Thus in the Congress' 'Final Document' we read about the need for dialogue everywhere:

A cartoon depicts Benedict with the Pellegrini brothers

dialogue in pastoral work; dialogue and mission; training for dialogue; a school to educate for dialogue; dialogue with indigenous populations; dialogue against every form of prejudice, racism, and xenophobia; dialogue with a view to integration (not assimilation); dialogue aimed at inculturation, dialogue implying reciprocity; the dialogue of life; dialogue and new evangelisation; dialogue, liturgy, prayer and places of worship; dialogue and matrimony; dialogue leading to communion in diversity; and dialogue and Church discipline.

As the Congress drew to a close, John Paul II told the Congress participants that the circus and amusement parks 'can be turned into a new field of the great themes of pastoral care, ecumenism and the encounter of members of other religions, and the common commitment to building a universal brotherhood.'

No doubt the irony of these tributes to Modernism and Progressivism was not lost on the Catholic circus population which makes up approximately three-quarters of the world's circus population. Italy alone has 150 circuses and 65,000 families engaged in amusement parks and fairs.

Although circus families face problems common to society in general, especially drug and alcohol abuse, care for the elderly, and the education of the young, the typical multi-generational Catholic circus family is strong in structure, morally upright, pious and traditional in its beliefs and practices. Efforts to promote ecumenism and 'dialogue' have been largely wasted on tradition-bound circus families.

Another good piece of news is that while the world-wide Homosexual Collective has made great inroads into many occupations, until 2008, with the creation of Barcelona Gay Circus, the circus has not been one of them.

Continued here: Part II: Who's to Blame for the Pellegrini Scandal?


Blason de Charlemagne
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Posted January 16, 2011

Randy Engel is director of US Coalition for Life.
For additional information contact her at rvte61@comcast.net or call US CL: 724-327-7379.
Visit its Research Library at www.uscl.info.

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