Vatican denies swirling rumours

Rome — The Vatican sought yesterday to tamp down rumours involving sex, money and gay priests that have been swirling in the Italian media and have been linked by some to Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to resign.

CNN

The strongly-worded denial came on the eve of the pope’s last Angelus blessing, expected to draw huge crowds of the faithful, before he stands down on Thursday.

Vatican Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone said it was “deplorable” that as the time for the Roman Catholic cardinals to elect a new pope approaches, a rash of “often unverified, unverifiable or completely false news stories” has appeared.

Such unfounded stories “cause serious damage to persons and institutions,” he said, and are an attempt to influence the cardinals’ free will in the election “through public opinion”.

Bertone did not address the specific claims that were first published in La Repubblica, the country’s largest circulation daily newspaper, on Thursday and Friday.

The newspaper stories centre on an investigation last year by three cardinals into a scandal involving leaks from the Vatican.

La Repubblica, citing unnamed sources familiar with the investigation, alleged that the investigation revealed a series of scandals involving sex, money and power that touch cardinals, priests and lay people that work in the Vatican.

Vatican spokesman, the Rev Federico Lombardi declined to comment on La Repubblica’s article in a media briefing on Thursday.

CNN Senior Vatican Analyst John Allen, also a correspondent with the National Catholic Reporter, suggested in a piece written Friday that unsourced speculation about a shadowy “gay lobby” within the Vatican should be taken with a grain of salt.

But, he said, while he doesn’t know for sure if the three cardinals did investigate networks based on sexual orientation, “frankly, it would be a little surprising if they hadn’t” — given past scandals that have become public concerning clergy involved in homosexual activities.

The pope may well have been worn down by the “cumulative impact of the various meltdowns over the last eight years,” Allen said.

“However,” he added, “it’s probably a stretch to draw a straight line between all of this and Benedict’s resignation. For the most part, one has to take the pope at his word: He’s stepping aside because he’s old and tired, not because of any particular crisis.”

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4 Responses to Vatican denies swirling rumours

  1. Mabwe Tinetariro February 24, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

    The Roman Catholic should allow priests to marry and reduce these incidents of sex scandals. What purpose does that tradition of keeping priests single and sex-starved serve? Marrying and having sex is not a sin. Even the disciples like Peter who walked with Jesus were married and Jesus never said priests should not marry. The Bible in Matthew 8:14 says, “When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever”. So if Peter has a mother-in-law then he must have been married.

    • Dennis February 24, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

      I dont thnk it is wise for the Church to allow Priests to marry. This is an individual sacrifice and those who lie before God will only answer for themselves. Sex scandals are very common even for married Pastors. With or without married Priests scandals will always be there. It is important however, for the Church to ensure thats mass gathering of riches amongst the Clergy is done away with!

  2. Dennis February 24, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

    I dont thnk it is wise for the Church to allow Priests to marry. This is an individual sacrifice and those who lie before God will only answer for themselves. Sex scandals are very common even for married Pastors. With or without married Priests scandals will always be there. It is important however, for the Church to ensure thats mass gathering of riches amongst the Clergy is done away with!

  3. Chiradza February 25, 2013 at 6:31 am #

    @ Dennis why do you say it is not wise for the Church to allow priest to marry, is it wrong or sinful for them to marry? If it is not wrong then let them marry.

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