An Italian newspaper report suggests Joseph Ratzinger’s resignation as Pope may have something to do with revelations about an apparent network of high-ranking gay clergymen in the Vatican. A number of inter-Vatican cliques, including one whose members were “united in sexual orientation,” were identified, to use the report’s Catholic-repressive terminology. It was delivered to the Pope the day he decided upon his retirement–December 17th.
It also identified a series of meeting places [for the clergymen] in and around Rome. They included a villa outside the Italian capital, a sauna in a Rome suburb, a beauty parlour in the centre, and a former university residence that was in use by a provincial Italian archbishop.
Some of these men were apparently being blackmailed as well. As the Guardian notes, this isn’t the Vatican’s first run-in with homosexual members.
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 manIn 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.
It’d be quite something if this was the scandal that prompted the Pope to call it quits. [The Guardian]