With Pope Benedict XVI’s departure only five days away, the Vatican finds itself faced with an explosive report suggesting that the decision to step down came after the Holy Father learned that a network of influential gay prelates were being blackmailed by gay outsiders.
The New York Post writes:
The revelation stems from Benedict’s ordering a committee of three cardinals to investigate the unauthorized release to journalists of Vatican papers — the ‘Vati-leaks’ scandal — and to make the findings for his eyes only.
Ironically, the two-volume, red-leather-bound cardinals’ report running nearly 300 pages was itself leaked.
The Post further notes that Italy’s leading newspaper, La Repubblica, reported that the report was turned over to Benedict on Dec. 17 and that he decided that day to resign.
“Everything revolves around the non-observance of the Sixth and Seventh Commandments,” the report said, according to La Repubblica. The reference if course to the commandments “Thou shall not steal” (for the alleged pilfering of the Vatican bank) and “Thou shall not commit adultery” (which alludes to homosexuality).
A similar report appeared in Italy’s news weekly Panorama, which named a Roman sauna where gay encounters allegedly took place.
A Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, allowed as how the pope may meet with the cardinals who compiled the document before he steps down next Thursday.
The newspaper La Stampa stated that Benedict was considering handing the report to the College of Cardinals when they begin their conclave to choose his successor.