Regarding the alleged network in and around the Vatican involving financially corrupt individuals and active gay clerics:
At one level, we’re skeptical because Catholic officials have often tried to scapegoat gays. That's wrong and hurtful. At another level, we suspect there’s some truth to these accusations. Studies have shown that many priests, bishops and seminarians – gay and straight - are not celibate.
In a rigid, secretive hierarchy where no one is permitted to have sex of any type, many will have sexual secrets, so they are loathe to report sexual misdeeds by their peers. It's likely, then, that there's some truth to these new accounts.
Vatican staffers criticize these so-called "rumors." But the Catholic hierarchy has only itself to blame for "rumors." In this digital age, centuries of secrecy and deception are slowly catching up to Catholic officials who are accustomed to special treatment and excessive deference by many.
Catholic officials continue to make vague attacks against journalists. They serve only one purpose: to distract attention away from wrongdoing by the church hierarchy. They're designed to deter others from exposing the truth. We hope all citizens and Catholics will be highly skeptical when Catholic officials try to 'shoot the messenger' and criticize reporters.
It’s especially offensive to see a Vatican spokesman claiming that some journalists are allegedly trying to influence the outcome of the conclave. He offers no proof whatsoever of this insulting charge.
There will be pressures on Vatican officials to oust these allegedly financially corrupt individuals and active gay clerics. But even more obvious and egregious wrongdoers should be ousted first: every church employee – from custodian to Cardinal – who is enabling or has enabled heinous child sex crimes by ignoring or protecting child molesting clerics.