Vatican scandal cited in Pope resignation

Last updated 10:54 22/02/2013
Benedict
REUTERS
FINAL DAYS AT THE TOP: Pope Benedict XVI arrives to lead a special audience with priests of the Diocese of Rome in Paul VI's hall at the Vatican February 14.

Pope makes emotional speech to priests

Benedict
REUTERS Zoom
Pope Benedict XVI attends Ash Wednesday mass at the Vatican.

Related Links

Pope Benedict's resignation letter World reaction to Pope's resignation What is life for a retired pope? Pope to 'hide from the world' Retired pope immune from abuse probes Cardinals seek identikit for new pope Vatican feuds, fiefdoms, betrayals await next pope

Relevant offers

Europe

Lightning strike kills more than 300 reindeer in Norway Explosions heard in attack on Belgium crime laboratory Iceland raises alarm after largest volcano starts to rumble Swimmer and endurance athlete, Nick Thomas, dies crossing English Channel UK lottery curse strikes as wife leaves husband after affair with tycoon Hen's party rescued after boat stuck in mud in UK Teenager took her life fearing she would be branded racist over joke photo Dog refuses to leave master's coffin after Italy earthquake Italy probes whether negligence played role in quake toll, calls for mafia to be blocked Wingsuit flyer's death reportedly streamed live on Facebook

Pope Benedict XVI resigned after an internal investigation informed him about a web of blackmail, corruption and gay sex in the Vatican, Italian media reports say.

Three cardinals were asked by Benedict to verify allegations of financial impropriety, cronyism and corruption exposed in the so-called VatiLeaks affair.

On December 17, 2012, they handed the pontiff two red-leather bound volumes, almost 300 pages long, containing "an exact map of the mischief and the bad fish" inside the Holy See, La Repubblica said.

"It was on that day, with those papers on his desk, that Benedict XVI took the decision he had mulled over for so long," said the centre-left newspaper. It said its article was the first of a series.

Panorama, a conservative weekly, did not speculate about the motives behind Benedict's resignation, but its story about the contents of the confidential report was broadly similar.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi refused to "run after fantasies and opinions" and warned reporters: "Don't expect comments or rebuttals of what is being said on this issue."

La Repubblica quoted a man described as "very close" to the authors as saying the information it contained was "all about the breach of the sixth and seven commandments" - which say "thou shalt not commit adultery" and "thou shalt not steal".

The cardinals were said to have uncovered an underground gay network, whose members organise sexual meetings in several venues in Rome and Vatican City, leaving them prone to blackmail.

The secret report also delves into suspect dealings at the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), the Vatican's bank, where a new chairman was appointed last week after a nine-month vacancy, La Repubblica said, without going into details.

The newspaper said Benedict would personally hand the confidential files to his successor, with the hope he will be "strong, young and holy" enough to take the necessary action.

The authors of the secret report will not take part in the conclave because they are over 80 years old, past the age limit for the meeting. But Panorama said they were likely to inform other cardinals about what they have uncovered.

Ad Feedback

Their findings "will condition the conclave" as it will have to elect "a pope immune to blackmail, so that he can start the clean-up operation that (Benedict) entrusted to his successor".

- The Age

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content