The enforcer of Church hostility to the queer community since early in the reign of John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI leaves the papacy on February 28.
Pope Benedict XVI, who will become Cardinal Josef Ratzinger again on March 1, is widely reported to have resigned the papacy not just due to failing health at 85 but also because of a Vatican bureaucracy run amok, including an underground gay network that held sex parties within the Vatican and at other locations in Rome.
La Repubblica, the Italian daily, broke the story, saying that the Pope was made aware of the situation in meetings from April to December and that it was summarized in a report given to him on December 17, 2012 –– prompting his decision to resign. The secret report will be given to Benedict's successor.
The pope, who has faced rumors of being homosexually orientated himself while a virulent opponent of homosexual activity and rights, is leaving the papacy but not the Vatican, where the action is alleged to have taken place.
On February 23, two days after the reports surfaced in La Repubblica, Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone charged it was “deplorable” that, with the world's cardinals set to descend on Rome to elect a new pope, “often unverified, unverifiable, or completely false news stories” had emerged.
Bertone, however, declined to respond to specific elements of the newspaper's reporting.