Pope Benedict XV1 may have resigned because of a report on the discovery of a network of gay officials within the Vatican, according to Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
The pope’s spokesman has declined to deny or confirm the report, which said that day the pope decided to resign he received a dossier from three cardinals which pointed to various factions within the Vatican, including one whose members were allegedly “united by sexual orientation”.
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.”
La Repubblica also quoted a source close to those who wrote the report as saying: “Everything revolves around the non-observance of the sixth and seventh commandments.”
The seventh commandment warns against stealing while the sixth forbids adultery which is also, in the Catholic faith, taken to include homosexual acts.
Pope Benedict will stand down at the end of February making him the first pope to resign voluntary in more than seven centuries.