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Gay Catholic Man Says Pope Francis Called Him; Vatican Denies It

Christophe Trutino, a 25-year-old gay Catholic from Toulouse in southwest France, told a newspaper that Pope Francis called him after Trutino had written a letter to the Pontiff explaining how he was struggling with reconciling his sexuality with his faith.

FrancisThe Vatican is denying Pope Francis made the call, The Local reports:

The Vatican firmly denied reports in France on Friday that Pope Francis had telephoned a young gay French Catholic to reassure him. Christophe Trutino had claimed in a newspaper interview the Pontiff had told him “Your homosexuality. It doesn't matter" in a personal call. Father Lombardi, a spokesman for the Vatican “firmly denied” claims by the young gay Catholic that the Pope had made a private telephone call to him last week.

After previously declining to deny or confirm the call, in which Christophe Trutino claimed the Pope told him “Your homosexuality doesn’t matter” Lombardi told Le Figaro newspaper: “The Pope never called this person.”

“The only time the Pope has called France was to speak to Cardinal Barbarin. I absolutely deny this information," he said. “There is always the risk that people pretend to be the pope over the phone,” Lombardi added.

Trutino said that Pope Francis initiated the conversation:

“I received the letter that you sent me. You need to remain courageous and continue to believe and pray and stay good,” the voice at the end of the phone told him during the nine-minute conversation in Spanish.

“Your homosexuality. It doesn’t matter. One way or another , we are all children of God. This is why we must continue to be good," he continued.

Pope Francis recently made headlines when he said, while speaking to reporters: "Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord? You can't marginalize these people."


Report: Prelate Member Of Vatican 'Gay Lobby'

Vatican
Last month, Pope Francis admitted the existence of a "gay lobby" within the Vatican.

Yesterday, the Italian news magazine, L'Espresso published an article that links prelate Battista Ricca, who was recently appointed by the Pope to a vital position with the Vatican bank, to the "gay lobby" and reveals that he has been involved in numerous relationships with gay men. Apparently, the Pope had only recently become aware of these relationships.

The article alleges that Ricca was involved with include a Swiss army captain and a young man who some speculate to be a male prostitute.

AFP on other highlights from the report:

LespressoVatican expert for L'Espresso Sandro Magister said Ricca provided lodgings and a pay check for captain Patrick Haari in 1999 and was once left badly beaten after trawling notorious gay hangouts before his behaviour saw him transferred out of Montevideo in 2000.

An internal bid to protect him and cover up the scandal meant Francis apparently had no idea about Ricca's past before he appointed him as his personal representative at the scandal-hit bank this year.

Ricca went on to hold several prestigious positions in Rome, including the director of the Santa Martha residence where the pope lives.

Magister said the wiping of Ricca's records was an example of a "gay lobby" at work in the Vatican.

A Vatican spokesperson has denied Ricca is a member of the "gay lobby" and has called the L'Espresso piece "not credible."

An English version of the L'Espresso article is available on the newspaper's website.


Vatican Offers 'Time Off Purgatory' for Following Pope Francis on Twitter

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Sinful Catholics can now earn indulgences, reducing the time they'll have to spend in purgatory for their sins, by following Pope Francis on Twitter, the Guardian reports:

FrancisIndulgences these days are granted to those who carry out certain tasks – such as climbing the Sacred Steps, in Rome (reportedly brought from Pontius Pilate's house after Jesus scaled them before his crucifixion), a feat that earns believers seven years off purgatory.

But attendance at events such as the Catholic World Youth Day, in Rio de Janeiro, a week-long event starting on 22 July, can also win an indulgence.

Mindful of the faithful who cannot afford to fly to Brazil, the Vatican's sacred apostolic penitentiary, a court which handles the forgiveness of sins, has also extended the privilege to those following the "rites and pious exercises" of the event on television, radio and through social media.

"That includes following Twitter," said a source at the penitentiary, referring to Pope Francis' Twitter account, which has gathered seven million followers. "But you must be following the events live. It is not as if you can get an indulgence by chatting on the internet."

For interested sinners, the Pope's handle is @pontifex.

The Vatican also plans on opening a Pinterest account soon, according to the article, where you'll presumably also be able to buy time by pinning photos of red Prada shoes, and such. Though we doubt time on Venerabilis, the recently-reported  hook-up website for gay priests, will ever count.


Popes Collaborate on New Text That Reiterates Catholic Church's Opposition to Gay Marriage

Popes

Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have collaborated on a new Encyclical, a papal circular letters addressed to Roman Catholic clergy intended to summarise a pontiff's thoughts on a particular facet of Church life.

The piece of writing released yesterday was begun by Benedict and completed by Francis and reiterates the Catholic church's position rejecting same-sex marriage, the AAP reports:

Francis paid tribute to pope emeritus Benedict XVI in the encyclical, saying that the ex-pontiff had "almost completed" the text before stepping down in a historic resignation this year and that he himself had merely added "further contributions."

The 82-page text stresses that there is no contradiction between the Catholic faith and the modern world and calls for more dialogue with scientists, other religions and non-believers.

It also restates the Catholic Church's position on marriage saying it should be a "stable union of man and woman."
"This union is born of their love, as a sign and presence of God's own love, and of the acknowledgment and acceptance of the goodness of sexual differentiation," reads the text.

While some passages in the encyclical have a more academic and ponderous feel characteristic of Benedict XVI, others contain the simpler expressions and brighter outlook of his successor.


Italian Press Uncover Hook-Up Website For Gay Priests

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Italian news outlets have supposedly uncovered a hook-up site for gay priests in Italy. From the Catholic website Gloria:

"The homo Sensitive priestly society - Venerabilis in English - claims to be a loose association of gay and homophile Catholic priests. The website serves as a gay dating site, so that aberrosexual priests can find contact among themselves, or homosexual laity can meet like-minded priests and vice versa. This page offers chat rooms in five languages, including in German, a Twitter service to the Catholic Church and some news from a "homo sensitive" view. The ads are unique. Anyone who registers on the Venerabilis and gives a personal ad or responds to one seeks homosexual sexual contact."

The news comes on the heels of Pope Francis' statement last week admitting the existence of a "gay lobby" within the Catholic Church. 

(via joe.my.god)


Pope Francis Urges French MPs to Reject 'Fashions of the Time' (Like Gay Marriage?)

In what is being seen as a reference to the recently passed law legalizing same-sex marriage, Pope Francis told a group of French MPs to resist "fashions of the time" in legislation, AFP reports:

Francis“Your role... consists in proposing laws, amending them or even repealing  them,” the pontiff told a delegation of MPs from France, adding that it is
 
“necessary... to inject them with something more, a spirit, a soul which does not just reflect fashions and ideas of the time.”    The laws should “provide the indispensable quality which raises and  ennobles the human person,” the 76-year-old said.

The remark comes a day after he spoke with the Archbishop of Canterbury about promoting family values "based on marriage" yet neglected to include divisive language referring to marriage as between a man and a woman.


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