Domenica, 21 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Group sorry for pope 'gay lobby' report

English
© ANSA

(By Denis Greenan).
Rome, June 12 - A key Latin American Catholic
Church group said Wednesday it was sorry about the "confusion"
caused by the publication of members' accounts of a meeting with
Pope Francis where he is quoted as lamenting a "stream of
corruption" in the Roman Curia and a gay lobby in the Vatican.
The Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious
(CLAR) said the pope's reported comments, published in Spanish
Tuesday by progressive Chilean-based website Reflection and
Liberation, "cannot with certainty be attributed to the Holy
Father, only their general sense".
CLAR apologised to Francis, saying it was "deeply sorry",
after "the personal accounts of those present at the June 6
audience" were picked up and translated by the Rorate Caeli
blog, which is read in Vatican circles.
It stressed the pope's comments had not been recorded but
were what CLAR members remembered of his answers to their
questions.
Francis was asked about the panel of cardinals he has set up
to help him reform the Curia, the Catholic Church's central
administrative body.
He was quoted as replying: "...it is difficult. In the
Curia, there are also holy people, really, there are holy
people. But there also is a stream of corruption, there is that
as well, it is true... The 'gay lobby' is mentioned, and it is
true, it is there... We need to see what we can do..."
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi on Tuesday
declined to comment on the audience, stressing its content was
private.
But the pontiff's reported comments have been taken as
surprising confirmation of media reports about alleged
corruption and dysfunction in the Holy See.
Exactly a month after his election to succeed Benedict XVI,
on April 13, Francis name a panel of eight high-profile,
international cardinals to advise him on reforming Church
governance.
Shortly before Benedict's shock resignation on February 28
after a year of scandals including leaks of sensitive documents
by the pope's butler, Rome's left-leaning daily La Repubblica
and Silvio Berlusconi's flagship newsmagazine Panorama ran
reports on an alleged "gay lobby" with sway over Vatican policy.
The unsources reports claimed the supposed lobby may have
pursued its ends through blackmail and suggested that the
scandals had led in part to Benedict's decision to resign.
Details of the so-called Vatileaks scandal were laid out in
a dossier compiled by three trusted cardinals for Benedict, who
left it for Francis.
The Vatican denounced the reports as "unverified,
unverifiable or completely false."
In CLAR's report of the June 6 audience, Francis is also
said to have complained about various unorthodox strains of
thought in the Catholic Church, including gnostics and
pantheists.
The Holy See held its silence Wednesday as 'Vatican gay
lobby' headlines bounced around the world media.
But a leading group supporting victims of priest sex abuse
responded to the reports.
"Sexual orientation isn't the real problem. Sexually active
and thus compromised clerics are the real problem," said Barbara
Dorris, outreach director of the US-based Survivors Network of
those Abused by Priests (SNAP).
"Allegedly celibate men (gay or straight) can, and often
do, take advantage of their status and power.
"It's highly unlikely there will be a thorough 'clean
sweep' of Curia personnel. But if that were to happen, it still
won't make much of a difference.
"Structure, not sexuality, is the real issue. The church is
a monarchy. Monarchs are unaccountable. So many monarchs are
corrupt".

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