Newly released information written by Pope Emeritus Benedict has details of an alleged “gay lobby” he says tried to influence decisions at the Vatican.
Benedict is set to release a book titled “The Last Conversations,” in Italian on September 9. An Italian newspaper was able to access certain excerpts from the book and ran an article about some of the contents. “The Last Conversations” will be the first time a pope has ever judged his own pontificate after the fact.
Benedict’s papacy ended with his resignation — the first pope in six centuries to do so –and he has claimed he did so freely, without coercion. However, in the book, he speaks of a “powerful” gay lobby at the Vatican, and how he worked to dismantle it. According to The Guardian, these men “had their sexuality in common but worked together for their own ends rather than pushing the cause of gay believers.”
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During his time as pope, Benedict denounced gay marriage, calling it a “manipulation of nature,” as well as threat to the foundation of society, the family. Official Church teaching maintains that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered,” and argues for the compassionate treatment of gay individuals.
After he resigned in 2013, Benedict vowed to remain “hidden to the world.” He acknowledged that his body and mind were no longer strong enough to hold a position of power and took up residence in a former convent inside the Vatican. Since then, he’s dedicated his time to reading and writing. He also kept a journal during his papacy, but said he plans on destroying it.
The current pope, Pope Francis, recently made news concerning comments he made apologizing to gays on behalf of the Catholic Church. “After many hours of prayer and various consultations, I’ve realized that mere apologies do not constitute appropriate repentance for the Catholic Church’s many sins … I think that the Church not only should apologize … to a gay person whom it offended, but it must also apologize to the poor as well…,” he said.
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