The Roman Catholic Church seems to be coming apart at its brocade seams - thanks to the seemingly unending child sexual abuse scandal, another revelation of "inappropriate" behavior by a priest and allegations of a gay underground at the Vatican. Former Cardinal Roger M. Mahony flew to Rome to late Saturday to participant in the conclave to select the next pope on the same day he was deposed in a lawsuit alleging he had covered up for a pedophile priest. Mahony ignored a petition signed by 10,000 victims and church-lovers asking him not to go (see video below).
Meanwhile in England, Reuters reported Sunday that Cardinal Keith O'Brien, 74, had been reported to the Vatican for 30 years for "inappropriate" behavior towards others priests. This is the same cardinal who called gay marriage a "grotesque subversion." The Observer newspaper reported that three priests and a former priest had demanded that O'Brien resign and not participate in the conclave so selection of Pope Benedict's successor would be "clean."
"Clean" might be difficult, given stories swirling around the pope's resignation. Pope Benedict XVI, 85, said he was stepping down on Feb. 28 because of "advanced age." New reports suggest it might be more complicated than that. Before his election to pope, Benedict XVI was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who the late gay author Paul Monette called "diabolical" and "the Vatican's Minister of Hate" in Last Watch of the Night. In Becoming a Man, Monette wrote:
Vatican II castrated itself, and the rosy 60s are no more. A new Inquisition is in full cry, led by the rabid dog in brocade, Cardinal Ratzinger of the Curia, the malevolent divine who laid down the law that loving gay was a matter of "intrinsic evil." In the decade of the AIDS calamity I've come to see the church of the Polish pope [Pope John Paul] as a sort of Greenwich Mean of moral rot-thus in my small way returning the compliment of Sturmfuhrer Ratzinger. Hardly a week goes by that we don't hear from the pope's minions in the colonies-O'Connor in New York, Mahony in L.A.-spewing their misogyny and homophobia, delirious with triumph that sex finally equals death.
How interesting, then, that an Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica claims that Pope Benedict XVI's decision to resign was in part due to a secret "gay lobby" within the Vatican.