February 24, 2013 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Gay sex scandal rocks Vatican
Benedict XVI, Pope, Rome, Catholic Church, gay news, Washington Blade

Pope Benedict XVI (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

One of Italy’s most respected daily newspapers has reported that Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation on the same day he learned that an underground network of gay priests assigned to the Vatican organized meetings for sex and may have been subjected to blackmail.

In a development that has caused an uproar at the Vatican, the Rome based newspaper La Repubblica reports it received detailed information about a 300-page Vatican report on the conclusion of a nine-month internal Vatican investigation that uncovered a “faction” within the Vatican “united by sexual orientation.”

The newspaper said it had no confirmation that Benedict based his decision to resign solely on the explosive findings of the investigation. But it reported sources as saying Benedict planned to keep the findings confidential and planned to leave it up to his successor to decide how to address the matter.

“It was on that day, with those papers on his desk, that Benedict XVI took the decision he had mulled over for so long,” La Repubblica reported in its Feb. 21 edition while discussing Benedict’s resignation.

According to La Repubblica, the investigation was conducted by a panel of three cardinals and was launched last May after one of the Pope’s butlers was arrested for allegedly stealing Vatican correspondence and leaking it to the media.

A Vatican spokesperson, Rev. Federico Lombardi, would neither confirm nor deny the reports by La Repubblica and at least one other Italian publication, the news magazine Panorama, about the internal investigative report.

CNN reported on Saturday that another Vatican spokesperson denounced the media for reporting sensational claims that could not be substantiated and were, according to the spokesperson, an attempt to improperly influence the process for selecting a new Pope.

The report prepared by the three cardinals said their investigation uncovered an underground network of gays working at the Vatican who organized “sexual meetings” in several locations, including a sauna in Rome, a private villa just outside Rome, and a beauty salon inside the Vatican, according to La Repubblica.

The newspaper identified the cardinals who conducted the investigation as Julian Herranz of Spain; Jozef Tomko of Slovakia; and Salvatore De Giorgi, the former archbishop of Palermo.

Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, a Maryland based group that advocates for LGBT equality within the Catholic Church, said the unfolding scandal is due, at least in part, to the Vatican’s harsh position on homosexuality.

“They have created a situation where people can’t express their sexuality in healthy ways,” he said. “They can’t even deal with their sexuality in the open. So it creates a climate of suspicion and a climate of fear.”

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

9 Comments
  • But he doesn’t resign when STRAIGHT men rape boys and girls. I betcha, none of the LGBTQs in the Catholic Church were accused of CHILD RAPE!!!!! Imagine that, the so-called immoral folks were more moral…p.s., I’m straight

  • “according to the spokesperson, an attempt to improperly influence the process for selecting a new Pope”

    I thought that their god did the choosing of the new Pope?

  • Secular movment is likely responsible for activating gay and pedophile underground.
    network within the church. It just doesn't happen naturally.

    • The one thing that is natural in this subject is sex. Pedophilia has happened in the Catholic Church ever since the decree was first made that priests must be chaste. Homosexuality occurs naturally in all populations. When an institution unnaturally mandates against natural urge, nature will express itself, either through perversion (i.e. pedophilia) or by hidden meetups between gay priests.

  • …something going on behind the scenes with the Pope's resignation… those that doth protest too much – as an organization they are so hypocritical – yet they have their own dirty laundry… but wouldn't surprise that they use scapegoats, and cover the whole thing up.

  • “This is the test. Do you love your unknown neighbor as yourself? Do you love your dirty, hairy, smelly, dispossessed neighbor as yourself, and will you reach out to help?”.
    "Everything else is footnotes.”.

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