A dating website for closeted gay priests has been operating out of the Vatican for a number of months now. Described as a service for 'homosensible Roman Catholic priests' it's a development that seems designed to enrage conservative members of the church.

Although it contains no pornographic content, critics are claiming that the site, named Venerabilis, could certainly provide an opportunity for gay priests to arrange sexual contact.

According to Pink News the site reportedly contains chatrooms in five languages, where face-to-face meetings have been publicly arranged in a number of locations.

The site is reportedly run 'by a fraternity of Homo-Sensitive Roman Catholic Priests' for those seeking to find 'like-minded priests' using chatrooms and 'missed connections' posts.

Some commentators have suggested the use of unusual buzzwords like 'homosensible' and 'homo-sensitive' suggest the website is satirical and not a real hook up venue for lonely gay priests.

Others have suggested that if it encourages two gay priests to forge a relationship with each other and leave the priesthood it will provide a worthwhile service.

When signing up to the site new members are provided with an automatically-generated user ID, but the site is reportedly full of personal email addresses, which could lead to the possible identification of dozens of subscribers.