The controversial resignation of Pope Benedict XVI we spoke about last week, explained by the Pontiff's developing health issues, may have been prompted by a report on blackmail and a secret gay faction of the Vatican.
The Sydney Morning Herald translated part of the report, which mentions a secret society formed by high-ranking members of the clergy.
"The cardinals were said to have uncovered an underground gay network, whose members organize [...] meetings in several venues in Rome and Vatican City, leaving them prone to blackmail," the Herald writes.
NY Daily News informs that the faction would meet at a sauna, a suburban villa and a beauty parlor in Italy's capital city. The report apparently also mentions the clergymen being blackmailed by former partners who exercise an "external influence" on the Church's dealings.
Said partners are laymen with whom the members of the Church have allegedly had relationships of a "worldly nature." The extortion was based on photographic evidence of the priests dressed in dragged, while involved in said acts.
The document was reportedly forwarded to the Pope on December 17, which is when he decided he would step down. In the following days, he issued statements dubbing having the gay orientation a "manipulation of nature."
Sources say that the findings are the work of three cardinals investigating the "Vatileaks" scandal, in which the Pope's butler, Paolo Gabriele helped distribute Vatican documents.
The Vatican is not commenting on the existence of the report, but it is dismissing claims of it prompting the Pontiff to resign.
"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," says spokesman Father Ferederico Lombardi in a statement.