NEW YORK (PIX11) — Nothing is ever really as it seems. And sensational reports out of Rome Friday said Pope Benedict the Sixteenth really resigned because of disturbing details he received about gay priests and Vatican officials in a secret dossier, not because he was getting too feeble to do the job.
According to La Repubblica newspaper, the 85-year old pontiff received a red dossier stamped “Pontifical Secret” on December 17th, 2012, from three cardinals he assigned to a nine month, internal Vatican investigation. The investigation was launched after the Pope’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, was arrested in May for stealing and leaking papal documents. The ensuing scandal came to be known as Vati-leaks.
The dossier given to Benedict in December was nearly 300 pages and talked about a network of gay prelates at the Vatican who were being blackmailed by lay people. As one person familiar with the dossier told La Repubblica, “Everything revolves around the non-observance of the sixth and seventh commandments.” These commandments deal with sex—and stealing.
The dossier made reference to meeting places around Rome: a villa, a sauna, a beauty parlor and a former university residence.
The Vatican spokesperson, Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Friday, “Neither the Cardinals’ Commission nor I will make comments to confirm or deny the things that are said about this matter. Let each one assume his or her own responsibilities. We shall not be following up on the observations that are made about this.”
Pope Benedict is leaving the papal apartments next Thursday, February 28th, after nearly eight years in the papacy. He’s the first pope to resign in nearly 600 years.