Pope appoints anti-gay temporary successor to Cardinal Keith O’Brien

Benedict XVI appoints Archbishop of Glasgow Philip Tartaglia to the position, who has previously connected premature deaths to homosexuality

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia


Pope Benedict XVI has appointed a temporary successor to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh.

Archbishop of Glasgow Reverend Philip Tartaglia will govern the vacant diocese until a permanent appointment is made.

It follows Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who has previously compared gay marriage to slavery, resigned after allegations he initiated inappropriate acts with his male priests.

Archbishop Tartaglia said: ‘These are painful and distressing times for the archdiocese, I also feel pained and distressed.

‘With the grace of God, I will do my very best to oversee and govern the archdiocese until the appointment of a new archbishop. I ask for your prayers.’

But with Tartaglia’s appointment, it shows the pope is not planning on putting a pro-gay Catholic in charge as Scotland works towards marriage equality.

When he was made an archbishop last year, Tartaglia was criticized for connecting former minister David Cairns’ death, who passed away from pancreatic cancer, to his sexuality.

He said: ‘Recently in Scotland there was a gay Catholic MP who died at the age of 44 or so, and nobody said anything, and why his body should just shut down at that age?

‘Obviously he could have had a disease that would have killed anybody. But you seem to hear so many stories about this kind of thing, but society won’t address it.’

On 25 February, Benedict XVI agreed to O’Brien’s resignation and accepted it should take effect immediately.

The four priests who have made the claims against the cardinal filed them with the Pope’s ambassador in the week before Benedict’s own resignation on 11 February.

Speaking to Gay Star News, Tim Hopkins from the Scottish LGBT rights charity Equality Network said: ‘We hope that Archbishop Tartaglia’s future contributions on equal marriage will be considerate and measured, and will contribute to a mutually respectful discussion of the proposed [marriage equality] legislation here in Scotland.’

–  Gay Star News.

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Interim ‘pope’ blamed church child sex scandal on gays

After Pope Benedict XVI officially resigns, Italy’s Tarcisio Bertone will take over until the conclave of cardinals reach a decision on a new leader

Cardinal Bertone


As Pope Benedict XVI finishes his final hours as the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, the world is looking to his temporary replacement.

Today (28 February), the Catholic Church will enter into a period known as ‘Sede Vacante’ (vacant See), during which a senior cardinal takes over interim powers until a new pope is elected.

Italy’s Tarciso Bertone, referred to as the camerlengo, in the past has blamed the church pedophilia on the ‘homosexual infiltration’ of the Catholic priesthood.

Speaking in Chile in 2010, he said: ‘Many psychologists and psychiatrists have shown that there is no link between celibacy and paedophilia but many others have shown, I have recently been told, that there is a relationship between homosexuality and paedophilia.

‘This pathology is one that touches all categories of people, and priests to a lesser degree in percentage terms.

‘The behaviour of the priests in this case, the negative behaviour, is very serious, is scandalous.’

Gay rights groups slammed his views, with Italy’s Arcigay calling the cardinal’s words ‘shocking and irresponsible.’

Rolando Jiménez, president for the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation in Chile, said: ‘Neither Bertone nor the Vatican has the moral authority to give lessons on sexuality.’

Gay Star News.

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Catholic blogger Andrew Sullivan speculates the Pope could be gay – PinkNews.co.uk

Andrew Sullivan, one of America’s highest-profile political bloggers, has claimed that the outgoing Pope Benedict XVI may be secretly gay.


Sullivan made the claims following the announcement that Benedict will not go into hidden retirement but will instead continue living in the Vatican with trusted secretary Archbishop Georg Gaenswein.

56-year-old Gaenswein, dubbed “Gorgeous Georg” by the Italian media, will live with Benedict at a monastery being converted for him inside Vatican grounds while keeping his day job as prefect of the new Pope’s household.

In an article on his site ‘The Dish’, Sullivan writes: “The damage Benedict XVI has done to the Catholic Church and the papacy may be far from over. All I can say about yesterday’s developments is that they seem potentially disastrous and also indicative to me of something truly weird going on underneath all of this.”

The gay Catholic blogger continues: “Benedict XVI has claimed that his almost unprecedented resignation came about simply because of his physical infirmity in the face of what appears to be a growing vortex of sexual and financial scandal inside the Vatican. He said he would quietly disappear to serve the church through prayer and meditation.

“But we now realise he’s going nowhere. He’s staying in the Vatican’s walls, and retaining the honorific ‘His Holiness.’ He will keep white robes. His full title will be Pope Emeritus. Far from wearing clerical black, returning to the title of Bishop of Rome, and disappearing into a monastery in Bavaria, he’s going to be a shadow Pope in the Vatican. And this, we are told, was his decision.”

“So Benedict’s handsome male companion will continue to live with him, while working for the other Pope during the day,” Sullivan writes. “Are we supposed to think that’s, well, a normal arrangement?”

continue reading at  – PinkNews.co.uk.

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Homosexuality and the Catholic Church – A “Ticking Time Bomb”

Homosexuality is “the ticking time bomb in the Catholic Church,” a former Dominican friar told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday.

Mark Dowd, who is himself openly gay, spoke to Amanpour as a blitz of new scandals hit the Catholic Church, just days before Pope Benedict XVI is set to step down from the papacy.

The Vatican announced on Monday that the archbishop of Scotland is resigning, a day after British newspapers published accusations of decades-long sexual misconduct with other priests. An American Cardinal is facing fresh allegations of covering up abuse. And Italian newspapers over the weekend published sordid accounts of homosexuality and blackmail within the Church hierarchy.

That last allegation, of a secret “cabal” of gay priests, has been dubbed the “Vati-leaks” scandal.

“When you have this culture of secrecy and guilt and repression,” Dowd said, “you have conditions which foster the potential for blackmail and for manipulation.”

Dowd, who is now a journalist, said that gay men are “massively over-represented” within the Church.

“About half,” he said, “if not more, of all the people attracted into seminaries in the priesthood are gay themselves.”

Dowd said the basis for his claim was on- and off-the-record conversations with members of the Church, as well as personal experience.

Despite stepping down, the Scottish archbishop, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, denies the charges levied against him by fellow priests.

“We don’t know all of the details; we know what’s been reported to us by the papers,” Father Tom Rosica, an assistant Vatican spokesperson, told Amanpour. “Certainly this is not a pleasant moment for the entire church. When one member suffers, all of us suffer.”

The suffering certainly does not seem to be abating. The Church’s child sex-abuse scandal has been building in recent years, but Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation seems to have invited the deepest reckoning yet.

Veteran Vatican journalist Marco Politi, speaking with Amanpour in Rome, called Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation “the last act of a series of crises.”

“He had, from the beginning, crises with Islam, crises with the Jews, crises with the world of the science because of the condom and HIV,” Politi said. “And finally, the great Vati-leaks crisis: These secret documents about corruption in the Vatican, about struggles between Cardinals, about disease and opposition against his secretary of state, and about lack of transparency of the Vatican Bank. This certainly was pushing him to accelerate his resignation.”

Nonetheless, Politi dismissed the idea of a “gay cabal,” as reported over the weekend by la Repubblica and Panorama, emphasizing that no one has actually seen the report.

“The idea of a gay cabal is rubbish,” he said. “Here in the Vatican, there are monsignors who have love affairs, with women and with men. But they hide it. They are liberals or conservatives, but certainly they don’t act like a gay lobby.”

Politi said that when Cardinal Ratzinger was elevated to the papacy, he wanted to “turn a new page” on the sex abuse scandal.

“He understood how deep this problem was,” Politi said. “But he has not had the courage to order all the bishops to open the archives to see the hidden victims, which are still thousands and thousands all over the world.”

The sex abuse scandal weighed heavily on the Pope, Dowd said. He recounted an interview he conducted several years ago with Pope Benedict XVI’s brother, Georg Ratzinger.

“He said [Pope Benedict XVI] was basically lying awake at night sweating and worrying about it,” Dowd said, “and that actually in terms of his own emotional health it taken a great toll on him.”

As to whether reformers can hope for a more liberal Pope in the future, Dowd was optimistic.

“In my experience,” he said, “the Catholic Church is always liable to surprise.”

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Sensational Headlines that Gays Pushed the Pope Out of Office Mask the Real Scandal of Vatican Affairs

A news story that sounds like the plot of a Dan Brown novel has been making headlines around the globe as it promotes the idea that Pope Benedict XVI was supposedly forced to resign by a group of gay prelates in the Vatican.

The Guardian newspaper reported:

“A potentially explosive report has linked the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI to the discovery of a network of gay prelates in the Vatican, some of whom – the report said – were being blackmailed by outsiders.

“The pope’s spokesman declined to confirm or deny the report, which was carried by the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica.

“The paper said the pope had taken the decision on 17 December that he was going to resign – the day he received a dossier compiled by three cardinals delegated to look into the so-called ‘Vatileaks’ affair.

“Last May Pope Benedict’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, was arrested and charged with having stolen and leaked papal correspondence that depicted the Vatican as a seething hotbed of intrigue and infighting.

“According to La Repubblica, the dossier comprising ‘two volumes of almost 300 pages – bound in red’ had been consigned to a safe in the papal apartments and would be delivered to the pope’s successor upon his election.”

While such a story could be true, the sensationalism, coupled with the paucity of facts, and being based on a “secret” document, all inspire serious doubts about its legitimacy.

Veteran church observer David Gibson downplays the possibility of the report’s veracity on his Religion News Service blog:

“I’m one of those who would say this is pretty massively overplayed. For one thing, Benedict’s resignation was most certainly the result of numerous factors, mainly revolving around the internal problems of the Vatican, of which sexual shenanigans were likely one — but hardly the only one, or even the principal one. His advancing age was the element that pushed it all to the brink.”

Reports such as this one, based on little fact, are dangerous because they perpetuate a myth that gay people are to blame for anything wrong or unusual in the church–the way that gay priests were scapegoated for the sexual abuse crisis.  Furthermore, it paints gay people as manipulative, power-hungry, clandestine.

The tragedy is that such myths will continue as long as gay people serving in the church must do so in secrecy.  By maintaining such a repressive atmosphere around LGBT issues, the Vatican has helped to foster a climate of suspicion and fear which paves the way for such speculation.  Could a “gay lobby” exist in the Vatican?  Given the repressive atmosphere, it seems very unlikely that any gay priest or prelate would have the courage to acknowledge his sexual orientation to another priest or prelate.

The sorry scandal of this story, which could be lost in the sensationalism around gay issues, is that power-mongering does indeed exist so blatantly at the Vatican.  Whether by gay men or straight men, this power-mongering seriously harms the church’s mission and credibility in the world.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

via Bondings 2.0.

I agree absolutely that these headlines are sensationalist and should be treated with caution.  I think it’s absolutely true that there are gay bishops and cardinals at the Vatican, and that some of them are sexually active – just as many priests are gay everywhere, and many priests everywhere have sexual lives, sometimes openly, more usually hidden. But allegations that these are tied up with blackmail, or that the papal resignation was precipitated by blackmail, are no more than rumours, and could be based on no more than mudslinging in the dirty political games to win curial influence. Probably the most important lesson to be drawn from the story, is the urgency of doing away with the ridiculous rule on compulsory celibacy, and an acceptance that some people (and clerics) are gay. When openness is not scandalous, there’s no possibility of blackmail.

It’s also important to note that the La Repubblica report included a much more serious allegation, of widespread financial skulduggery, that most of the sensationalist reports of a gay cabal have totally ignored.

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Claims Pope resigned over ‘gay influence within the Vatican’

La Repubblica claim in an internal report, commissioned by Benedict XVI, the pope is leaving his post over the ‘gay lobby’



An Italian newspaper is blaming the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on the ‘gay influence’ within the Vatican.

Referring to an internal report prepared by three senior cardinals, La Repubblica claims there was an ‘inappropriate influence’ by gay priests in internal Holy See affairs.

Filed by cardinals Julian Herranz, Josef Tomko and Salvatore De Giorgi, it was commissioned by Benedict himself.

The newspaper suggests when Pope Benedict saw the report back in December, it hardened his resolve to quit as the leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

In the 300-page report, it speaks of ‘Impropriam Influentiam’ on the part of various lobbies within the Vatican, including some of a ‘worldly nature’.

The Italian newspaper specifically referred to Angelo Balducci, who was accused of being a member of a ‘gay ring’ active within the Vatican, as well as preying on choral boys three years ago.

The internal report was commissioned after the so-called ‘Vatileaks scandal’, which ended with the arrest and conviction of the Pope’s butler Paolo Gabriele last year. He was found guilty of having stolen confidential documents from the papal apartment.

La Repubblica did not name its Vatican source, and did not provide a direct quotation from any part of the report.

Speaking to Gay Star News, a Vatican spokesman said they had no comment to make on the allegations.

The report comes as there is wild speculation on whether there is a ‘real’ reason behind the resignation of the pope, the first in nearly 600 years.

While the 85-year-old has cited his age and ill health, experts say his resignation comes against a backdrop of controversy over his extremist stance on homosexuality and, separately, the pedophile priest scandals that have rocked the church.

In the past, Benedict has called gay people a ‘defection of human nature’ and a ‘threat to world peace’.

via  Gay Star News.

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