Pope Francis has admitted that a "gay lobby" exists within the Vatican's administration and says he is planning to take action about it.
The Pontiff (right) supposedly made the claim during an audience last Thursday at the Vatican with a group of Latin American priests and nuns.
"Yes, it is difficult," he reportedly said. "In the Curia there are holy people, truly holy people. But there is also a current of corruption, also there is, it is true . . . they speak of a 'gay lobby' and that is true, it is there . . . we will have to see what we can do."
A Vatican spokesman declined to comment on the statement, which was reported by the Chilean Catholic website.
In February, Italian newspapers reported that a dossier on scandals within the Vatican, ordered by Pope Benedict XVI and delivered to him in December, exposed a network of patronage among a powerful lobby of homosexual churchmen as well as the potential blackmailing of homosexuals.
The Italian reports suggested that the details exposed had pushed Benedict to resign in February.
The dossier was compiled by three senior cardinals, who were charged with looking into secret rivalries and corruption within the Vatican following the leaking of Benedict's private letters by his butler.
In his audience, Pope Francis allegedly promised to reform the Vatican but said it would be "difficult" and that he could not carry out the reforms himself because he was "disorganised".
He reportedly said he would be relying on the commission of eight cardinals he appointed in April to organise reform of the Curia, which is due to meet in October. (© Daily Telegraph, London)