February 23rd, 2013
11:33 AM ET

Vatican denies rumors as pope prepares to step down

The Vatican sought Saturday to tamp down rumors involving sex, money and gay priests that have been swirling in the Italian media and have been linked by some to Pope Benedict XVI's decision to resign.

The strongly-worded denial came on the eve of the pope's last Angelus blessing, expected to draw huge crowds of the faithful, before he stands down on Thursday.

Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone said it was "deplorable" that as the time for the Roman Catholic cardinals to elect a new pope approaches, a rash of "often unverified, unverifiable or completely false news stories" has appeared.

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Filed under: The Vatican
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. banasy©

    I read about this. It doesn't appear to be "rumor".
    Priests cavorting with male prostites, among other thing. The Vatican spin doctors are having coniption fits.

    February 23, 2013 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      That should be 'prostitutes.'

      February 23, 2013 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • amaryllis

      Years ago I had a gay friend who was dating a priest, so it's obviously true. He said he went to the rectory to have Christmas dinner with him one year, and many of the other priests also have their boyfriends over.

      February 23, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Quaker59

      At least it's not protestants!

      February 23, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. saywhat

    The Church itself troubling Benedict.

    February 23, 2013 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Rascal Rabble

      the gays are troubling pope benedict, church, the priests, the boy scouts, the military, they are trouble where ever they go...

      February 23, 2013 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Um, no, the pedophiles are troubling the Pope; his duplicity in the role he had in helping cover it up must weigh heavily on his conscience, if he's any type of human at all.
      It isn't gay priests raping boys and girls, it's pedophile priests.

      February 23, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. saywhat

    What Christianity forbids explicitly rampant. Those who preach sinning themselves. Its understandable.

    February 23, 2013 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Rascal Rabble

      you bigot...why don't you applaud the innocence of your fellow atheist, the godless...like stalin, hitler, etc...why cause the bones and skeleton pile is too high!

      February 23, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Hitler was Catholic, RR.

      February 23, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Saywhat merely pointed out that those who preach against sinning are doing the things they are preaching against.
      Does not fit the definition of bigot. Oops.

      February 23, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rascal Rabble

      he abandon his faith hitler...and to point out that the greatest atrocities have been always been instigated by atheists and godless not christian...

      February 23, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  4. iamhe

    Ratzinger disobeyed John Paul's directive, to destroy everything in his desk right after he passed.

    Ratzinger decided to save it all for historians..

    John Paul, trusted him. and look what he did!

    I have not liked Ratzinger since.

    February 23, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • @@@

      Rascal Rabbit you better fear God because you are going straight to hell.

      February 23, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Monty Python

    Vatican Priesthood in Italy, seems like quite the party. I'd sign up, but I'm not g@y, and that appears to be a perquisite. Oh well.

    February 23, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. bobcat (in a hat)©

    There were two beggers sitting next to each other on the street in Vatican city, one had a large cross around his neck, the other had the star of David.It was a loverly day, the sun was shinning, there were thousands of people walking past the two beggers, but everyone was giving the man with the cross around his neck money, while the man with the star of david got nothing.

    One morning a high priest walked by the beggers and said the the begger with the star of david " my friend, you are in Vatican city, all these people that pass you by will give to the man with the cross, they will never give money to a man with a star of david, infact they will give to the man with the cross just to spite you...

    The begger with the star of david, turned the the begger with the cross and said " hey, moshe, this shmuck is trying to teach the cohen brothers about marketing"

    February 23, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. yarrov

    God must be blind if He didn't see anything bad.

    February 23, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jerry Sims

    This is the problem with casts in which one group is elevated above another. Inevitably, the fundamental imperfections of humans will become obvious within the top cast, leading the bottom cast to wonder why the top cast is considered "superior". Over time, most cultures will notice these issues and a particualr cast of "special people" will no longer be recognized (the reason there are fewer monarchies nowadays). However, we still create new casts, like athletes, military heros, etc. that become a disappointment when we find out that heros are humans too. Given the value of heros and other leaders in motivating us to strive for something better, it is unlikely this problem will ever go away completely. The Pope is a person, and he makes mistakes. He has been in a position of authority and power (even prior to becoming Pope) for a very long time, so the number of mistakes he has made that have affected others is probably pretty large. There is no escaping that fact.

    February 23, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bobcat (in a hat)©

    The seven dwarfs are in Rome and they go on a tour of the city. After a while they go to the Vatican and Grumpy gets to meet the Pope privately. Grumpy, for once, seems to have a lot to say. He keeps asking the pontiff questions about the church, and in particular, nuns.

    "Your Holiness, do you have any really short nuns?"

    "No, my son, all our sons are at least 5 feet tall."

    "Are you sure? I mean, you wouldn't have any nuns that are, say, about my height? Maybe a little shorter?"

    "I'm afraid not. Why do you ask?"

    "No reason." Pause.

    "Positive? Nobody in a habit that's about 3 feet tall, 2 feet tall?"

    "I'm sure."


    Grumpy looks dejected at this news, and the Pope wonders why. So he listened to the dwarfs as they leave the building. "What'd he say? What'd he say?" chant the other six.

    Grumpy says: "He said they don't have any."

    And the other six start chanting: "Grumpy screwed a penguin! Grumpy screwed a penguin! Grumpy screwed a penguin!"…

    February 23, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ¬©‚ĄĘ

    I'm amazed that the presence of many gay men in the RC priesthood is a surprise to anyone.
    The structure of a priest's life, in which marriage is forbidden, provides shelter from speculation concerning a priest's preference.
    I do not hear much speculation about male Episcopal priests, who usually have wives and children.
    Also, I see nothing wrong in a Roman male priest's being gay: the Roman Church could, to its benefit, begin its progress into the present century.

    February 23, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      There are many gay men present in all occupations. This shouldn't surprise anyone, and yet, it still does.

      February 23, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rascal Rabble

      predators where ever they go...

      February 23, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cherries

      Another misguided person who doesn't know the difference between a pedophile and gay. Or know, and is just too bigoted to care.

      February 23, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sokman

    Nice of those catholic priests to offer so many young men free prostate exams. We athiests have to go pay doctors

    February 23, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. USA Bob

    Q: how are we sure Jesus was an Italian?

    A: he lived at home until he was 30, he associated with the same 12 guys his entire life, and his mother worshipped him as if he were God.

    February 23, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. saywhat


    February 23, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. saywhat

    @USA Bob
    Jesus's message has nothing to do with the farce that the Roman catholic church turned out to be. The rituals, the pomp and show befitting a monarchy, intrigues and scandals, blood shed in the name of Christ and such.

    February 23, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. saywhat

    Italian, blue eyed and blond or how he is depicted on the Cross in posters and paintings across the globe is not based on any historical proof. A matter of faith and just that.

    February 23, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
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