Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

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“Gay mafia” blamed for Papal resignation in Cardinals’ report

Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

ROME, February 22, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Italian and international media is consumed today by a story, of Machiavellian complexity, published in the daily La Repubblica, alleging that among the reasons for Pope Benedict’s shocking decision to resign was the existence of an entrenched “gay network” orchestrating “sexual encounters” and shady financial machinations within the Vatican. 

Despite their extraordinary nature, few are questioning the claim that a group of three specially appointed senior curial cardinals have presented a 300 page, two-volume document to Pope Benedict detailing the workings and sexual activities of a network of curial officials.

La Repubblica said the document is the result of an investigation, ordered by Pope Benedict, into the Vatileaks scandals that seized public attention in Italy for months in early 2012. The document was allegedly presented to the pope December 17 and remains under strict “papal secret,” locked away by Pope Benedict in his own safe.

The paper, that has not named its sources, says the report cites not only an active homosexual subculture in the Vatican, but factional “struggles for power and money”. The paper quotes “a man very close” to the document’s authors, who described its contents, saying, “Everything revolves around the non-observance of the sixth and seventh commandment,” the Biblical prohibitions against sexual impurity and theft.

The document is said to identify one of the major divides in the Vatican’s internal culture as one of “sexual orientation”. “For the first time the word ‘homosexuality’ has been used, read aloud from a written text, in the apartment of Ratzinger… For the first time, although in Latin, the word blackmail, ‘influentiam,’ was used with His Holiness. ‘Impropriam influentiam,’” La Repubblica’s Concita de Gregorio writes.

The three cardinals – the paper names Spanish cardinal Julian Herranz, Italian cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi and Slovak cardinal Josef Tomko – revealed “a lobby network” identified with the various religious congregations - including the Salesians of Don Bosco and Jesuits – and “geographical origin,” described as “a network united according to sexual orientation.”

The paper quotes Cardinal De Giorgi directly, speaking about the pope’s decision to step down for the good of the Church. He said the decision was made as “a gesture of strength, not weakness”.

“He did it for the good of the Church. He gave a strong message to everyone in the exercise of authority or power who are considered irreplaceable. The Church is made up of men. The Pope has seen the problems and dealt with them in a particularly unusual, far-sighted initiative. He took upon himself the cross, in fact. But not decreased; on the contrary,” De Giorgi said.

The document, the paper said, included “dozens and dozens of interviews with bishops, cardinals and lay people. In Italy and abroad. Dozens and dozens of reports, reread and signed by the interviewees.” These interviews started with standard quesionnaires and were followed by personal interviews, the findings of which were “checked and cross-checked”.

The document is remaining secret, and will be kept by Pope Benedict who will place it directly into the hands of the new pope following the conclave. La Repubblica reports that Benedict will also meet with the three cardinals on Thursday, the last day of his pontificate.

The paper is claiming that it was with the reception of this report that Pope Benedict decided, the week before Christmas, to resign. They cited the comments by Pope Benedict in his homily for Ash Wednesday in which he decried “divisions in the ecclesial body that disfigure the face of the Church.”

But not everyone is convinced. La Stampa’s Marco Tossati wrote today that, given Cardinal Ratzinger’s 25 years in the very office most concerned with the doctrinal orthodoxy and sexual behaviour of priests and bishops, “it does not seem very plausible” that he has only now, with the publication of a single report, “suddenly decided to leave the Throne of Peter”.

The allegations have apparently caught the Vatican’s communications offices by surprise in a time of almost unprecedented turmoil for the Church’s leadership. At a hastily assembled press conference, Father Federico Lombardi would say only, “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.”

It was made public by the Vatican in March last year that Pope Benedict had appointed a commission of cardinals to investigate the so-called Vatileaks scandal. The investigation was carried out on two levels, with Vatican magistrates pursuing a criminal investigation and the Secretariat of State a more in-depth investigation into administrative corruption.

The result of the criminal investigation was the discovery that the pope’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, had stolen private papers related to internal matters. Some of these were passed to journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, who later released a best-selling book detailing scandals and infighting within the Vatican.

Gabriele’s trial was made public and he was found guilty, held in an Italian prison for a short period and then personally pardoned by Pope Benedict. While this had appeared to be the end of the affair according to the newspapers, questions have not stopped circulating about the story behind the headlines.

It is widely believed in Italy that Gabriele, who was convicted by the Vatican’s court of illegal possession of documents of a head of state, had been chosen as a scapegoat and that the background of corruption had remained untouched. Gabriele stated that he stole the documents to protect Pope Benedict and fight an entrenched culture of “evil and corruption” among the Vatican’s hierarchy.

During his trial, Gabriele told the court, “What really shocked me was when I sat down for lunch with the Holy Father and sometimes the pope asked about things that he should have been informed on. It was then that I became firmly convinced of how easy it was to manipulate a person with such enormous powers.” He told Nuzzi in an interview that he was acting with “around 20 other people” in the Vatican, but later denied that he had been helped by anyone to remove the documents.

Certainly faithful Catholics fighting the homosexualist movement both within and without the Church have known for decades that a powerful homosexual subculture among some clergy and bishops took hold of the temporal affairs of the Church in the 1960s and after.

In his 2002 book “Goodbye Good Men,” US author and investigator Michael Rose described in detail the machinations of what came to be called the “lavender mafia” in the Catholic Church in the US. It documented the results of the changes made in the period immediately following the close of the Second Vatican Council in the practices of the Catholic institutions, particularly in seminaries and academia.

Rose and many others have pointed out that during this period, many of the seminaries abandoned their former rigor in screening prospective priests, allowing large numbers of morally unstable men to be put on track to ordination. This period also coincides closely with the time during which the great majority of the complaints of sexual abuse are recorded, nearly all by male clerics against adolescent boys and young men. At the same time, the hierarchy of the Church largely ceased emphasising the Church’s teachings on sexuality and the family.

Related LifeSiteNews story:

Cardinal Martini and the false theology promoting homosexuality

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Lisa Bourne

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Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

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Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
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Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

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By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

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