We certainly live in strange times. A few years ago I would never have dreamed of what is suggested in the headline above, much less of writing it. But now it seems we have to face the possibility of answering this question in the affirmative.
Two days ago, in an e-newsletter from Robert Moynihan, editor of Inside the Vatican, I received an unconfirmed news report that a ring of homosexual activists has infiltrated the highest levels of the Vatican and is manipulating the internal affairs of the Church’s government in order to advance its loathsome agenda. Apparently this homosexual lobby has been secretly bribing and even blackmailing various cardinals and other curial officials into complying with its demands.
According to an “unnamed Vatican source” who is apparently close to the Holy Father, this rumor originates from a confidential 300-page report given to Pope Benedict XVI on December 17, 2012. The report was written by a select group of three cardinals whom the Pope had commissioned to investigate the “Vatileaks” scandal that erupted last May. That scandal involved the papal butler, Paolo Gabriele, who had stolen confidential documents from the Pope’s desk and smuggled two of them to an Italian journalist who published them. Paolo and his accomplice, a computer technician named Claudio Scarpetti, were arrested and charged with aggravated theft and aiding and abetting a crime, respectively.
When asked why he did it, Gabriele claimed that he was dismayed by the corruption he witnessed everywhere within the Vatican and by how the Pope was kept in the dark about various important matters he should have known about. Paolo said that he acted for the good of the Church, which he deeply loved.
Naturally, Pope Benedict was deeply hurt by his butler’s betrayal of his trust, although he did a good job of concealing this pain from public view. Gabriele was well known within the Vatican for being very loyal to the Pope. Also, he and his family were close to the Holy Father, and Gabriele was seemingly a pious Catholic by all accounts. Psychological examination of Gabriele following his arrest revealed a sane, sincere, and strongly religious character fully aware of and responsible for his actions who at the same time harbored a deep-seated insecurity that compelled him to draw attention to himself.
In October, Gabriele was convicted of theft and sentenced to 18 months in prison by a Vatican court. Shortly before Christmas, one day after Pope Benedict received the cardinal commission’s report, he officially pardoned Gabriele, forgiving the remainder of his sentence.
The Vatileaks case included several puzzling mysteries. Foremost among these is the fact that the police who raided Gabriele’s home at the time of his arrest apparently confiscated and removed from his house a larger quantity of documents than it could physically hold. In the thirteen hours spent inside the butler’s home, they found and confiscated several computers and hard drives; stacks of books about spying and Freemasonry; and reams and reams of copies of Vatican documents from the Pope’s desk. In all, we are told that the police removed some 80 crates of documents from Gabriele’s modest home. At his trial, one of the police remarked that it was going to be fun sorting through all that material. But none of this vast amount of material was used at the trial as evidence against Gabriele—only the two documents he had actually smuggled to the press were used. Why? And how could all of that material have come from inside Gabriele’s rather small house? Furthermore, given the size of the building, why did it take thirteen hours for the police to search it?
If the alleged report about homosexual spies in the Vatican turns out to be true, it would explain a number of things. It would partly explain why Pope Benedict XVI has decided to resign the papacy at this particular moment in Church history; with his advanced age and his declining health, he is ill-equipped to deal with a corruption scandal of this magnitude. It would confirm that Paolo Gabriele was telling the truth about corruption existing everywhere within the Vatican (although even this grave matter does not justify what Paolo did to bring attention to it; it’s always wrong to do evil so that good may result), and why Gabriele was so upset when he heard of the Pope resigning (in his insecure mind, he probably felt that the Pope was “giving up” and running away from the challenge of cleaning up the corruption within the Church). It would explain why God allowed a dramatic bolt of lightning to strike Saint Peter’s Basilica on the day the Pope announced his resignation as a sign of his displeasure with the evils festering inside the Vatican. It would explain why Pope Benedict pardoned Gabriele immediately after receiving the report that revealed the corruption within the Holy See: what Gabriele did was wrong, certainly, but the corruption within the Vatican is far worse, and Gabriele hates it as much as the Pope does. And it would also begin to explain some of the mysteries surrounding the Vatileaks affair.
(To be continued)