In Stunning Admission, Pope Confirms The Presence Of ‘Gay Lobby’ In The Vatican

The College of Cardinals; @ReligiousStudiesBlog

Now that the ‘gay lobby’ In the Vatican has been confirmed, questions abound: what did they do, how did they do it, and who’s involved? Image @ReligiousStudiesBlog

Ah … Papal intrigue! In a plot development on a par with The Borgiasthe new and current pope of the Catholic church has admitted to something only whispered about up till now: the Vatican’s “gay lobby.” His admission? It does exist. 

It is being widely reported that in private remarks to leaders of the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious (CLAR, in its Spanish acronym), the pope made this surprisingly candid admission. CLAR, a regional collective of nuns and priests, confirmed that a report of the pope’s meeting with the group had been documented and published, purportedly to the “great distress” of the group. From Reuters:

In the conversation, the pope is quoted as talking about various subjects of concern, including the problems of the Curia, the Church’s central administration which was at the centre of a corruption scandal last year.

“In the Curia, there are also holy people, really, there are holy people. But there also is a stream of corruption, there is that as well, it is true… The ‘gay lobby’ is mentioned, and it is true, it is there… We need to see what we can do,” the synthesis by CLAR officials said.

A Vatican spokesman, when asked for a response to the report, said only that the audience was private and, therefore, he could make no comment. CLAR, however, has apparently apologized:

In its own statement, the presidency of CLAR said it “deeply regretted the publication of a text which refers to the conversation with the Holy Father”. It did not confirm the precise quotes attributed to the pope but acknowledged the summary reflected the “general feeling” of the meeting. [Source]

Earlier in the year, in the days leading up to the papal conclave’s selection of Pope Francis, rumor mills worked overtime on a story about the mysterious “gay lobby” wafting through the vaunted halls of the Vatican. This influential group, according to Italian media, had inordinate power to influence papal decisions and Vatican policies through methods like blackmail and was considered partially responsible for the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.

The unsourced reports, in the Rome daily La Repubblica and the news magazine Panorama, said details were laid out in a secret dossier prepared for Benedict by three trusted cardinals who investigated the leaks of papal documents last year. Benedict left the dossier for Francis.

At the time, the Vatican denounced the reporting as defamatory, “unverified, unverifiable or completely false.” [Source]

As the new pope contradicted that denunciation this week, word spread quickly:

Pope Francis’ remarks on the matter, as reported by the CLAR leadership, were published in Spanish on the Chilean-based website “Reflection and Liberation” and picked up and translated by the blog Rorate Caeli, which is read in Vatican circles. [Source]

Surely this is awkward for a church that’s taken a strong position against homosexuality in general, but particularly against the civil rights of homosexuals in relation to marriage equality and the raising of children (the adoption of whom Pope Francis has deemed “discriminatory”). But despite the public stance, the now-fact of a cabal of gay priests and cardinals lording over Vatican politics is ripe for speculation: what does this “lobby” actually do, how do they operate, what do they influence, and just who’s in it? So far answers to these questions have not been publicized, though the imaginations of some have been stoked (jokes about Vatican disco parties and Liza Minelli sing-alongs have been known to pop up). National Catholic Reporter writer John L. Allen, Jr., spoke to the scandal when the story first broke in February of this year:

In terms of the story’s specifics, I don’t know whether it’s accurate that a commission of three cardinals created by Benedict XVI to investigate the Vatican leaks affair, composed of Cardinals Julian Herranz Casado, Jozef Tomko and Salvatore De Giorgi, actually considered possible networks inside the Vatican based on sexual preference, but frankly, it would be a little surprising if they hadn’t.

In 2007, Msgr. Thomas Stenico in the Congregation for Clergy was suspended after being caught on hidden camera making contact with a young man posing as a potential “date” in gay-oriented chat rooms, then taking him back to his Vatican apartment. In 2010, a “Gentlemen of the Pope” named Angelo Balducci was caught in a wiretap trying to arrange sexual hookups through a Nigerian member of a Vatican choir. Both episodes were highly public and caused massive embarrassment. [… ]

It also doesn’t stretch credulity to believe there are still people in the system leading a double life, not just in terms of their sexual preference and activities, but possibly in other ways as well — in terms of their financial interests, for example. Whether they form self-conscious cabals is open to question, but they may well naturally identify with each other, and it’s not out of the realm of possibility that trying to chart such networks was part of what the three cardinals tried to do.

The Catholic church’s well-documented unwillingness to face its scandals of a sexual nature appears to be at play in this story (as well as the child molestation debacle). Given that, there is some appreciation for the Pope’s willingness, however privately it was intended, to admit to the facts. He has also stated that he intends to work toward reforming the “Curia” with the help of others. A commission of eight cardinals has been appointed to assist him in the task, set to meet for the first time in October. From there Vatican watchers will wait to see if the spoken-of reforms come to fruition or languish in the denial of self-righteousness.

They say the first step to cure is admitting the problem; it seems Pope Francis has, however unwittingly, taken that first step.

Other Papal stories at Addicting Info:

• Good Deeds, Not Belief In Christ, Required For Salvation Says New Pope
• Pope Francis Says That Only Looking At How To Make A Profit Goes Against God, Chastises ‘Slave Labor’
• Pope Francis And American Nuns Battle For The Soul Of The Catholic Church
• Pope Francis Shows He Is Not His Predecessor – Calls Out Greedy Capitalists (VIDEO)
• Civil Unions? Pope Francis Said ‘Yes’ Before Church Made Him Say ‘No’
• New Pope Thinks Gay Adoption Is Discrimination Against Children In Letter From 2010