The Pope and the gay clergy scandal?
The Rome daily La Repubblica reports that Pope Benny's hasty departure from the Holy See could be linked to a network of gay prelates in the Vatican, some of whom were being blackmailed by outsiders.
The paper said the pope had taken the decision on 17 December that he
was going to resign – the day he received a dossier compiled by three
cardinals delegated to look into the so-called "Vatileaks" affair.
May Pope Benedict's butler, Paolo Gabriele, was arrested and charged
with having stolen and leaked papal correspondence that depicted the
Vatican as a seething hotbed of intrigue and infighting.
to La Repubblica, the dossier comprising "two volumes of almost 300
pages – bound in red" had been consigned to a safe in the papal
apartments and would be delivered to the pope's successor upon his
The newspaper said the cardinals described a number of
factions, including one whose members were "united by sexual
In an apparent quotation from the report, La
Repubblica said some Vatican officials had been subject to "external
influence" from laymen with whom they had links of a "worldly nature".
The paper said this was a clear reference to blackmail.
It quoted a source "very close to those who wrote [the cardinal's
report]" as saying: "Everything revolves around the non-observance of
the sixth and seventh commandments."
The seventh enjoins against
theft. The sixth forbids adultery, but is linked in Catholic doctrine to
the proscribing of homosexual acts.
La Repubblica said the cardinals' report identified a series of
meeting places in and around Rome. They included a villa outside the
Italian capital, a sauna in a Rome suburb, a beauty parlour in the
centre, and a former university residence that was in use by a
provincial Italian archbishop.
Father Federico Lombardi, the
Vatican spokesman, said: "Neither the cardinals' commission nor I will
make comments to confirm or deny the things that are said about this
matter. Let each one assume his or her own responsibilities. We shall
not be following up on the observations that are made about this."