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Published On: Sat, Feb 23rd, 2013

Vatican denies scandal reports linked to Pope Benedict XVI resigning or cardinal report

Spokesman condemns allegations in Italian media that Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation linked to secret cardinals’ report.

The Vatican has condemned Italian media reports of intrigue, corruption and blackmail among senior prelates, saying these could be a form of pressure to sway voting in next month’s conclave to elect Pope Benedict XVI’s successor.

photo Andreas Püttmann aka SCHREIBMAYR via wikimedia commons

photo Andreas Püttmann aka SCHREIBMAYR via wikimedia commons

Allegations of the Pope’s mishandling of sex abuse charges to clergy, seeking immunity or numberous lawsuits against the church has also been mentioned, read more here.

Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, on Saturday dismissed as “gossip, disinformation and sometimes calumny” the reports, which are linked to an investigation by a committee of cardinals last year over a series of damaging leaks of confidential papal documents.

“There are people who are trying to take advantage of this moment of surprise and disorientation of weak spirits to sow confusion and discredit the Church and its government,” Lombardi said in a statement on Vatican radio’s website.

Earlier, The Panorama weekly and The Repubblica daily newspapers reported that Benedict’s decision to resign was triggered by the secret report compiled by three retired cardinals.

The report allegedly contained details of corruption and of blackmail attempts against gay Vatican clergymen, as well as favoritism based on gay relationships.

Both publications quoted a source with knowledge of the investigation as saying that the cardinals’ conclusions “revolve around the sixth and seventh commandments,” namely “Thou shall not commit adultery” and “Thou shall not steal.”

Referring to the upcoming papal election, Lombardi said there was “unacceptable pressure to condition the vote of one or other member of the college of cardinals, who might be disliked for one reason or another”.

“People who think in terms of money, sex and power and see different realities through this prism cannot see the Church any differently,” he said.

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