The Italian newspaper ‘La Repubblica’ said that the Pontiff decided to resign the day he received a dossier compiled by three cardinals delegated to look into the ‘Vatileaks’ affair.
This was the scandal whereby the Pope’s personal butler stole sensitive internal letters to the Pontiff and passed them off to a journalist, who then published them in a blockbuster book.
The newspaper said the cardinals’ report described a number of factions, including one whose members were “united by sexual orientation”.
‘La Repubblica’ said the dossier identified a series of meeting places for the faction including a villa, sauna, and a beauty parlour – and also alleged blackmail.
It reported that factions in the Vatican were breaking the sixth and seventh commandments – which forbid theft and adultery. The seventh commandment is also linked to forbidding homosexual acts.
Some analysts speculate that the revelations at the very least accelerated Benedict’s decision to resign.
The newspaper said the Pope had taken the decision on December 17 that he was going to resign – shortly after receiving the dossier. It said the “two volumes of almost 300 pages – bound in red” have now been locked in a safe – to be delivered to the Pope’s successor.
This is the latest twist in a series of theories and conspiracy claims which have taken root after the Pontiff’s shock decision to resign earlier this month.
The Pope is due to step down at the end of February with the college of Cardinals due to vote in his successor before Easter.