independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Resignation of Pope was 'linked to gay network' in the Vatican, Italian newspaper claims

Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to resign was influenced by a gay 'network' inside the Vatican, some of whom were being blackmailed by outsiders, it has been claimed in an explosive report carried by Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica.

Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to resign was influenced by a gay 'network' inside the Vatican, some of whom were being blackmailed by outsiders, it has been claimed in an explosive report carried by Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica.

The paper claims the alleged network was described in a report presented by to the pope by cardinals assigned to investigate the 2012 so-called 'Vatileaks' scandal. A spokesman for the Pope has refused to confirm or deny the details of the report.

The newspaper claims the pope made the decision to resign on or around the 17th December, which was the day he is alleged to have received the 'Vatileaks' dossier from the three cardinals.

The dossier, which was commissioned by Benedict himself, was compiled by the cardinals after the 'Vatileaks' affair, when the Pope's butler, Paolo Gabriele, was arrested and charged with stealing and leaking papal correspondence that depicted the Vatican as a hotbed of intrigue and infighting.

The dossier was compiled by a three man commission, a Spanish cardinal, Julián Herranz; Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi, a former archbishop of Palermo; and the Slovak cardinal Jozef Tomko.

La Repubblica claims that the cardinals described a number of 'factions' in their report, including one in which individuals were "united by sexual orientation".

The newspaper also alleges the dossier states that members of this group were blackmailed by laymen with whom they entertain relationships of a "worldly nature". Quoting an unnamed source the paper says "Everything revolves around the non-observance of the sixth and seventh commandments."

The seventh commandment forbids theft, while the sixth forbids adultery - but it is also linked in Catholic doctrine to the proscribing of homosexual acts.

The newspaper claims the dossier identifies a series of meeting places in and around Rome.

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."

The pope has said he will stand, becoming the first pope to do so since Celestine V more than seven centuries ago.

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