[oldembed width="420" height="245" src="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640" flashvars="launch=50939214&width=420&height=245" fid="2"]
There's been a lot of buzz about Pope Benedict and the Vatican after the Pope announced his impending resignation from the Papacy earlier this month. It didn't make much sense to me, since it's the first time in over 600 years that a pope abdicated his position. Then an explosive story from Italy's La Repubblica claimed that the Pope left office because of a secret gay cabal that existed within the church after he read a 300-page dossier compiled by three cardinals -- and commissioned by Pope Benedict himself.
Pope Benedict XVI is a little more than two weeks away from beginning his retirement at the Castel Gandolfo, but his final days as head of the Catholic church don't look like they're going to be quiet ones. Unsourced reports coming out of Italy suggest that the pope decided to call it quits not because of his old age, but instead to avoid the fallout that could come from a secret 300-page dossier compiled by three cardinals he tapped to look into last year's leak of confidential papers stolen from his desk.
Those papers, widely known as the "VatiLeaks," raised questions of financial impropriety and corruption at the Vatican. The investigation that followed, however, may prove even more uncomfortable for church officials.
The secret dossier allegedly details a wide range of infighting among various factions in the Vatican's governing body, known as the Curia. But the headline-ready takeaway from today's report from La Repubblica concerns the existence of one faction in particular, a network of gay church officials.
Just in case that weren't enough to pique international interest, the Italian newspaper also reports that said officials had been blackmailed by outsiders. According to the report, the pope got his first look at the dossier—"two folders hard-bound in red" with the header "pontifical secret"—on Dec. 17, and decided that same day to retire.
In response to this report, the Vatican had some tough words rebuking that claim:
The Vatican on Saturday accused the Italian media of spreading "false and damaging" reports in what it condemned as a deplorable attempt to influence cardinals who will meet in a secret conclave next month to elect a new pope.
Since Pope Benedict announced his resignation on February 11, Italian newspapers have been full of rumors about conspiracies, secret reports and lobbies in the Vatican that they say pushed the pope to abdicate."It is deplorable that, as we draw closer to the time of the beginning of the conclave ... that there be a widespread distribution of often unverified, unverifiable or completely false news stories that cause serious damage to persons and institutions," a Vatican statement said.
Shame, shame, shame on you, Pope Benedict, for allowing so many children to be destroyed by sexual deviant priests. If you're so sure La Repubblica's report is bogus then release your dossier from the investigation you ordered:
A potentially explosive report into embarrassing leaks from the Vatican will be seen by only two people — Pope Benedict XVI and the man who succeeds him.
Italian newspapers have already angered the Vatican by suggesting that the report found evidence of corruption, blackmail and a gay sex ring, and that it triggered Benedict’s decision earlier this month to give up the papacy.
The Vatican said in a statement Monday that Benedict, who commissioned the report on leaks from three cardinals, is the only person who knows its contents and will make them available only to the next pope.
What's to hide, Vatican?
When the Pope was Cardinal Ratzinger, he was in charge with investigating sexual abuse claims against the clergy so he is (if there is such a thing as) an expert on this matter within the Vatican. The Cardinal did his best to cover up as much of the sex scandals as possible until he was ordered to act on some of the information. The number of coverups he was part of were immense, to say the least. Pope Benedict XVI even went as far as blaming the 70's for the wave of pedophilia that swept through the church.
Add another embarrassing chapter to this horrifying story. Top British Cardinal Resigns After Accusations of ‘Inappropriate Acts’
Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric announced his resignation on Monday, a day after being accused of “inappropriate acts” with priests, saying he would not attend the conclave to elect a new pope.
The cleric, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, said that he had submitted his resignation months ago, and that theVatican said Pope Benedict XVI had accepted it on Feb. 18. However, the timing of the announcement — a day after news reports of alleged abuse appeared in Britain — suggested that the Vatican had encouraged the cardinal to stay away from the conclave.
A few weeks before this news broke, Cardinal O'Brien actually made some sense -- and real news and that could actually help the church:
Last week, Cardinal O’Brien drew different headlines, telling the BBC that the next pope should consider abandoning the church’s insistence on priestly celibacy, and suggesting that it might be time for the papal conclave to choose a pontiff from Africa or Asia, where church membership has been growing even as it has fallen across Europe and North America.
I agree with this wholeheartedly. Nobody will hear this message now, only that another high ranking clergyman leaves the church under heavy sexual accusations.
So I say once again, shame on you, Pope Benedict and the rest of the Vatican officials. Amazingly, no other institution could have survived a scandal like this.
- Sadly, No!
- The Reality-Based Community
- One good move
- Mock, Paper, Scissors
- Brad DeLong
- Whiskey Fire
- bart cop
- The Political Carnival
- Kung Fu Monkey
- The Black Snob
- The Reaction
- Naomi Klein
- Ed Cone
- Juan Cole/Informed Comment
- Jay Rosen