Home / News / Embattled Vatican attacks media as attempting to spread "gossip" and "slander" about the Pope; Catholic Church ahead of papal conclave
Embattled Vatican attacks media as attempting to spread "gossip" and "slander" about the Pope; Catholic Church ahead of papal conclave

Embattled Vatican attacks media as attempting to spread "gossip" and "slander" about the Pope; Catholic Church ahead of papal conclave

A Vatican spokesman has sharply repudiated reports of corruption in the Catholic Church as "gossip" and "slander,"  and claimed that the media was trying to influence the vote in the college of cardinals.  The Pope is due to resign next Thursday. The BBC reports:

An unconfirmed report in one of Italy's biggest newspapers, La Repubblica, suggested that the Pope had resigned shortly after being presented with a dossier detailing a network of Vatican priests, "united by sexual orientation" who were being blackmailed.

Without giving credence to such allegations or addressing the report specifically, the Vatican spokesman said those putting themselves in positions of judgement had no authority to do so.

"Whoever has money, sex and power at the forefront of their mind sees the world through these parameters and cannot see beyond, even when looking at the Church," he said.

"Their view cannot look to the heights or go in-depth to understand the spiritual dimensions and motivations of existence," he added. [...]

Referring to the upcoming conclave, during which the next leader of the Catholic Church will be chosen, Father Lombardi also suggested that the media was exerting "unacceptable pressure to condition the vote of one or other member of the college of cardinals".

The BBC's Vatican correspondent, David Willey, says that this is probably directed towards attempts by the American media to dissuade US cardinals alleged to have covered up clerical sexual abuse scandals from travelling to take part in the vote.

The Catholic Church has been under pressure for quite some time because of legions of people who have been coming forth over the years all over the world citing sexual abuse by priests.  With days to go to the Pope's resignation, new rumors of intrigue within the halls of power of the Vatican have been surfacing, and an embattled Vatican is in defense mode. ChannelNewsAsia adds:

The secret report compiled by a committee of three cardinals for the Pope's eyes only was the result of a wide-ranging investigation into leaks of confidential papers from the Vatican that caused huge embarrassment last year.

The cardinals questioned dozens of Vatican officials and presented the Pope with their final report in December 2012, just before Benedict pardoned his former butler Paolo Gabriele who had been convicted of leaking the papal memos.

The Panorama news weekly and the Repubblica daily said on Thursday that the report contained allegations of corruption and of blackmail attempts against gay Vatican clergymen, as well as favouritism based on gay relationships.

Both publications quoted a source with knowledge of the investigation saying that the cardinals' conclusions "revolve around the sixth and seventh commandments" — "Thou shall not commit adultery" and "Thou shall not steal".

The Vatican has declined to comment on these two reports, with spokesman Federico Lombardi saying they were "conjectures, fictions and opinions."

Gossip is nothing new prior to papal conclaves as rival factions battle for control; however, the Pope demoted Monsignor Ettore Balestrero, a powerful behind-the-scenes figure in the Secretariat of State with a major role in handling the Vatican bank's foreign relations in the face of the Vatican bank being accused of a money laundering scheme whereupon Vatican City recently could no longer take credit cards.   Balestrero is reportedly being sent to Colombia.   German lawyer Ernst von Freyberg has been charged by the Pope to lead the scandal-tainted financial institution.

About Dakota O'Leary

Dakota O'Leary is a freethinker, and often sassy, scholar of theology and literature. She got her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Theology from the State University of New York College at Buffalo, and her Master of Arts degree in Theology and Literature from Antioch University-Midwest. She is a contributing writer focusing on eschatology, biblical prophecy, and general religious news. Dakota is a co-host of the God Discussion radio show, offering insight to the news stories of the week. We like to call her "our in-house Biblical prophecy expert" as her articles on eschatology have received over 200,000 views on God Discussion.
  • Peter

    Here’s a report from the Guardian. Papal resignation linked to inquiry into 'Vatican gay officials', says paper I also find it strange also, if the reports are true, that when Benedict leaves he will live in the Vatican. How does a new pope get anything progressive done when the old pope is looking over his shoulder?. Tells me nothing will change just the same ultra-orthodox, secretive 15th Century Catholicism.

  • Edward Studor

    Lots of people are being unfair to the pope. He was picked by God so things like masturbating and sex are completely beneath him. Just because Catholic priests are pedophile sexual predators and work in an organisation with fascist leanings, as crooked and more powerful than the mafia, doesn't mean they can't do their job of saving people's souls so they'll go to heaven.

  • Pingback: Catholic archbishop resigns over abuse allegations | God Discussion

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