A conservative Catholic media organization has published a series of reports claiming that priests at New Jersey churches and the Vatican have been using hookup apps.
"The Pillar" collected and reviewed commercially available app signal indicating patterns on location-based hookup apps at more than 10 rectories within the Archdiocese of Newark between 2018 and 2020, the blog reported July 23.
The data apparently shows evidence that "both homosexual and heterosexual hookup apps were used in parish rectories or other clerical residences with a frequency suggesting, in several cases, residence in those locations," the outlet said.
A spokesperson from the Newark archdiocese requested more information for further investigation and released the following statement.
"Although the purported information conveyed to the Archdiocese does not provide any evidence of misconduct by Archdiocesan clergy or employees, we recognize that any app or technology has the potential for misuse or abuse, which would be of concern," the archdiocese said in a statement.
"This matter is to be evaluated and further reviewed pending the receipt of the publisher’s data and analysis."
Another report by The Pillar said that dating app data signals were emitted from areas within Vatican City that were off limits to tourists.
A previous report by The Pillar apparently prompted the resignation of former general secretary of the U.S. bishops’ conference Jeffrey Burrill, on claims he used gay hookup app Grindr "on a near-daily basis" between 2018 and 2020.
While The Pillar's editors declined interview requests from other media outlets, they apparently said on a podcast that their blog posts were written with a goal of exposing "secretive culture of wrongdoing within the church," the New York Times says.
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