St. Peter's Basilica seen through a keyhole at the Villa Malta (photo: AngMoKio/Wikimedia Commons)
An article in an Italian newspaper contends that Pope Benedict XVI may be resigning as a result of a scandal involving homosexuality at the Vatican.
A potentially explosive report has linked the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI to the discovery of a network of gay prelates in the Vatican, some of whom – the report said – were being blackmailed by outsiders.
The pope's spokesman declined to confirm or deny the report, which was carried by the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica.
The La Repubblica story contends that Benedict decided to resign on the day that he received an internal report concerning the 'Vatileaks' case, which involved information leaked by the pope's butler.
More from The Guardian:
According 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 election.
The newspaper said the cardinals described a number of factions, including one whose members were "united by sexual orientation".
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.
Further, The Guardian helpfully provides broader context for the accusation of a 'gay network' at the Holy See:
La Repubblica's report was the latest in a string of claims that a gay network exists in the Vatican. In 2007 a senior official was suspended from the congregation, or department, for the priesthood, after he was filmed in a "sting" organised by an Italian television programme while apparently making sexual overtures to a younger man.
In 2010 a chorister was dismissed for allegedly procuring male prostitutes for a papal gentleman-in-waiting. A few months later a weekly news magazine used hidden cameras to record priests visiting gay clubs and bars and having sex.
More at The Guardian: here.
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