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Vatican denounces reports claiming Pope quit over gay sex scandal

Source : ANI
Last Updated: Sun, Feb 24, 2013 05:42 hrs

Washington: The Vatican has hit out at rumours that Pope Benedict XVI was forced to resign because of a scandal involving a 'gay network' within the Catholic Church's senior ranks.

The Vatican insisted that the reports were false, and simply an attempt to influence the next pope's election.

Italian newspapers have reported that an internal Vatican investigation produced a 300-page dossier charging that priests were being extorted by gay laymen with whom they had relationships of a 'worldy manner'.

According to the New York Daily News, that dossier was given to the Pope on December 17, the same day he decided to resign, he La Repubblica newspaper in Rome has reported.

The Vatican slammed the charge, which has become a sensation around the globe, as an attempt to influence the conclave which will select the next pope.

A statement by the Vatican secretariat of state said that it is deplorable that as the time of the beginning of the conclave drew nearer there has been a widespread distribution of often unverified, unverifiable or completely false news stories that cause serious damage to persons and institutions

He accused the unknown source of the allegations of trying to influence the papal vote with the "pressures of public opinion."

Pope Benedict announced this month that he was resigning, the first pope to do so since 1415, because he does not have the "strength of mind and body" to continue in the post.

His last day as Pope will be on February 28. His successor will be chosen by the 116-member of College of Cardinals, which includes Timothy Cardinal Dolan of New York.

Dolan agreed Saturday that the scandalous report was timed to disrupt the gathering of cardinals, which convenes next month, the report added. 



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