Scandals and intrigue heat up at Vatican ahead of papal conclave

Source: TOI

Scandals and intrigue heat up at Vatican ahead of papal conclave
The drumbeat of scandal has reached such a fever pitch that the Vatican secretariat of state issued a rare pointed rebuke on February 23, 2013. (AFP photo)
VATICAN CITY: As cardinals from around the world begin arriving in Rome for a conclave to elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI, new shadows have fallen over the delicate transition, which the Vatican fears might influence the vote and with it the direction of the Roman Catholic Church.

In recent days, often speculative reports in the Italian news media — some even alleging gay sex scandals in the Vatican, others focusing on particular cardinals stung by the child sexual abuse crisis — have dominated headlines, suggesting fierce internal struggles as prelates scramble to consolidate power and attack their rivals in the dying days of a troubled papacy.

The reports, which the Vatican has vehemently refuted, touch on some of the most vexing issues of Benedict’s nearly eight-year reign, including a new round of accusations of child sexual abuse by priests and international criticism of the Vatican Bank’s opaque record-keeping. The recent explosion of bad press, which some Vatican experts say is fed by carefully orchestrated leaks meant to weaken some papal contenders, also speak to Benedict’s own difficulties governing, which analysts say he is trying to address, albeit belatedly, with several high-profile personnel changes.


Categories: CHRISTIANITY, Europe, Italy, Vatican

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