Pope Benedict XVI, who retired in 2013, has admitted that he once busted up what he called a “powerful” gay lobby within the Vatican in a memoir to be published on September 9, reports The Huffington Post.
The ex-pope, who lives in seclusion at a convent inside Vatican City, is one of few popes to step down from what, for most, is a lifetime position within the Catholic Church.
The now 89-year-old pontiff was replaced by the much more liberal Pope Francis who has done more to embrace the LGBT community, recently saying the church should apologize for its past policies towards gays, saying: “Who am I to judge?”
According to HuffPo, German journalist Peter Seewald worked with Benedict to compile the memoir called, “The Last Conversations,” in which he covers his years at the Vatican.
In an excerpt published in Italian national daily Corriere Della Sera, Benedict confirms that there was a powerful “gay lobby” of four to five key people within the Vatican who attempted to influence key decisions made by the church with regards to the gay community.
Upon taking over for Benedict in 2013, current Pope Francis also acknowledged the existence of a pro-gay faction within the church, stating, “In the Curia. There are holy people. But there is also a stream of corruption. The ‘gay lobby’ is mentioned, and it is true, it is there. We need to see what we can do.”
Benedict resigned under a cloud, with many speculating he was forced out by a church that needed new blood. According to the ex-pontiff, he resigned for health reasons, stating he was “exhausted” while admitting that he had poor management skills due to a lack of a “resoluteness in governing.”