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Gay sex scandal rocks Vatican

Italian newspaper says Pope resigned after seeing secret report of ‘gay network’

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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.”

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. TimFromLA

    February 24, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    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

  2. Mike de Fleuriot

    February 24, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    “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?

  3. Anonymous

    February 25, 2013 at 1:36 am

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

    • Andrew Perry

      February 25, 2013 at 4:12 pm

      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.

  4. Timothy Watson

    February 25, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    …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.

  5. George Kafantaris

    February 26, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    “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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Va. bill would restrict transgender students access to school bathrooms

State Del. John Avioli (R-Stanton) introduced House Bill 1126

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The Virginia Capitol (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

A Virginia lawmaker has introduced a bill that would restrict the ability of transgender students and school board employees to use bathrooms and other facilities in public schools that are consistent with their gender identity.

House Bill 1126, which state Del. John Avoli (R-Stanton) introduced, would require “each school board to adopt policies to require each student and school board employee to have access to restrooms, locker rooms and other changing facilities in public school buildings that are shared only by members of the same biological sex; lodging accommodations during school-sponsored trips that are shared only by members of the same biological sex; and a single-user restroom, locker room, or other changing facility in a public school building, upon request, if the school can reasonably accommodate such a request.”

Avoli introduced HB 1126 on Jan. 12 on the same day the Virginia General Assembly’s 2022 legislative session began with Republicans in control of the House of Delegates. Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin took office on Jan. 15.

State Sen. Travis Hackworth (R-Tazewell County) last month introduced Senate Bill 20, which would eliminate the requirement that school districts must implement the Department of Education’s trans and non-binary student guidelines. State Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas), who in 2018 became the first openly trans person seated in any state legislature in the U.S., told the Washington Blade last week that she expects SB 20 “would be dead on arrival” in committee.

Equality Virginia, a statewide LGBTQ rights group, on its website notes HB 1126 is among the bills that it opposes.

Democrats still have a 21-19 majority in the state Senate, and they have signaled they will oppose any effort to curtail LGBTQ rights in Virginia. Outgoing Equality Virginia Executive Director Vee Lamneck last week said their organization “will work with the Senate’s pro-equality majority to act as a crucial back stop against harmful legislation and efforts to roll back our hard-earned wins passed during the last two years.”

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Una ‘besada’ inesperada en La Habana: El activismo LGBTQ independiente sale en defensa del Código de las Familias

Proyecto de ley debe garantizar igualdad matrimonial en Cuba

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Activistas LGBTIQ+ frente al Ministerio de Justicia (Foto de Nelson Álvarez Mairata)

Tremenda Nota es el socio mediático del Washington Blade en Cuba. Esta nota salió en su sitio web el 15 de enero.

LA HABANA — Activistas independientes de la comunidad LGBTIQ+ salieron a las calles del Vedado, en el centro moderno de La Habana, para realizar en una besada pública en respaldo al Código de las Familias, el proyecto de ley que debe legalizar las uniones entre personas del mismo sexo en Cuba, además de otros derechos.

El recorrido de los activistas comenzó en 23 y Malecón y tuvo escalas en el Hotel Nacional, el cine Yara y el Ministerio de Justicia.

La abogada Lidia Romero Moreno, el influencer Jancel Moreno y el pastor Adiel González Maimó estuvieron entre los participantes.

Romero Moreno, activista de la plataforma 11M, comentó a Tremenda Nota que se sumaba a la iniciativa porque “es una acción para comenzar a mover los activismos, y decir que estamos aquí y queremos todos los derechos para todas las personas”.

Por su parte, Adiel González Maimó explicó que “es importante todo lo que en materia de activismo se logre hacer con vistas al debate popular del Código de las Familias, para visibilizar las realidades y derechos de la comunidad LGBTIQ+”.

El proyecto de ley del Código de las Familias fue publicado en la Gaceta Oficial este 12 de enero y se someterá a consulta popular en el período comprendido entre el 1 de febrero y el 30 de abril del año 2022.

De ser aprobada finalmente en un referendo, la nueva ley resolverá muchas de las demandas de la sociedad civil cubana, entre ellas el matrimonio igualitario, la posibilidad de adopción sin que importe el género de los progenitores y la prohibición del matrimonio infantil.  

Las besadas públicas han sido una opción del activismo LGBTIQ+ para visibilizarse. Cuba no es la excepción.

En 2012 tuvo lugar la “Primera besada por la diversidad e igualdad” convocada por el Proyecto Arcoíris, una organización que se definía como “anticapitalista”, en un sitio cercano a la Plaza de la Revolución, en La Habana.

Dos años después, se repitió esta iniciativa en La Habana Vieja. Ambas ocurrieron el 28 de junio, Día del Orgullo LGBTIQ+ en recuerdo de los disturbios del bar Stonewall, en Nueva York, incidente que ha sido considerado un hito del activismo estadounidense y mundial.  

Otra besada LGBTIQ+ fue convocada el 29 de septiembre de 2015 por el Proyecto Arcoíris y la Red Observatorio Crítico.

En 2020, durante la epidemia de covid-19, el activismo realizó también un evento denominado #BesadaOnLineCuba2020 en la víspera el Día del Orgullo LGBTIQ+. La iniciativa abogaba por un Código de las Familias inclusivo y logró sumar colectivos y activistas de todo el país.

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Equality Virginia announces new executive director

Narissa Rahaman will succeed Vee Lamneck

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Narissa Rahaman (Photo courtesy of Equality Virginia)

Equality Virginia on Saturday announced Narissa Rahaman will be the organization’s new executive director.

Rahaman, who was previously the Human Rights Campaign’s Associate Regional Campaign Director, will succeed outgoing Executive Director Vee Lamneck on Feb. 2. Rahaman was born in Barbados and raised in Florida.

“Narissa also has 10+ years of experience in long-term strategic planning, multi-state organizing efforts, coalition management, and staff development, which make her an exceptional individual for the role of executive director,” said Equality Virginia in its announcement. “We are confident that under her leadership, the organization’s success and impact will continue to flourish as will our commitment to racial justice.”

Equality Virginia announced Rahaman will succeed Lamneck on the same day that Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin took office amid concerns he will seek to curtail LGBTQ rights in Virginia.

Equality Virginia’s annual lobby day will take place virtually on Jan. 25. The organization’s annual Commonwealth Dinner is scheduled to take place in Richmond on March 26.

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