Pope Francis has not abolished sin as was published by Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said on Tuesday.
Father Federico Lombardi said the Vatican felt compelled to deny a published article titled Francis’ Revolution, has abolished sin writing by a renowned Italian intellectual, Eugenio Scalfari.
Pope Francis has not abolished sin as was published by Italian newspaper La Repubblica
He also said the affirmation that Pope Francis has abolished sin was wrong, because those who really follow the pope daily know how many times he has spoken about sin and our human condition as sinners.
According to Reuters, it was not the first brush between the Vatican and Eugenio Scalfari, who founded La Repubblica newspaper in 1976.
Last month the Vatican removed from its website the text of Eugenio Scalfari’s transcript of his conversation with the pope, saying parts of it were not reliable.
In his reaction, Eugenio Scalfari said he had not used a tape recorder or taken notes when he met the pope.
Eugenio Scalfari said he rather reconstructed the long session from memory afterwards and made additions to help the flow of the article.
The Vatican has criticized the media for reporting “misinformation” about the Catholic Church in many of Pope Benedict XVI resignation articles.
Vatican’s chief spokesperson Father Federico Lombardi said some were trying to profit from a time of disorientation in the Catholic Church to spread “gossip” and “calumny”.
Federico Lombardi made the comments on Vatican radio.
Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, the first by a pope in nearly 600 years, takes effect on Thursday, February 28. His decision surprised many within the Church.
There have been recent articles in the Italian and international media of intrigue, and corruption in the Church.
One unconfirmed report suggested Pope Benedict had resigned after being presented with a dossier detailing a network of priests who were being blackmailed
One unconfirmed report suggested Pope Benedict had resigned after being presented with a dossier detailing a network of priests who were being blackmailed.
But the Vatican spokesman said those who were putting themselves in a position of judgement had no authority to do so.
“Whoever has money, sex and power at the forefront of the mind sees the world through these parameters and cannot see beyond these even when looking at the Church,” he said.
“Their view cannot look to the heights or go in-depth to understand the spiritual dimensions and motivations of existence,” he added.
Italian media claims Pope Benedict XVI resignation has been linked to a secret dossier from three cardinals claiming a “gay network” inside the Vatican.
The cardinals uncovered an underground network of senior clergy who have organized gay homosexual parties and faced blackmail, according to newspaper La Repubblica.
The paper claims the explosive allegations were made in a report into the so-called “Vatileaks” scandal which was presented to Pope Benedict on or around December 17.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi has refused to confirm or deny the details of the report which came in two volumes, “hard-bound in red” with the title “pontifical secret”.
The dossier was compiled by Spanish cardinal, Julián Herranz; Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi, a former archbishop of Palermo; and the Slovak cardinal Jozef Tomko.
The cardinals launched the probe after Pope Benedict’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, was arrested and charged with stealing and leaking papal correspondence revealing how the Vatican was a centre of intrigue and infighting.
Now La Repubblica claims the Pope quit because could not face the repercussions of dealing with the 300-page dossier – the first Pontiff to resign in 600 years.
The paper says that the investigation alleges a gay lobby exists within the Church, and has some sort of control on the careers of those in the Vatican.
The report is quoted as saying: “The cardinals were said to have uncovered an underground gay network, whose members organize sexual meetings in several venues in Rome and Vatican City, leaving them prone to blackmail.
“They included a villa outside the Italian capital, a sauna in a Rome suburb, a beauty parlor in the centre, and a former university residence that was in use by a provincial Italian archbishop.”
La Repubblica says that the cardinals described a number of “factions” in their report, including one in which individuals were “united by sexual orientation”.
The newspaper also alleges the dossier states that members of this group were blackmailed by laymen with whom they entertain relationships of a “worldly nature”.
Italian media claims Pope Benedict XVI resignation has been linked to a secret dossier from three cardinals claiming a “gay network” inside the Vatican
La Repubblica quoted an unnamed source said to be close to the report’s authors: “Everything revolves around the non-observance of the sixth and seventh commandments.”
The seventh commandment forbids theft, while the sixth forbids adultery, but is linked in Catholic doctrine to the proscribing of homosexual acts, explained the Guardian.
Father Federico Lombardi said in a statement: “Neither the cardinals’ commission nor I will make comments to confirm or deny the things that are said about this matter.
“Let each one assume his or her own responsibilities. We shall not be following up on the observations that are made about this.”
Federico Lombardi has indicated that Pope Benedict would meet with the three cardinals before stepping down on February 28, in one of his final private audiences.
Pope Benedict announced his decision earlier this month saying he simply no longer has the “strength of mind and body” to carry on.
The dossier will stay in a secret papal safe and delivered to Pope Benedict’s successor when the Pontiff leaves office, claims La Repubblica.
In 2010, Nigerian clergyman Ghinedu Ehiem, who was part of one of the Vatican’s prestigious choirs, was dismissed after police wiretaps found him negotiating for male prostitutes.
In 2007, a senior Vatican official was suspended after he was filmed in a television “sting” while apparently making sexual overtures to a younger man.
Italian newspapers have been rife for days with unsourced reports about the contents of the dossier that three cardinals prepared for Pope Benedict after investigating the origins of the leaks.
Now Monsignor Ettore Balestrero, a senior member of the Vatican’s secretariat of state, has been sent 6,000 miles away to Colombia in South America as the fallout continues.
Father Federico Lombardi said Ettore Balestrero’s transfer had been months in the works, was a clear promotion and had nothing to do with what the Vatican considers baseless reporting.
Given the rivalries, turf battles and allegations of corruption exposed by the leaks themselves, there is some speculation that cardinals entering the conclave might want to know the contents of the dossier before choosing a new pope.
The Vatican has acknowledged that Pope Benedict XVI has had a pacemaker for years, one day after his resignation.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi reiterated that Pope Benedict was not stepping down because of any specific illness.
The Pope’s last public appearance will be his final mass in Saint Peter’s Square on February 27, Federico Lombardi said.
The pontiff would have no role in the running of the church after his resignation, he added.
The unexpected development – the first papal resignation in nearly 600 years – surprised governments, Vatican-watchers and even the Pope’s closest aides.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI in 2005 after John Paul II’s death.
In theory there has never been anything stopping Pope Benedict or any of his predecessors from stepping aside.
Under the Catholic Church’s governing code, Canon Law, the only conditions for the validity of such a resignation are that it be made freely and be properly published.
But resignation is extremely rare: the last pontiff to step aside was Pope Gregory XII, who resigned in 1415 amid a schism within the Church.
According to a report in Il Sole 24 newspaper, the Pope had surgery to replace a pacemaker just under three months ago.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi reiterated that Pope Benedict was not stepping down because of any specific illness
At a news conference at the Vatican, Father Federico Lombardi confirmed that the batteries in the pacemaker, which had been fitted several years ago, had been replaced in the routine operation.
“That hasn’t affected his decision [to resign] in any way and simply he felt that his strength was diminishing with the advancement of age,” he said.
Earlier the pontiff’s brother, Georg Ratzinger, said the Pope had been advised by his doctor not to take any more transatlantic trips and had been considering stepping down for months.
“When he got to the second half of his 80s, he felt that his age was showing and that he was gradually losing the abilities he may have had and that it takes to fulfill this office properly,” he said.
He said the resignation therefore was part of a “natural process”.
The Vatican now says it expects a new pontiff to be elected before Easter.
Father Federico Lombardi said the Pope would continue with his diary as usual until the day he officially retires on February 28.
He is due to officiate at an Ash Wednesday service at the Vatican.
“The last general audience [on 27 February] will be held in the square since a lot of people will come,” AFP news agency quotes Father Lombardi as saying.
After that the Vatican has said he will retire to the papal residence at Castel Gandolfo before moving into a renovated monastery used by cloistered nuns for “a period of prayer and reflection”.
“He’ll stay in Rome and will certainly have some duties and of course will continue to educate himself intellectually and theologically,” said Georg Ratzinger.
“Where he’s needed he will make himself available, but he will not want to want to intervene in the affairs of his successor,” he said.
At 78, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was one of the oldest popes in history at his election.