Gay Lobby in the Vatican

“A typical example of a soft position on homosexuality is offered by Archbishop Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee.  In an article published in his diocesan Catholic paper, topicArchbishop Weakland does not, in fact, openly dissent from the official teaching of his church.  On the other hand, he uses all the arguments offered by the homosexual apologists.” Enrique T. Rueda, The Homosexual Network, p. 317.

“The Archbishop’s position may explain his apparent decision to permit a New Ways Ministry pro-homosexual workshop schedule at the Divine Savior Community House—a religious community-in Milwaukee.” Ibid.

“Bishop Raymond G. Hunthausen of Seattle also wrote a letter of support for the movement’s efforts to pass legislation in the State of Washington granting special privileges to homosexuals.” Ibid., p. 319.

“According to the National Catholic Reporter, Archbishop Hunthausen has become something of a cause célèbre for the New Left.” Ibid.

“Father John McNeill, S.J., is allowed to preach homosexual-oriented retreats at the Manhattan House of Prayer, while Fathers Robert Carter, S.J., and Bernard Lynch, SMA, function as clergy consultants to the Board of Dignity…lt has been reported that Father Lynch celebrates mass for vacationing homosexuals on Fire Island, a notorious homosexual hangout in the south shore of Long Island.” Ibid., p. 321.

“As a matter of fact, Roman Catholic facilities are regularly used for holding homosexual events—fundraisers, conference, organizational meetings, workshops, and others.  The number of instances is so large that it is impossible to cite them all.” Ibid., p. 329.

Pope Says ‘Gay Lobby’ Is at Work in Vatican

Stacy Meichtry, The Wall Street Journal, June 13, 20-13, p. A 13

A scandal that dogged the Vatican in the weeks leading up to Pope Francis‘s election reemerged this week after the pontiff was quoted in a memo from a church group discussing the existence of a “gay lobby” within Vatican ranks.

Since his election, Pope Francis has been under pressure to move forward with an overhaul of the Roman Curia, the Vatican administrative body. A year before resigning in February, Pope Benedict XVI ordered three cardinals to conduct an extensive internal investigation into published leaks that raised questions about the Curia’s conduct, including alleged financial impropriety.

Benedict locked the investigation’s findings in a safe so that only his successor could read them. Days before he stepped down, however, Italian media reported that the inquiry had revealed the existence of a “gay lobby” of sexually active Vatican clerics. The Vatican swiftly denied that the inquiry mentioned such a group, and the issue faded from public view with the election of a new pope.

On June 6, Pope Francis met inside the Vatican with members of the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious Men and Women, known as CLAR by its Spanish acronym, and discussed the report commissioned by his predecessor, according to a CLAR memo on the meeting.

“The ‘gay lobby’ is mentioned, and it is true, it is there.…We need to see what we can do,” Pope Francis is quoted as saying in the memo, which was leaked to Chilean website, Reflection and Liberation. CLAR issued a statement late Tuesday confirming the authenticity of the memo while emphasizing that it had been written from memory by the meetings’ attendees.

“The Presidency of CLAR deeply regrets the publication of a text referring to the conversation held with the Holy Father Francis in the course of a meeting on this past June 6,” CLAR’s leadership said in the statement.

A Vatican spokesman didn’t deny the reports of Pope Francis’s remarks to CLAR, but declined to confirm them.

Since his election, Pope Francis has made Curia reform a priority, appointing a special advisory group of cardinals from around the world to help him draw up a plan to modernize one of the world’s oldest bureaucracies.

Pope Benedict’s papacy was overshadowed at times by infighting and dysfunction within Vatican ranks—tensions that exploded into public view when the pontiff’s former butler leaked sensitive documents to an Italian journalist documenting power struggles among top Holy See officials and internal complaints that the Vatican was mismanaging its finances. The Vatican confirmed the authenticity of the documents.

“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,” Pope Francis is quoted as saying in the CLAR memo.

The pope told the group that concern about the Curia had been one of the leading concerns among cardinals meeting secretly in the run up to the conclave that elected him, according to the memo.

“The reform of the Roman Curia is something that almost all Cardinals asked for in the Congregations preceding the Conclave. I also asked for it,” the memo quotes the pope as saying.

The pope, who has a plain-spoken and humble leadership style that has won him praise around the Vatican and beyond, then acknowledges that he cannot overhaul the Curia on his own, the memo quoted him as saying.

“I cannot promote the reform myself, these matters of administration… I am very disorganized, I have never been good at this. But the cardinals of the Commission will move it forward,” he is quoted as saying.

Write to Stacy Meichtry at stacy.meichtry@wsj.com

A version of this article appeared June 13, 2013, on page A13 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Pope Says ‘Gay Lobby’ Is at Work In Vatican.

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