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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 14, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 24
OMG! There's a 'Gay Lobby' in the Vatican, pope says
Section One
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OMG! There's a 'Gay Lobby' in the Vatican, pope says

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Pope Francis has repeated charges he made under his predecessor, Benedict XVI, that a 'Gay Lobby' has infiltrated the Vatican.

'In the Curia, there are truly some saints, but there is also a current of corruption,' the pope is quoted as saying. 'There is talk of a 'Gay lobby' and it's true, it exists. We have to see what can be done.'

According to reports published on the Latin American Catholic website Reflection and Liberation, the Pope made the remarks during an audience with CLAR (the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious Men and Women).

The Vatican would neither confirm nor deny the reported statements. 'It was a private meeting; I have no comment to make,' Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told Agence France-Presse.

SPEECH NOT RECORDED
In a statement released on June 12, CLAR said no recording had been made of the Pope's remarks but that the members of its leadership team - a half-dozen men and women - together wrote a synthesis of the points he had made, for their own personal use.

'It's clear that based on this, one cannot attribute with certainty to the Holy Father singular expressions in the text, but just the general sense,' the statement said.

Also on June 12, Italian Gay rights groups denounced the reporting of the entire affair as insensitive and homophobic.

'That priests have sex with other men doesn't authorize anyone to speak about a 'Gay lobby,' because we're not talking about a group that represents the interests of the homosexual community but rather a group that is an integral part of a power structure - the Vatican - which is violently homophobic,' said Franco Grillini, president of Gaynet rights group.

OFFICIAL SECRETS
In February, when Benedict abdicated the papacy, Italian media claimed that a secret report by cardinals investigating the theft of the pope's private papers revealed a nest of corruption, with some church officials allegedly blackmailing Gay clerics and others creating networks of favoritism based on Gay relationships.

A secret report intended for the Pope's eyes only was compiled by a committee of three cardinals, but the Vatican steadfastly refused to comment on its contents. The cardinals questioned dozens of Vatican officials and presented the pope with their final report in December 2012.

Just days before Benedict's resignation in February, Panorama news weekly and the daily La Repubblica leaked what they claimed were the findings of the investigation.

At the time, the Vatican denounced the stories as 'unverified, unverifiable, or completely false.'

REFORM PROMISED
Francis has made reforming the Roman Curia, the heavily criticized and intrigue-filled administration of the Roman Catholic Church, a priority of his papacy, but he has admitted it would be 'difficult.'

'I cannot carry out the reforms myself,' he said, because 'I am very disorganized.'

Instead of taking on the task personally, the new pope has appointed a commission of eight cardinals to help him bring the church bureaucracy into line. That commission meet for the first time in October.

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