The Vatican’s third-highest ranking official has challenged a former vice-commander of the Swiss Guards to come forward with names and facts after declaring that a powerful gay lobby existed in the Roman Curia and was a threat to the Pope's security.
Archbishop Angelo Becciu, the Vatican’s deputy Secretary of State,
said: “My office is open. If Elmar Mäder wants to come and say exactly
whom he’s referring to, I’m here.”
Mr Mäder, the Swiss Guards' vice-commander from 2002-08, made his claims to the Swiss paper Schweiz am Sonntag.
He insinuated that there was a great "risk of disloyalty" among gay
people, saying he "learned that many homosexuals are inclined to be more
loyal to each other than to other people or institutions".
His comments appeared this weekend just two weeks after another
former Swiss guard told the paper that he had received up to 20
“unambiguous requests” for sex from Vatican officials, including a
cardinal. That former Swiss Guard, who spoke anonymously, said he served
during the John Paul II era.
“As in the past, no one has come forward with names and surnames,” Archbishop Becciu told the Italian daily La Repubblica.
“There are those who speak about a gay lobby but no one has yet been able to figure out where this lobby is,” he said.
Becciu, who is the Vatican’s equivalent of an “interior minister”,
said the Pope more than anyone wants “clarity and truth” on the matter.
When Pope Francis was asked about a “gay lobby in the Vatican” in
July, he intimated he was not aware of such a presence and famously
added: “If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, well
who am I to judge them?”
Regarding the morality of homosexual activity, Archbishop Becciu said
Francis’ message is to judge no one, but he added that Francis was a
“son of the Church and faithful to its doctrine”.
Meanwhile an 84-year-old Spanish archbishop emeritus whom Pope
Francis has just named a cardinal told a newspaper in Andalusia that
homosexuality was a “bodily defect” that “in most cases can be cured
with adequate treatment”.
Cardinal-designate Fernando Sebastién said his view was not a
negative judgement on gay people any more than it would be on those with
high blood pressure, for whom there is also treatment.