Claims Pope’s decision “partly prompted” by claims over influence of gay lobby
Italian daily La Repubblica this morning sensationally claims that Pope Benedict’s resignation was at least partly prompted by an internal report prepared by three senior cardinals, alleging that various lobbies, including a gay lobby, exercise an “inappropriate influence” in internal Holy See affairs.
The newspaper suggests that such was Benedict’s dismay when presented with the details of the report on December 17th that it hardened his long-meditated decision to resign. The internal report prepared by Cardinals Julian Herranz, Josef Tomko and Salvatore De Giorgi had been commissioned by Benedict himself.
He had ordered it in response to the so-called Vatileaks scandal which culminated with the arrest and subsequent conviction last autumn of the Pope’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, found guilty of having stolen confidential documents from the papal apartment.
In this morning’s article, it is claimed that the cardinals reported that various lobbies within the Holy See were consistently breaking the sixth and seventh commandments, namely “thou shalt not steal” and “thou shalt not commit adultery”.
The “stealing” was in particular related to the Vatican Bank, IOR, whilst the sexual offences were related to the influence of an active gay lobby within the Vatican.
Last week, when presiding over the Ash Wednesday celebrations in St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Benedict spoke of “divisions” which “besmirch” the face of the church. In a famous homily at the 2005 Via Crucis Easter celebrations in Rome, just days before the death of John Paul II, the then Cardinal Ratzinger had spoken of the “filth” in the church, a comment interpreted by many as a reference to the worldwide clerical sex abuse scandal.
However, La Repubblica claims the cardinals’ 300 page report speaks of “Impropriam Influentiam” on the part of various lobbies, some of them of a “worldly nature”, reflecting an “outside influence”. The Rome daily recalls the figure of papal gentleman, Angelo Balducci, accused three years ago of being a member of a gay ring active within the Vatican and involving choristers and seminarians.
The paper does not explain the source of its information on the cardinals report nor does it provide a direct quotation from any part of the report. Rather it claims that its findings are based on information received from an unnamed Vatican source.
A Vatican spokesman this morning had no comment to make on the allegations.
Three cardinals were asked by Benedict to verify allegations of financial impropriety, cronyism and corruption exposed in the so-called VatiLeaks affair.
On December 17, 2012, they handed the pontiff two red-leather bound volumes, almost 300 pages long, containing “an exact map of the mischief and the bad fish” inside the Holy See, La Repubblica said.
“It was on that day, with those papers on his desk, that Benedict XVI took the decision he had mulled over for so long,” said the centre-left newspaper. It said its article was the first of a series.
Panorama, a conservative weekly, did not speculate about the motives behind Benedict’s resignation, but its story about the contents of the confidential report was broadly similar.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi refused to “run after fantasies and opinions” and warned reporters: “Don’t expect comments or rebuttals of what is being said on this issue.”
La Repubblica quoted a man described as “very close” to the authors as saying the information it contained was “all about the breach of the sixth and seven commandments” – which say “thou shalt not commit adultery” and “thou shalt not steal”.
The cardinals were said to have uncovered an underground gay network, whose members organise sexual meetings in several venues in Rome and Vatican City, leaving them prone to blackmail.
The secret report also delves into suspect dealings at the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), the Vatican’s bank, where a new chairman was appointed last week after a nine-month vacancy, La Repubblica said, without going into details.
woudnt be surprised if this is partly true..but we cant forget these other points..hes covered up child sex abuse..and hes been the pope whilst the shocking practices of the vatican bank have gone on unchecked which the butler may have alerted authorities to..those alone would be reason to resign..i dont think he has resigned out of shock at the findings here..that doesnt ring true to me..i think its a smokescreen of sorts..