Over and over we are seeing with Pope Francis that some of the more interesting things he says are the things we don’t have transcripts for. What he has to say in public shows his frank style and this is even more so in more relaxed settings.
The latest dust-up is over reports that he said:
"In the Curia there are holy people, truly, there are holy people. But there’s also a current of corruption – there’s that, too, it’s true…. The ‘gay lobby’ is spoken of, and it’s true, that’s there… we need to see what we can do.”
I would highly suggest reading Jimmy Akin’s analysis on this. Jimmy Akin’s guess is that the Pope did indeed say this based on the supposed quotation not being out of character with the way he speaks. Although there is a statement from the group he spoke to that these comments “cannot be attributed with certainty to the Holy Father.” Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, had previously declined to affirm the accuracy of the quote “(t)he meeting between the Holy Father and the presidency of CLAR was a meeting of a private nature.
There has long been some reportage of a so-called “gay lobby” within the Vatican. It is easy to go all Dan Brown about what this “gay lobby” is doing. If seen as a coordinated group of people within the Vatican pushing for a change in the Church’s teaching they have to be the most ineffective lobby ever. As Jimmy Akin points out:
An obvious long-term goal might be trying to influence Church teaching on homosexual behavior.
If that’s their goal, they haven’t met with a lot of success. The Church has been quite firm on this subject.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has issued multiple documents dealing with this subject and maintaining the Church’s traditional teaching in spite of mounting cultural opposition.
They might also try to influence policies such as, for example, the admission of people with a homosexual orientation to the priesthood.
If that’s what they’re tying to do, they also haven’t met with a lot of success.
Just after Pope Benedict became pope, the Holy See issued a policy that people with stable, fixed homosexual orientations should not be admitted to the priesthood.
A plausible avenue where they might have had some success is influencing the outcome of individual cases—e.g., looking out for each other, seeking to mutually advance their careers, seeking to promote their members to positions of influence, seeking to bring people they know on the outside into the Vatican, and working to promote homosexuals to influential positions outside the Vatican.
Jimmy Akin also gives some analysis on the possible size of such a group.
As we said, any sizable group of people is going to have some within it who suffer from same-sex attraction (SSA), just as any sizable group of people will have some within it who suffer from any given temptation.
If the group is sizeable enough, it will have some who give in to that temptation.
The Vatican City State employs about 2,000 people, and with a group that size, it’s bound to include some people with SSA, including some who have acted or are acting on it.
How many is an interesting question, but there isn’t much of a way to know.
I would add that it is possible for there to be larger distribution of those with SSA at the Vatican then in the the general population percentage-wise. We have seen many reports in the past regarding this in the seminaries of a “gay” subculture with a disproportional number of priests having some level of SSA.
It will be very interesting to see how Pope Francis responds to this situation and to whether it will be a more public cleanup or a diminishment due to a general restructuring of the Roman Curia.
VATICAN–Being interviewed via Skype hours ago, Spokesman for the Vatican Press Office Monsignor Bernard Hopkins clarified recent remarks made to a Latin American Church group by Pope Francis admitting the existence of a ”gay lobby” in the Vatican. ”It is true what the Holy Father said about there being a gay lobby in the Vatican, but it is not as many have speculated,” Hopkins told Eye of the Tiber from inside the site of the gay lobby in question. “The Holy Father was literally complaining about the posh, overly-decorated, overly-flamboyant lobby located at the southwest entrance of the Vatican where we meet many foreign dignitaries. As you can see there is just too much pink…too much pizazz, as they say. This has bothered the Holy Father who much prefers pastels and neutrals.” Hopkins went on to point out a couple of examples of dazzling chandeliers, glamorous floor-to-ceiling mirrors, and a painting of Liberace. “Of course he wants to destroy the gay lobby. You know how embarrassing it is for him to greet the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church while standing on a plush pink carpet?”