Friday, February 22, 2013

In other words, "Yes"

Note: an update has been added
Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said: "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."

He added that interpretations of the report were creating "a tension that is the opposite of what the pope and the church want" in the approach to the conclave of cardinals that will elect Benedict's successor.
What report you ask? It's a rumoured report that there is group of sexually active gay Cardinals in Rome who meet in various secret places and who may be being blackmailed by outside figures. The report is also rumoured to suggest that this group of gay Cardinals have also been involved in various intrigues to undermine the Pope. Finally, the news story suggests that Benedict's resignation was spurred by this. That last is the only part of the story I have doubts about.

If it's not true that there is a clique of gay Cardinals running around Vatican City having sex in various locations, then you simply deny it. In fact, you might deny it if it were true but you thought you could keep it under wraps. Anything else is an admission that it's true and Father Federico Lombardi pointedly did not do deny it. We don't have all the details but there is unquestionably something true about this report.

That said, I also doubt there is anything very unusual about it. If I told you about something like this only I set it in the Renaissance, you'd have no trouble believing it. Stuff like this happens all the time; we just don't like to think it happens in our time. Otherwise, we'd have to do like the prophet and repent for being no better than our ancestors.

In the early days of the twentieth century, Ronald Firbank wrote dark comedies about gay Cardinals. Lots of people were shocked that he'd write about such a thing but no one wasted their breath claiming such a thing was impossible.



  1. blah. I am actually being received into the Catholic church this spring and it seems to have coincided perfectly with all sorts of scandals.

    1. But this is wonderful news; far more important than any scandal. In good times and in bad, the church has so much to offer. First there is Jesus who makes himself present at every mass. And there is the the sacrament of reconciliation, very hard (for me anyway) to do but such a great way to remain oriented. I'm thrilled to learn this.

      As to the scandal above, this smacks more like a deliberate leak than a really big scandal to me. I suspect it is intended primarily for the cardinals who will make up the conclave and is meant to focus their minds. It is absolutely essential they choose someone with a solid track record of dealing with sex scandals and this may help them stay focused.