Sensational claims about the 'inappropriate influence' of secretive lobbies within the Vatican have transfixed the Italian media all week.
With Italy still reeling from the news of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, disparate cabals within the Holy SEE are now being blamed by the media for at least being part of Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to resign.
Although these eye-popping claims grab the headlines, to date no paper has come forward to explain precisely how, when or where these lobbies, which are said to include a gay lobby, have influenced internal Holy See affairs or Benedict's resignation.
According to the Irish Times, the rightward leaning news magazine Panorama and the Rome newspaper La Repubblica have reported that pope was dismayed by an internal report into the so-called 'Vatileaks' scandal released on December 17th last year.
The report, originally commissioned by the pontiff and prepared by Cardinals Julian Herranz, Jozef Tomko and Salvatore De Giorgi, has apparently confirmed the popular image of a Holy See riven with rivalries and rampant careerism.
The cardinals' report claims that various lobbies still unnamed within the Holy See are consistently breaking the sixth and seventh commandments, in particular 'thou shalt not steal' and 'thou shalt not commit adultery.'
The 'stealing' is reportedly related to improprieties within the Vatican Bank, IOR, and the sexual offences are allegedly related to the influence of an active gay lobby within the Vatican. But what effect, real or imagined, either lobby has had on the wider church has still not been clearly addressed in any report to date.
The cardinals' 300-page report, which paints a picture of a dysfunctional Holy See riven with financial, sexual and political improprieties, reportedly became the last straw for the pope, copper fastening his long-meditated intention to resign, according to the Italian press.
The Vatileaks scandal culminated with the arrest and conviction of the pope’s own butler, Paolo Gabriele, who was found guilty of having stolen confidential documents from the papal apartment last year.
La Repubblica also claims that the cardinals report speaks of the vague but inappropriate influence of various lobbies, some of them of a 'worldly nature,' reflecting an 'outside influence.'