Showing posts with label Vatican. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vatican. Show all posts

November 12, 2015

Pope Meets with USGay Envoy from State the Vatican


The encounter took place in a non-descript room at the Vatican, and conversation stuck to regular diplomatic briefs. But for the parties involved on Tuesday morning, the meeting held historic significance: Randy Berry, the first-ever U.S. Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI persons, and Vatican officials from the Holy See’s Secretary of State office were meeting for the first time.

The moment, simple as it was, marked a new level of U.S. engagement with the Catholic Church on LGBT human rights issues. Berry told TIME he met with officials for about an hour, and he met separately with representatives from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. For both sides, the conversations were new.

President Barack Obama only created Berry’s position at the State Department in April, and until now, Berry has primarily only talked with faith leaders in the field, as he has traveled to 30 countries in the last seven months. He met with evangelical congregations in Jamaica when he visited in May, for example. Conversations about LGBT human rights have never before reached this level with the Catholic Church, which considers gay and lesbian sexual behavior a sin and restricts marriage to unions of one man and one woman. 

Berry’s focus however is not on marriage, but on the twin foreign policy issues of violence and discrimination. That strategy, Berry hopes, allows for common ground with the Vatican to stand together against extreme violence. “We were not there to talk about issues of civil unions or same sex marriage, for example, because that is not part of our policy,” Berry says. “That is not part of the conversation we were interested in engaging in, nor do I think were they.”

Berry requested the Vatican meeting as part of his three-week trip to Eastern Europe, which has included visits to five countries and a stop in Athens for the annual conference for ILGA, an international lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex rights association. Church officials accepted. “I wanted a chance to brief Vatican officials myself,” Berry says. “These issues of violence and extreme discrimination are of concern to us all.”

The meeting is particularly noteworthy ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to Uganda at the end of the month, where homosexuality is illegal. When Uganda introduced a law last year that further criminalized homosexuality with extensive prison sentences, Western powers including the U.S. pushed back, while local Catholic leaders had mixed responses. Courts eventually struck the measure down, but hundreds of gay Ugandans have since fled to Kenya, where homosexuality is also illegal and where Pope Francis also plans a visit during his trip to central Africa.

Berry says he spent time in “listening mode” to learn from officials about how Pope Francis engages on human rights issues when he travels. He remembers how a gay rights activist was included when a large group of political activists met with Pope Francis in Paraguay this summer. “That inclusive approach speaks volumes,” Berry says. “I would hope that certainly those same messages are shared, and I fully expect that they will be because I think they are completely consistent with what we’ve seen from His Holiness in the past.”

The fact that the meeting even happened is revealing. It is a sign that the Obama administration sees future opportunity to work with the Vatican after the Pope’s September visit, with the possibility to build on the partnership they have strengthened on climate change and migration. It is also a sign that Vatican diplomatic efforts are willing to take certain amount of risk by talking with the U.S. on this issue, as any LGBT issues thrusts the Church into an often conflicted spotlight. Pope Francis has continued to advocate dialogue and listening to a range of perspectives even as he has ramped up the Vatican’s diplomatic activism, and the U.S. State Department continues to take note and look for opportunities to engage.

Discussion of any concrete collaboration with the Vatican would be premature, however. For now, Berry hopes to further common ground and expand contacts for future conversations. “It was an important first dialogue and I hope that we will continue,” Berry says. “I get to do a lot of really amazing things in this job,” he continues. “It was quite a positive experience.”

October 12, 2015

France Backs Down While the Pope Shoots-down Appointment of Gay Ambassador to Vatican


Francois Hollande has reportedly abandoned his bid to appoint one of his senior officials as Vatican ambassador after opposition from the Holy See because the candidate is gay.
The claim comes a week after the Vatican fired a senior priest who came out as homosexual.
The Elysée declined to comment but Libération newspaper quoted official sources as saying the French president had finally given up after months of trying to appoint Laurent Stefanini, a senior diplomat who is currently Mr Hollande's chief of protocol.
“It’s dead,” a source close to the affair told the daily.
Mr Stefanini, who also has the backing of Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, the archbishop of Paris, was nominated as France’s envoy in January but the Vatican did not accept his credentials.
 Pres.Hollande on left and Laurent Stefanini, currently the president’s chief of protocol, was rejected by the Vatican because he is gay.

Normally a new ambassador’s credentials are accepted within a month and a half. The Vatican does not usually explicitly refuse an envoy’s credentials, but a prolonged official silence after a nomination is interpreted as a rejection.
Mr Stefanini is widely respected by many in the Catholic Church, following his previous stint as number two in the French embassy at the Vatican from 2001 to 2005.
Libération said the French government will likely not seek to put forward another candidate for the job at the Vatican before the next French presidential election in 2017.
Pope Francis has taken a far less judgmental position on homosexuality than his predecessor Benedict XVI.

Pope Francis
But that did not stop him criticising the current French socialist government passing a law in 2013 legalising gay marriage and adoption rights for gay couples, leading to mass protests from among the country's Catholics.
The Vatican was embarrassed last weekend by a senior Vatican official’s decision to come out publicly as gay, just as 270 bishops from around the world gathered in Rome to attend a synod on family issues. The priest was sacked
The row over the Vatican's attitude towards gay priests was stoked further by a claim this week that priests with “homosexual tendencies” are packed off to a religious retreat in order to be “cured”.
In its official doctrine, the Catholic Church insists that homosexuality is an  ntrinsic disorder", with conservatives continuing to maintain that it is a conscious choice, rather than something that people are born as.

Rory Mulholland, Paris

October 6, 2015

Priest ‘Comes out’ in Rome [but] Gets Canned by Vatican


On Saturday evening, as hundreds of bishops convened in Rome for a major church assembly on family issues, former Vatican priest Krzysztof Charamsa headed a mile across town to a different gathering: the founding meeting of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics, a group of 13 organizations advocating for inclusion of gays in the church.
Charamsa had lost his job just before, when he was fired from his position in the Vatican’s doctrine office after announcing that he was gay and introducing reporters to his boyfriend.

“I want the Church and my community to know who I am: a gay priest who is happy, and proud of his identity,” he told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera in an interview published Saturday. “I’m prepared to pay the consequences, but it’s time the Church opened its eyes, and realized that offering gay believers total abstinence from a life of love is inhuman.”

The priest’s announcement came just 24 hours before the start of Pope Francis’s month-long synod on the family, which will discuss marriage, divorce and same-sex relationships.

[Pope Francis is about to convene a month-long meeting on family issues that could mark his legacy]  As he opens the meeting he praises straight marriage and Criticizes those that attacks it by advancing other ideas of marriage.

Vatican officials bristled at the timing of Charamsa’s announcement, which spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi called “very serious and irresponsible, since it aims to subject the Synod assembly to undue media pressure.”

But the eyes of the media and the world likely would have been on the meeting anyway, since news emerged last week that the pope spoke with both Kentucky clerk Kim Davis (who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage license to same-sex couples) and a gay former student and his partner during his visit to the U.S. Observers within and outside the church have exhaustively dissected the details of those meetings in search of clues as to Francis’s plans for the synod. Would the man who said “who am I to judge?” when asked about gay priests two years ago reinforce current doctrine, or loosen the rules?

Pope Francis reaffirms Catholic opposition to gay marriage as he opens a three-week gathering of bishops, but says the church has to show love and understanding towards all. (Reuters)

At the opening of the synod Sunday, Francis seemed to reaffirm the church’s position on same-sex couples, speaking of the “true meaning of the couple and of human sexuality in God’s plan,” according to Reuters.
“This is God’s dream for his beloved creation: to see it fulfilled in the loving union between a man and a woman, rejoicing in their shared journey, fruitful in their mutual gift of self,” he also said. 
But he also called for the church to reach out to Catholics who struggle to adhere to doctrine: “A church with closed doors betrays herself and her mission, and, instead of being a bridge, becomes a roadblock.”

Charamsa, a monsignor from Poland who worked as a mid-level official in the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, according to the Associated Press, told reporters that the timing of his announcement wasn’t related to the synod, though he aimed to add “a Christian voice” to the discussion.

“I came out. This is a very personal, difficult and tough decision in the Catholic Church’s homophobic world,” Charamsa said at a press conference in a Roman restaurant Saturday.
Still, in his interview with Corriere della SeraCharamsa acknowledged he hopes that the church will move to become more inclusive of gay Catholics.

“I hope that my personal experience will help stir the church’s consciousness in some way,” he said. “… A lesbian or gay couple should be able to openly say to their Church: ‘we love each other according to our nature, and offer this gift of our love to others.'”
According to the statement from Lombardi, Charamsa “will certainly be unable” to continue in his positions at the Vatican’s doctrine office and a professor at two pontifical universities in Rome.

It is up to his diocesan superiors to determine whether Charamsa will be allowed to remain a priest. Catholic priests take vows of celibacy when they are ordained, regardless of sexual orientation. And in 2005, the Vatican issued new guidelines reaffirming that openly gay men cannot become priests. According to the BBC, the policy “treats homosexuality as a ‘tendency,’ not an orientation, and says those who have overcome it can begin training to take holy orders” after three years.

Charamsa, 43, has been living in Rome for the past 17 years, according to Corriere della SeraHe said that he initially refused to admit to himself that he was gay, in accordance with Catholic doctrine. By 2005, when the new guidelines on gay priests were issued, he was more accepting of his own sexuality, and the rules came as a “shock,” he said.

Charamsa didn’t say when he met the man he introduced as his boyfriend, who was identified only as Eduard, according to the AP. But hours of study, prayer and reflection, as well as his relationship with Eduard, led him to decide to come out, even though it would mean losing his position in the Vatican and possibly his position in the priesthood as well.  
“There comes a day when something inside you snaps, and you can’t go on. If I had been alone I would have lived the nightmare of a denied homosexuality, but God never leaves us alone,” he told Corriere della Sera.
But, he added later, “I’m not doing this so that I can live with my partner. The reasons are much wider-ranging and based on a reflection on church doctrine.”

October 18, 2014

Pope Sacks Outspoken anti Gay Cardinal just reported the Pope sacked an anti gay Cardinal:
Cardinal Raymond Burke leaves meeting during Extraordinary Synod on the Family in Vatican City.
 Franco Origlia / Getty Images

A top cardinal told BuzzFeed News on Friday that the worldwide meeting of church leaders coming to a close in Rome seemed to have been designed to “weaken the church’s teaching and practice” with the apparent blessing of Pope Francis. 
Cardinal Raymond Burke, an American who heads the Vatican’s highest court of canon law, made the remarks in a phone interview from the Vatican, where a two-week Extraordinary Synod on the Family will conclude this weekend. An interim report of the discussions released on Monday, called the Relatio, produced a widespread backlash among conservative bishops who said it suggested a radical change to the church’s teaching on questions like divorce and homosexuality, and Burke has been among the most publicly critical of the bishops picked by Pope Francis to lead the discussion.
If Pope Francis had selected certain cardinals to steer the meeting to advance his personal views on matters like divorce and the treatment of LGBT people, Burke said, he would not be observing his mandate as the leader of the Catholic Church.
“According to my understanding of the church’s teaching and discipline, no, it wouldn’t be correct,” Burke said, saying the pope had “done a lot of harm” by not stating “openly what his position is.” Burke said the Pope had given the impression that he endorses some of the most controversial parts of the Relatio, especially on questions of divorce, because of a German cardinal who gave an important speechsuggesting a path to allowing people who had divorced and remarried to receive communion, Cardinal Walter Kasper, to open the synod’s discussion.
“The pope, more than anyone else as the pastor of the universal church, is bound to serve the truth,” Burke said. “The pope is not free to change the church’s teachings with regard to the immorality of homosexual acts or the insolubility of marriage or any other doctrine of the faith.”
Burke has publicly clashed with the pope since Francis took office in 2013, and he has come to represent the sidelining of culture warriors elevated by Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict and as the top doctrinal official under Pope John Paul II. Burke, who caused controversy while bishop of St. Louis by saying Catholics who voted for politicians supportive of abortion rights should not receive communion, went on Catholic television in 2013 to rebut remarks Pope Francis made to an interviewer that the church had become “obsessed” with abortion and sexuality to the exclusion of other issues, saying, “We can never talk enough about that as long as in our society innocent and defenseless human life is being attacked in the most savage way,” Burke said. While Francis famously responded to a question about homosexuality in 2013 by asking, “Who am I to judge?” Burke described homosexual “acts” as “always and everywhere wrong [and] evil” during an interviewlast week. 
In the interview with BuzzFeed News, Burke confirmed publicly for the first time the rumors that he had been told Francis intended to demote him from the church’s chief guardian of canon law to a minor post as patron to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
“I very much have enjoyed and have been happy to give this service, so it is a disappointment to leave it,” Burke said, explaining that he hadn’t yet received a formal notice of transfer. “On the other hand, in the church as priests, we always have to be ready to accept whatever assignment we’re given. And so I trust, by accepting this assignment, I trust that God will bless me, and that’s what’s in the end most important.”
When the pope first took office, his pivot away from an emphasis on questions of sexuality were more a matter of personal tone rather than changes in church policy or personnel. There were rumors that he was trying to oust the man chosen by Pope Benedict to head the church’s office responsible for doctrine, Gerhard Müller, but last winter he instead elevated him from archbishop to cardinal. When word that Burke was on his way out began circulating last month, it signaled that Francis would take major steps to reshape the church. It coincided with the selection of a new archbishop of Chicago, Blase Cupich, whom Catholic progressives celebratedfor positions like breaking with the American church hierarchy when it withheld its support for President Obama’s health reform law over questions of abortion and contraception. 
Internal discontent among conservatives inside church leadership began to simmer over in the weeks leading up to the synod. Just before it began, Burke, Müller, and other senior cardinals published a book in several languages attacking the ideaslaid out by Cardinal Walter Kasper on allowing those who had divorced and remarried to receive communion in a speech heartily praised by Pope Francis. It broke into open revolt at the midpoint of the synod, following publication of a document presented as a summary of discussions but that conservatives said misrepresented the debate by including passages on “welcoming homosexual persons” and discussing some of Kasper’s proposal on divorce. The backlash appeared to have been especially strong from the English-speaking world, which includes a large number of African and American bishops; in an apparent attempt to mollify anglophone conservatives, the Vatican released a new translation of the report that changed the phrase “welcoming homosexual persons” to “providing for homosexual persons” and made other small changes, while leaving the versions in all other languages unchanged.
The report is now being revised with feedback from small-group discussions held this week, and a final version is scheduled to be voted on on Saturday. Burke said he hoped that the committee writing the new report will produce a “worthy document,” but said his “trust is a little bit shaken” by the language in the interim draft he said lacks “a good foundation either in the sacred scriptures or in the church’s perennial teachings.”
But there seems to be little middle ground between Pope Francis’ worldview and Burke’s. Francis was president of the Argentinian bishops conference when that country passed a marriage equality bill in 2010 and reportedly tried to convince his colleagues to support a civil union proposal instead. He lost the internal battle and gave voice to the hard-line consensus that the law was “sent by the devil.” The fight over the bill left the church appearing out of step with the beliefs of many in Argentina, a country where 76% identify as Catholic but only 38.2% went to church in 2005, per the most recent data available from the Association of Religious Data Archives. While Francis has shown no sign he supports overhauling the church’s teachings that homosexuality is sinful, he seems to have taken from this experience a desire to downplay conflicts over sexuality in order to broaden the church’s message.
But, Burke said, the church must always call a “person who’s involved in sinful acts … to conversion in a loving way, but obviously, like a father or mother in a family, in a firm way for the person’s own good.” There cannot be “a difference between doctrine and practice” on questions like homosexuality or anything else, Burke said. 
“The church doesn’t exclude anyone who’s of goodwill even if the person is suffering from same-sex attraction or even acting on that attraction,” said Burke. “If people don’t accept the church’s teaching on these matters then they’re not thinking with the church and they need to examine themselves on that and correct their thinking or leave the church if they absolutely can’t accept. They’re certainly not free to change the teaching of the church to suit their own ideas.”

October 15, 2014

Vatican Shifts Towards the Gay Community


I bring you verifiable publications from around the world every day, seven days a week, 365 a year. No publishing to my knowledge goes through all that amount of searching everyday to bring you some stories that at the judgment of Adam Gonzalez, Publisher of adamfoxie blog International its important, tells us a story that impact the LGBT and the world in general. I am bringing you now an article that just came out on The New York Times and it is written by two major reporters on the issue of the Vatican and the gay community. More explicitly same sex marriage. The Vatican issued a statement that many will categorize like the first time The President of the United States made a pro gay marriage statement while in office. The statement does not endorse gay marriage but it does endorse gay people as people. People looking for god and a faith and there is the Catholic church not opening the door. This posting explains what this statement means in view of of how things have advance in all fronts for the gay community.

VATICAN CITY — In a marked shift in tone likely to be discussed in parishes around the world, an assembly of Roman Catholic bishops convened by Pope Francis at the Vatican released a preliminary document on Monday calling for the church to welcome and accept gay people, unmarried couples and those who have divorced, as well as the children of these less traditional families.

The bishops’ report, issued midway through a landmark two-week meeting, does not change church doctrine or teaching, and will now be subjected to fierce debate and revision at the assembly.

But it is the first signal that the institutional church may follow the direction Francis has set in the first 18 months of his papacy, away from condemnation of unconventional family situations and toward understanding, openness and mercy. 

Pope Francis' surprising comments came in a lengthy interview in which he criticized the church for putting dogma before love, and for prioritizing moral doctrines over serving the poor and marginalized.Pope Says Church Is ‘Obsessed’ With Gays, Abortion and Birth ControlSEPT. 19, 2013
Pope Francis said that the Roman Catholic church had grown “obsessed” with preaching about abortion, gay marriage and contraception in his most extensive and revealing interview since he was elected in March.An Interview With Pope FrancisSEPT. 19, 2013
Times Topic: Pope Francis
Previous synods have produced little, but some participants in this one have likened it to the historic Second Vatican Council convened just over 50 years ago, which produced monumental changes in church liturgy, relations with other faiths and the conception of the roles of priests and laypeople.
A Vatican official said the church should “respect the dignity” of every person as a meeting of bishops considered a document that could signal an easing of rigid views on homosexuality and marriage. Publish Date October 13, 2014. Photo by Gregorio Borgia/Associated Press.

The 12-page report, written by a committee picked by Francis, says that without abandoning church teaching on the sacrament of marriage, pastors should recognize that there are “positive aspects of civil unions and cohabitation.” That is a striking departure from traditional Catholic preaching that such couples are “living in sin.”

The report also says that gay people have “gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community,” and that some gay couples provide each other “mutual aid to the point of sacrifice” and “precious support in the life of the partners.”

The document was read aloud to the nearly 200 bishops, priests and lay people gathered at the synod, as the assembly is called. The reading was followed by responses and objections from 41 bishops in the synod hall, a portent of disputes to come.

The synod has pitted those bishops who are in accord with Francis’s vision against those who insist that the church is at risk of betraying its definitive doctrines on marriage and homosexuality.

Archbishop Bruno Forte, the synod’s special secretary, said in a news conference afterward that while the church does not condone gay unions or gay marriage, it must “respect the dignity of every person.”

“The fundamental idea is the centrality of the person independently of sexual orientation,” he said.
The report will now be discussed and modified in the next week by working groups of bishops who will scrutinize each section, and then a final report will be issued after the synod to be disseminated and discussed worldwide over the next year. There will be a second synod in Rome next October, but in the end, after all the consultation and debate, it is Pope Francis who will ultimately set the course.

Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle of Manila told the news conference that some of the bishops felt the “spirit” of Vatican II in this synod. He said the report was a marker against which the bishops could “see what needs to be deepened, what needs to be clarified, and what other things should be raised, which we have not yet raised. 

One of the most contentious issues before the synod is whether to give the sacrament of communion to Catholics who divorced and remarried without having their first marriage annulled by the church, which is often a lengthy and expensive process. The church teaches that marriage is indissoluble.

The document acknowledged that the bishops were split on the question of communion, and left it open to further debate. But it called for the church to treat divorced Catholics and those who have remarried with respect, “avoiding any language or behavior that might make them feel discriminated against.”

Some conservative bishops who oppose any change have been outspoken. Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, an American now serving in the Vatican, said in an interview that will be published Tuesday in the Italian daily newspaper Il Foglio that “worrying tendencies” were emerging from the synod because they “are supporting the possibility of adopting a practice that deviates from the truth of the faith.”

Many conservatives have complained that because the media has been excluded from the synod sessions, the synod discussions are being spun by the Vatican spokesmen charged with summarizing the proceedings in daily news conferences.

“A large number of bishops do not accept the ideas of openness, but few know that,” Cardinal Burke told Il Foglio. 
The “progressives” at the synod, who want change in the church, “are in positions of strength, put there by Pope Francis,” said Sandro Magister, a Vatican expert with the Italian newsmagazine L’espresso, in an interview on Monday. “The pope is not impartial.”

News of the preliminary document was played down in the Italian news media, and some Vatican officials cautioned that it was not conclusive. The Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, said in an interview with The New York Times: “It should not be overvalued as a document of reference. It’s merely a working paper.”

Yet the document was greeted with instant enthusiasm by gay rights groups and advocates of church reform who have been hoping the synod would produce substantive change.

Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, an advocacy group for gay Catholics, said, “These recognitions are total reversals of earlier church statements which labeled such an orientation as ‘objectively disordered’ and which viewed gay and lesbian people in faith communities as problems and suspect persons.”

In the United States, many parishes quietly welcome gay couples, in the church’s own “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach. But there have been reports of gay couples denied communion; gay parishioners evicted from choirs and parish councils; gay teachers and professors dismissed from schools; and gay children refused admittance to parochial schools.

Some analysts said that the synod’s document would influence pastors, even as it was debated over the next year.

The Rev. James Martin, editor at large of America, the Jesuit magazine, said that “even though this is an interim document, it represents a revolution in the way the church speaks about our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.” 
However, the document reflects what appears to be a definite consensus among most bishops against same-sex marriage.

The document also criticizes pressure by the United Nations and some Western nations to compel countries in Africa and elsewhere to rescind laws that restrict the rights of gay people, in exchange for financial aid. It says it is unacceptable “that international bodies make financial aid dependent on the introduction of regulations inspired by gender ideology.”

But this was a rare departure into politics. Over all, the preliminary document sets a pastoral tone that echoes Francis’ words. It says the church must address “real world problems,” care for “wounded families” and understand that irregular situations like divorce are often imposed, not chosen.

Elisabetta Povoledo reported from Vatican City, and Laurie Goodstein from Northampton, Mass.

January 21, 2014

Vet +Swiss Guard+ Claims Existence of Gay Network

Claims have been made of a 'gay network' among some Vatican priests and Swiss Guards.
Claims have been made of a 'gay network' among some Vatican priests and Swiss Guards. Photograph: Filippo Monteforte/EPA
A former commander of the Swiss Guard, the small force of men whose job it is to protect the pope, has said there is "a network of homosexuals" within the Vatican, the latest in a series of claims about gay priests working at the heart of the Roman Catholic church.
Elmar Mäder, who was commandant of the Guard from 2002 until 2008, said his time at the heart of the Vatican had given him an insight into certain aspects of life there. "I cannot refute the claim that there is a network of homosexuals. My experiences would indicate the existence of such a thing," he told the Swiss newspaper Schweiz am Sonntag.
Famed for their striking uniforms of blue, red and orange, recruits to the Guard swear to protect the pope and his successors with their lives.
Mäder, 50, from the canton of St Gallen, refused to comment on speculation that he had warned guardsmen about the behaviour of certain priests.
Earlier this month, the same newspaper reported the claims of a former, unnamed member of the Guard that he had been the target of more than 20 "unambiguous sexual requests" from clergy while serving in the force.
Recounting a dinner in a Rome restaurant, the man was quoted as saying: "As the spinach and steak were served, the priest said to me: 'And you are the dessert'."
At the time, spokesman Urs Breitenmoser said the rumoured gay network did not pose a problem to the Swiss Guard, whose members he said were motivated by entirely different interests.
Asked about the claims, Mäder reportedly said stories of this kind "obviously lacking in factual basis" were sometimes told. But the facts remained clear, he added. "
A working environment in which the great majority of men are unmarried is per se a draw for homosexuals, whether they consciously seek it out or unconsciously follow an urge," he said.
"The Roman Curia [the Vatican's bureaucracy] is exactly this kind of environment."
Though it does not condemn gay people, whom it says should be "accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity," the catechism of the Catholic church teaches that homosexual acts are "objectively disordered" and calls gay people to abstinence.Mäder, while he said he did not have a problem with homosexuality, said he feared that a network or secret society of gay people within the Vatican could pose security problems. He added that he would not have promoted a gay man in the Guard – not because of his sexuality but because "the risk of disloyalty would have been too high".
Mäder said: "I also learned that many homosexuals are inclined to be more loyal to each other than to other people or institutions," he said.
"If this loyalty were to go as far as to become a network or even a kind of secret society, I would not tolerate it in my sphere of decision making. Key people in the Vatican now seem to think similarly."
The comments appeared to be referring to a remark made by Pope Francis on the flight home from Brazil last summer. "They say there are some gay people here. I think that when we encounter a gay person, we must make the distinction between the fact of a person being gay and the fact of a lobby, because lobbies are not good," the pontiff told journalists, while at the same time joking that, while there was a lot of talk about a gay lobby, he had never seen it stamped on a Vatican identity card.
While Francis signalled a clear conciliatory tone on the issue, he added: "If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them?" Mäder's comments about the supposed threat posed by gay guards and priests drew criticism among rights advocates in Italy.
"Along with all gay people in the armed forces, I would advise Mäder to become better informed," said Aurelio Mancuso, chairman of Equality.
Franco Grillini, chairman of Gaynet, added: “Statistically, gays are the least violent group in human society so if the pope were really surrounded by homosexuals, he could sleep easy.

January 7, 2014

Priests Asks for Sex Favors to +Swiss Army Guards+

A former Swiss Guard has claimed he was regularly asked for sex by a 'gay lobby' of high-ranking clergy in the Vatican.
Cardinals, bishops, priests and other officials in the Vatican had regularly attempted to engage the unnamed man, who was responsible for the Pope's security, in illicit rendezvous, according to new claims. 
The former guard said he received up to 20 'unambiguous requests' from members of the clergy and was asked for sex by a dignitary close to Pope John Paul II, a Swiss weekly newspaper Schweiz am Sonntag reported.
Scandal: The former member of the Swiss Guard, which is responsible for protecting the Pope, alleged an active 'gay lobby' at the heart of the Vatican. (File photo of Swiss Guards who are not connected to the claims)
Scandal: The former member of the Swiss Guard, which is responsible for protecting the Pope, alleged an active 'gay lobby' at the heart of the Vatican. (File photo of Swiss Guards who are not connected to the claims)
In the latest sex scandal to engulf the Catholic church, the security guard said a senior official fondled him. He also claimed a bishop left a bottle of whisky on his bed with a visiting card placed next to it. 
During another incident a priest had invited him to dinner saying that the guard would be served after for dessert.
He also claimed that he reported the harassment to officials in the Vatican who offered him no support and attacked the Church's 'hypocrisy' of opposing sex outside of marriage and supporting the excommunication of divorcees.
Allegations: The former Swiss Guard claims he was asked for gay sex by a senior dignitary close the Pope John Paul II, pictured,
The former guard said his experiences, several years ago, added weight to allegations of a ‘gay lobby' being active in the Vatican.

Urs Breitenmoser, a spokesman for the Swiss Guard, which numbers 110 men, told Schweiz am Sonntag that 'the rumour of a homosexual network in the heart of the Vatican was not a problem'.
Breitenmoser said the preoccupations of the guards were 'above all religious and military'.
Intrigue: Alois Estermann, pictured, his wife and another member of the elite corps were found shot dead
Intrigue: Alois Estermann, pictured, his wife and another member of the elite corps were found shot dead
In November, current Pope Francis said at a news conference that he wouldn’t judge priests for their sexual orientation.
'If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?' the pope said.
'We shouldn’t marginalize people for this,' he added.
'They must be integrated into society.'
Francis said that gay priests should be forgiven and their sins forgotten in a shift from his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI who ruled that gays should not be priests.
The Swiss Guard was shaken earlier by a gay controversy at the Vatican in 1998 when its commander Alois Estermann and his wife were shot dead by young guard Cédric Tornay, who later turned the gun on himself.
According to a book about the Vatican by British journalist John Follain, Tornay and Estermann had a homosexual affair.
Estermann subsequently had a relationship with another guard and refused to award a three-year service medal to Tornay, which led the guard to kill him, Follain maintains.
Last July, an Italian weekly reported that Battista Ricca, appointed by Pope Francis to a top position at the Vatican bank, had had sexual relations with a Swiss army officer, amongst others.
A Vatican spokesman dismissed the report as 'not credible'. 


The Catholic church has faced a string of lurid claims over the past decades. 
Last year, a convicted paedophile priest has claimed a rent boy ring operated at the Vatican, pictured below, with clergymen hiring teenagers for sex inside churches.
Don Patrizio Poggi, 46, who served a five-year sentence for abusing five boys aged 14 to 15, at his parish outside Rome, has given police a list of nine names.
St. Peter's Square
A senior Vatican official has dismissed the allegations, accusing Poggi of seeking revenge because the church refused to reinstate him.
Poggi, the former priest at the San Filippo Neri church in Rome, said he made the allegations to 'protect the Holy Church and the Christian community.'
The boys were chosen because they were starving and desperate, he claimed, according to Il Messaggero newspaper.
Poggi's list of names included two senior church officials and a religion lecturer.
Cardinal Agostino Vallini, head of the Catholic Vicariate of Rome, accused Poggi of making false claims out of a desire for vengeance and personal resentment.
Vallini said: 'The cardinal expresses his full confidence in the magistracy and declares himself full convinced that this slander will be demolished, demonstrating Poggi's claims to be untrue
'God will hold everyone accountable for their deeds.'
The controversy comes just weeks after Pope Francis confirmed the existence of a 'gay lobby' in the Vatican to a visiting Latin American church group.
The apparent network inside the supposedly celibate and staunchly anti-homosexual Church is one reason why Pope Francis is working on a thorough house-cleaning of the Roman curia.

September 5, 2013

Vatican Suddenly Pulls Out Dominican Envoy {Abusing Children}

In this March 15, 2013 photo, Archbishop Josef Wesolowski, papal nuncio for the Dominican Republic, greets people after a Mass in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Authorities in the Dominican Republic will look into allegations of child sex abuse against Wesolowski, following his abrupt removal from his post by the Vatican, Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito said Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, noting that his office is aware only of rumors. (AP Photo/Manuel Diaz)
In this March 15, 2013 photo, Archbishop Josef Wesolowski, papal nuncio for the Dominican Republic, greets people after a Mass in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Authorities in the Dominican Republic will look into allegations of child sex abuse against Wesolowski, following his abrupt removal from his post by the Vatican, Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito said Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, noting that his office is aware only of rumors. (AP Photo/Manuel Diaz) — AP 
This March 15, 2013 photo shows Archbishop Josef Wesolowski, papal nuncio for the Dominican Republic, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Authorities in the Dominican Republic will look into allegations of child sex abuse against Wesolowski, following his abrupt removal from his post by the Vatican, Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito said Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, noting that his office is aware only of rumors and has not received any accusations. (AP Photo/Manuel Diaz) — AP

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — Authorities in the Dominican Republic will look into allegations of child sex abuse against the papal envoy to the Caribbean country following his abrupt removal from his post by the Vatican, the attorney general said Wednesday.
Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito was careful to note that his office is aware only of rumors about the papal nuncio, Archbishop Josef Wesolowski, and has not received any accusations.
A Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, confirmed that Wesolowski had been removed from his post and that the church was conducting an investigation of him. He declined to provide any details about the accusations against the Polish-born prelate.
A nuncio is the pope's ambassador to a country and such an abrupt removal is rare.
Dominguez told reporters at a news conference that the investigation was in its initial stages and largely in response to media reports of allegations of sexual misconduct by Wesolowski as well as a friend and fellow priest. He said that he had designated a senior official to lead the investigation and coordinate with the Vatican.
"We will not allow anyone to use the Catholic Church or other religious institutions as a shield to commit illegal acts, especially against children," he said.
Wesolowski's sudden departure from the Dominican Republic in recent days has been the cause of feverish speculation in local media. Dominican television network NCDN, citing a statement from the director of a community group, reported that Wesolowski had slept in the same room as several altar boys at his beach house.
Shortly before his removal, several residents of the mountain town of Juncalito made allegations of sexual abuse against the Rev. Alberto Gil Wojciech, also a Polish priest and a friend of Wesolowski. The community leader, Pedro Espinal, told reporters that Wojciech took altar boys to the home of Wesolowski.
Wojciech was in Poland on vacation when the allegations surfaced and has not returned to the Dominican Republic.
The fact that the Vatican took such a significant move as to recall him and relieve Wesolowski of his duties indicated that the Vatican, at least, found there was enough to the rumors to warrant further investigation.
Pope Francis has instructed the Vatican to continue its tough line against sexually abusive priests, instructing the head of the Vatican office that handles abuse cases to act "decisively" to protect children, help victims and take the necessary measures to punish the guilty.
Francis in July also signed off on legislation criminalizing child sex abuse and other sexual crimes - laws that apply to Vatican employees as well as diplomatic staff.
The whereabouts of the 65-year-old Wesolowski were unknown. He was removed a few weeks ago, Lombardi said, though there was no official announcement of it in the Vatican's daily bulletin.
A woman who answered the phone at the nuncio's office in Santo Domingo said no one was available to comment.
Pope Benedict XVI had named Wesolowski to the post in 2008. He had previously served as papal nuncio in Kazakhstan, Tadjikistan, Kyrgzstan and Uzbekistan, and before that, Bolivia.
He was ordained a priest in 1972 and entered into the Vatican's diplomatic service in 1980, serving in Vatican embassies in Africa, Costa Rica, Japan, Switzerland, India and Denmark, the Catholic news agency Zenit reported when he was named Dominican nuncio in 2008.
In addition to being the Vatican's ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Wesolowski was also apostolic delegate to Puerto Rico.
Associated Press writer Ezequiel Abiu Lopez reported this story in Santo Domingo and Nicole Winfield reported from Rome.

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