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Vatican Report and the Pope’s Resignation: “Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!”

COMMENT: We’ve posted several times in connection with the resignation of Benedict XVI. Media speculation has centered on a report submitted to Ratzinger/Benedict detailing blackmail of a powerful “Velvet Mafia” of gay prelates inside the Vatican.

Apparently blackmailed by outsiders over their extensive and relatively visible liaisons, this group appears to have had dealings with the Vatican bank–long a focus of intrigue and covert fascist machinations.

One can but wonder what “outside” interests have been doing the blackmailing? Was it just the Velvet Mafia that was the focus of the blackmail or did the extensive priest molestation scandals factor in as well?

In this context, it is worth remembering that central to the exercise of the Catholic faith is the ritual of confession. 

Secrets of the confessional have long been significant political capital, of interest to intelligence services and/or potential blackmailers.

The latest disclosures call to mind a joke by the San Francisco-based comedian Will Durst. In the 1980’s, he observed that the disclosure that Catholic priests were at “high-risk” for AIDS has created a crisis at the Vatican. 

The curia is afraid that they are finally going to have to admit that priests are sharing needles!

“Papal Resignation Linked to Inquiry into ‘Vatican Gay Officials’, Says Paper” by John Hooper; The Guardian [UK]; 2/21/2013.

EXCERPT: A poten­tially explo­sive report has linked the res­ig­na­tion of Pope Bene­dict XVI to the dis­cov­ery of a net­work of gay prelates in the Vat­i­can, some of whom – the report said – were being black­mailed by outsiders.

The pope’s spokesman declined to con­firm or deny the report, which was car­ried by the Ital­ian daily news­pa­per La Repubblica.

The paper said the pope had taken the deci­sion on 17 Decem­ber that he was going to resign – the day he received a dossier com­piled by three car­di­nals del­e­gated to look into the so-called “Vatileaks” affair.

Last May Pope Benedict’s but­ler, Paolo Gabriele, was arrested and charged with hav­ing stolen and leaked papal cor­re­spon­dence that depicted the Vat­i­can as a seething hotbed of intrigue and infighting.

Accord­ing to La Repub­blica, the dossier com­pris­ing “two vol­umes of almost 300 pages – bound in red” had been con­signed to a safe in the papal apart­ments and would be deliv­ered to the pope’s suc­ces­sor upon his election.

The news­pa­per said the car­di­nals described a num­ber of fac­tions, includ­ing one whose mem­bers were “united by sex­ual orientation”.

In an appar­ent quo­ta­tion from the report, La Repub­blica said some Vat­i­can offi­cials had been sub­ject to “exter­nal influ­ence” from lay­men with whom they had links of a “worldly nature”. The paper said this was a clear ref­er­ence to blackmail. . . .

“Did a Secret Vat­i­can Report on Gay Sex and Black­mail Bring Down the Pope?” by Alexander Abad-Santos; The Atlantic Wire; 2/22/2013.

EXCERPT: Pope Bene­dict XVI has claimed that he’s resign­ing the papacy next week because of old age. But accord­ing to the major Ital­ian news­pa­per La Repub­blica, the real rea­son he resigned is because he did not want to deal the reper­cus­sions of a secret 300-page Vat­i­can dossier that allegedly found, among other things, an under­ground net­work of high-ranking gay clergy, com­plete with sex par­ties and shady deal­ings with the already scandal-ridden Vat­i­can bank. Here’s what we know:

– The report sounds men­ac­ing. Accord­ing to La Repub­blica, the dossier comes in two vol­umes, “two fold­ers hard-bound in red” with the header “pon­tif­i­cal secret.”

– Pope Bene­dict asked for the inves­ti­ga­tion. “The paper said the pope had taken the deci­sion on 17 Decem­ber that he was going to resign — the day he received a dossier com­piled by three car­di­nals del­e­gated to look into the so-called ‘Vatileaks’ affair,” accord­ing to the The Guardian’s trans­la­tion of the report.

– The Vat­i­can has a Vel­vet Mafia — and the Vel­vet Mafia is being black­mailed. The dossier alleges that a gay lobby exists within the Church, and has some sort of con­trol on the careers of those in the Vat­i­can. The dossier also alleges that this group isn’t as covert as it thinks — and got black­mailed by peo­ple on the out­side.

Discussion

2 comments for “Vatican Report and the Pope’s Resignation: “Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!””

  1. Was it German intelligence doing the blackmailing?

    Bio-leverage is a favourite of German intelligence…

    http://www.germanywatch.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/popes-dont-resign.html

    Posted by GW | February 25, 2013, 8:13 am
  2. I’m sure there’s nothing to all these “Velvet Mafia” rumors:

    UK Cardinal Skips Conclave Amid Priest Accusations

    By NICOLE WINFIELD and GREGORY KATZ Associated Press
    VATICAN CITY February 25, 2013 (AP)

    Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Britain’s highest-ranking Catholic leader, recused himself on Monday from taking part in the conclave to elect the next pope after being accused of improper conduct with priests — an unprecedented first head to roll in the mudslinging that has followed Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to resign.

    O’Brien also resigned as archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, though the Vatican insisted that Benedict accepted his resignation purely because he was nearing the retirement age of 75 — not because of the accusations. But O’Brien himself issued a statement Monday saying he would skip the conclave because he didn’t want to become the focus of media attention at such a delicate time for the Catholic Church.

    O’Brien has said through his spokesman that he is contesting allegations made Sunday in a British newspaper that three priests and a former priest had filed complaints to the Vatican alleging that the cardinal acted inappropriately with them. The Observer newspaper did not name the priests, but it said their allegations date back to the 1980s. There were no details about the alleged inappropriate behavior.

    It is the first time a cardinal has recused himself from a conclave because of personal scandal. It comes in the wake of a grass-roots campaign to shame another cardinal, retired Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony, into refraining from participating because of his role protecting sexually abusive priests.

    Mahony, however, has defiantly said he would participate in the voting for the new pope.

    The difference in cases boils down to the fact that O’Brien himself was accused of improper behavior, whereas Mahony has been shown to have covered up for other priests who raped and molested children — a distinction that has long shielded bishops accused of cover-up from Vatican sanction.

    And in another development Monday, Benedict decided that the contents of a secret investigation into the 2012 leaks of Vatican documents won’t be shared with the cardinals ahead of the conclave. Benedict met Monday with the three elderly cardinals who conducted the probe and decided that “the acts of the investigation, known only to himself, remain solely at the disposition of the new pope,” a Vatican statement said.

    Speculation has been rife in the Italian media that the three cardinals — Julian Herranz, Jozef Tomko and Salvatore De Giorgi — would be authorized to share the information with fellow cardinals before the conclave. That assumed the cardinal electors would want to know details about the state of dysfunction in the Vatican bureaucracy and on any potentially compromised colleagues before possibly voting one into office.

    Benedict appointed the three men last year to investigate the origins of leaks, which revealed petty wrangling, corruption, cronyism and even allegations of a gay plot at the highest levels of the Catholic Church. The pope’s butler was convicted of aggravated theft in October for having stolen the papers and given them to a journalist who then published them in a blockbuster book.

    While the three cardinals cannot share the full contents of their investigation, it’s unclear if they could give subtle hints about potential papal candidates to the electors. The Vatican’s assertion that only the pope knew the contents of the dossier was a clear message to readers of Italian newspapers, which have run several articles purporting to know the contents of the report.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 25, 2013, 12:21 pm

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