Sex and money, the two swords on which humans and organizations are often impaled, especially those that espouse moral and ethical purity, at their own peril, are once again surfacing as the conspiracy theories behind the Pope's resignation, the first in more than 600 years.
"Financial and sexual lobbies" allegedly influencing the Vatican...now that's more than an eighty-six-year-old pontiff, formerly Cardinal Ratzinger, then Defender of the Faith, could stomach. And to think that the sexual lobby involves, allegedly, homosexuals inside the Vatican. Who would or could expect anything else?
There is no clear evidence available that could or would bring the church to its knees and, of course, all Vatican public statements will point their audience to matters like the upcoming conclave to elect the next Holy Father in a concerted attempt to divert attention away from the potential scandals within the Holy See. Nevertheless, the church's position on homosexuality, as a sin, is, in a word, unsustainable...as is the church's hard line on "adultery".
Only a fool would even think s/he would want to stand in judgement of another's sexual orientation, sexual attitudes, or sexual conduct. Nevertheless, there are those in the church whose standard for both inclusion within and exclusion from entry, into the church is sexual misconduct, parading their own lives, in their entirety, as paragons without blemish....lest they fall on the sword of "casting the first stone"....only that part of the text seems to have gone missing in their religious and theological and spiritual development.
In fact, the church has more to atone for than almost any other organizations, with respect to the influence it has had, mostly negative and tragic, on the formation of attitudes on sexuality, as sinful, dark, harmful, injurious, and dangerous....their's is a sinister, immature, controlling, clinical, and simply out-of-touch-with-reality and the integrity that reality requires stance.
The church's clinging to rules that deny individual human beings either their sexual orientation and/or their sexual behaviour including their need, is unholy, and unsustainable with respect to the depth and force of the human instinct, in both men and women.
And maintaining a strict requirement of celibacy, too, is unsustainable, no matter the age of the candidate for holy orders, the social and cultural background of the candidate, and it is also a denial of the requisite need for parish priests to both experiment with and enter into sexual relationships, in all of their complexity, in order to better appreciate the complexities of the lives of their parishioners. And such nuanced complexities, in all of their many colours, and multiple implications, are at the heart of much of the human drama, both positive and negative...and those latter apply also to the conception and delivery and rearing of human children....those experiences can and do run the gammut from extremely positive to extremely negative, within devout church-going and believing families.
Will this issue, of the church's position on both abstinence/celibacy and homosexuality, be a deal-breaker for current members, and prospective adherents? Doubtful.
However, confronting evil within has never been the church's strong suit, and it is not likely to become so under the current exigency to replace the resigning pope.
As for the alleged theft of money, from inside the Vatican, that too is a human weakness, especially among those whose lives are allegedly committed to chastity, poverty and obedience....standards to which no human being can legitimately be held, and the fact that intelligent, well-read, widely travelled and healthy spirited men and women, inside the church's faith community, have not been able to either discern the fragility of the church's positions, and to amend the church's teachings, or to reject them out of hand, as any God worthy of both worship and love would do, is more than tragic. It is a blind hubris disease that could indeed prove fatal to the institution.
Pope’s resignation tied to blackmailed gay-lobby within the Vatican: Italian newspaper
From Business Insider, in National Post, February 22, 2013
Following Pope Benedict’s surprise resignation earlier this month, it didn’t take long for conspiracy theories to come out of the woodwork.
To a certain extent, this is expected — a Pope hasn’t resigned in centuries, and certain aspects of Benedict’s time at the top of the Vatican have been controversial — not least the damaging “VatiLeaks” scandal.
Today, Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper added fuel to the fire, alleging that Benedict’s resignation was prompted by a report prepared by three Cardinals on conflict and corruption in the Vatican — including what it says is the “inappropriate influence” of a gay lobby within the Holy See.
The newspaper — which has the largest circulation within Italy — says that Benedict asked three Cardinals, Julian Herranz, Josef Tomko and Salvatore De Giorgi, to conduct an internal report after the VatiLeaks scandal. When the 300 page report was delivered to Benedict in December, it reportedly cemented a decision that he had already been considering — it was time to resign.
What was so damning in the report? While La Repubblica doesn’t quote directly from the report, it contains details reportedly passed on by a senior Vatican source, which points to financial and sexual lobbies that have split the church.
The report allegedly stated that various lobbies in the Vatican were exerting influence on day-to-day-life in the Vatican, and routinely breaking two of the ten commandments — “thou shalt not steal” and “thou shalt not commit adultery.” The former refers to the controversies about the Vatican Bank, one of the key aspects of the VatiLeaks Scandal.
The latter commandment is apparently a reference to a “gay lobby” that reportedly exerts influence within the Vatican, La Repubblica alleges. The report infers that this group was the subject of blackmail attempts, detailing an “external influence” from those with a “worldly nature.”
Reports of financial corruption and homosexuality in the Holy See are far from uncommon, of course — the Vatican became embroiled in a gay prostitution scandal in 2010, for example, which La Repubblica highlights. However, this report is the first sign that these controversies could have played a role in Benedict’s resignation.