Pope Francis — in what he thought were private remarks made to a Latin American church group — expressed concern about the "gay rights" lobby that seemed to be targeting the Vatican.
Murmurings of such a group have tainted the Vatican for years. In the weeks leading up to Pope Benedict's resignation, media groups in Italy spoke frequently of a "gay lobby" that was swaying Catholic Church policy and even resorting to blackmail to push its agenda.
The New York Daily News said the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious confirmed the pope's statements, which were jotted down in summary form during the pope's June 6 appearance, but apologized for their public release. The document quotes the pope as saying that at the same time the Vatican was home to the holy, it also saw its fair share of corruption.
"The 'gay lobby' is mentioned, and it is true, it is there. ... We need to see what we can do," the synthesis of the pope's comments states, the Daily News reported.
The Vatican's spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, refused to comment, saying the pope's remarks were supposed to stay behind closed doors.
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