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Vatican Calls On Former Swiss Guard To Expose ‘Gay Lobby’

Swiss

Earlier this month we reported on an allegation made by a former member of the Swiss Guard, the military unit charged with protecting the Pope with their lives, that he had been solicited for sex at least 20 times by members of the clergy during his tenure with the guard. The AP now reports that a top official at the Vatican has called on the former guard to name names:

Elmar Maeder, who headed the Swiss Guards from 2002-2008, told the Swiss newspaper Schweiz am Sonntag that he didn't doubt that predatory gays worked at the Vatican. He was quoted as saying that in his experience, "many homosexuals tend to be more loyal toward each other than toward other people or institutions." He said he wouldn't promote gay guards out of fear they might be disloyal.

In an interview with La Repubblica, Archbishop Angelo Becciu, No. 2 in the Vatican's secretariat of state, urged Maeder to provide names to back his accusations. His office confirmed his quotes Friday.

(Photo via Instagram)


Vatican Denies Pope is Open to Recognition of Same-Sex Unions

Pope Francis has been lauded recently as both Time Magazine and The Advocate's "Person of the Year," with many citing his more socially conscious piety as a revolutionary stance within the Catholic Church. The Advocate in particular recounted the Pope's now famous quote as evidence of his, and the Church's, evolving stance on issues surrounding the LGBT community: "If a person is gay and seeks God and has goodwill, who am I to judge?"

Popefrancis1More recently, however, the Pope said he was concerned and "shocked" about news of possible gay adoptions in Malta.

Over the weekend, the Vatican denied that new remarks from Pope Francis are an indication he is open to the idea of same-sex unions.

Reuters reports:

Francis, in a conversation with leaders of religious orders published by a Jesuit journal on Friday, said the Catholic Church had to try not to scare away children who live in complex family situations, such as those whose parents were separated and those living with gay couples.

Francis gave the example of a little girl in Buenos Aires, his former diocese, who confided to her teacher the reason she was always sad was that "my mother's girlfriend doesn't like me".

The pope told the leaders of religious orders that a great challenge for the Church would be to reach out to children living in difficult or unorthodox domestic situations.

"The situation in which we live now provides us with new challenges which sometimes are difficult for us to understand," the pope said, according to the transcript of the conversation.

"How can we proclaim Christ to these boys and girls? How can we proclaim Christ to a generation that is changing? We must be careful not to administer a vaccine against faith to them," he said.

Italian media sources claimed on Sunday that the Pope's words indicated an openness to legal recognition of civil unions for gay couples, with some even stating that the Pope explicitly spoke about such unions. He did not, and now Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi has said that the media's reports were a "manipulation" and "paradoxical" to Pope Francis's worldview. 

Lombardi said the pope was merely "alluding to the suffering of children" and not taking a stand on the political debate in Italy.


Former Vatican Guard Says He Received More Than 20 Offers for Sex from 'Gay Lobby'

Swissguard

A former member of the Swiss Guard, which provides the Pope's security, says he was solicited for sex more than 20 times during his service at the Vatican by cardinals, bishops, priests and other members of the so-called 'gay lobby', The Local reports:

The former guard told weekly newspaper Schweiz am Sonntag that he received up to 20 “unambiguous requests” from members of the clergy, including a dignitary close to Pope John Paul II.

His experience in the 110-man security force, he said, gave credence to reports that a “gay lobby” is active in the Vatican.

The former guard recalled being called in the middle of the night by a senior official who invited him into his room. In another case, he found a bottle of whisky in his room with a visiting card left by a bishop. A priest, he said, invited him to dinner, saying that the guard would serve afterwards as dessert. He also claimed that a high official fondled him.

The ex-guard said that he reported the cases to his superiors, complaining of harassment, but received no support for his allegations.

The Vatican has dismissed the claims, calling them "not credible".


Vatican Shuts Down Photo Exhibit Featuring Gay Couples Kissing In Churches

Kissing

The Vatican this week blocked an exhibition of photos by artist Gonzalo Orquin that featured gay couples kissing in Churches in Rome. The exhibition entitled, "Trialogo" was scheduled to open at the Galleria L'Opera. However, once the Vatican sent a letter threatening legal action, declaring, "the church is against the exhibition," and invoking the Italian constitution to make its case, Orquin consulted with his lawyers and decided to pull the exhibit for "security reasons." The Huffington Post reports:

BlackVicariate spokesman Claudio Tanturri told The Local that the photos violate the Italian constitution. “Italian constitutional law safeguards an individual’s religious feeling and the function of places of worship," he said. “Therefore photos that are not suitable and do not conform to the spirituality of the place offend and infringe upon the advancement of man in the particular place for the expression of faith" [...]

Orquin posted a Facebook photo with the covered up images and a caption protesting the censorship.

Orquin, who is Spanish and Catholic, said that he found Italy to be "a very homophobic country" in the eight years that he has lived in Rome. "There aren't other countries in Europe or West that are backward like this," he said.

Flavio Romani, the president of gay rights group Arcigay had stronger words, calling the Vatican's reaction "grotesque."

“In the images in which the church have seen provocation, I see an exchange of love, a type of public worship that creates harmony not contrast," he said. "The indignation of the Catholic Church, therefore, is extremely grotesque."

The Vatican's decision to publicly lambaste the exhibit comes on the heels of Pope Francis's most extensive remarks to date on homosexuality, in which he proclaimed that the Church needed to get away from focusing solely on issues like abortion, contraception and gay marriage. Specifically referring to gay people, the Pope commented that "it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person." 

You can see the rest of the photos that would have been part of Orquin's exhibit HERE.

(Photos via Facebook)


Vatican Defrocks and Excommunicates Australian Priest Over Support for Gays and Women

An Australian priest who founded Inclusive Catholics has been given his marching orders by the Vatican, under Pope Francis, The Age reports:

ReynoldsDissident priest Greg Reynolds has been both defrocked and excommunicated over his support for women priests and gays - the first person ever excommunicated in Melbourne, he believes.

The order comes direct from the Vatican, not at the request of Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart, and apparently follows a secret denunciation in the best traditions of the inquisition, according to Father Reynolds.

The excommunication document - written in Latin and giving no reason - was dated May 31, meaning it comes under the authority of Pope Francis who made headlines on Thursday calling for a less rule-obsessed church.

Said Reynolds:

''I've come to this position because I've followed my conscience on women's ordination and gay marriage.''

Late last week, Pope Francis gave an interview in which he said the Catholic Church should end its obsession with gay marriage and women's rights.


Pope Francis on Gays: The Church Cannot 'Interfere Spiritually in the Life of a Person'

Pope Francis has given a wide-ranging interview to America magazine in which he gives his most extensive remarks to date on the role of the church with regard to homosexuality, as well as abortion and contraception.

FrancisSays Francis:

“We need to proclaim the Gospel on every street corner,” the pope says, “preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing, even with our preaching, every kind of disease and wound. In Buenos Aires I used to receive letters from homosexual persons who are ‘socially wounded’ because they tell me that they feel like the church has always condemned them. But the church does not want to do this. During the return flight from Rio de Janeiro I said that if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge. By saying this, I said what the catechism says. Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.

“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being. In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation. It is necessary to accompany them with mercy. When that happens, the Holy Spirit inspires the priest to say the right thing.

He later adds that the Catholic Church needs to end its obsession with abortion and gay marriage:

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.


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