Italian newspaper La Repubblica has caused a stir by publishing a story claiming that a hidden power struggle by homosexual clergy is behind Pope Benedict's decision to retire.
The Vatican naturally is declining comment, but La Repubblica reports that Benedict made his retirement decision on Dec. 17, the same day he received a dossier compiled by three cardinals who looked into the leak of papal documents by a butler who was arrested in May.
Those documents portrayed the Vatican as being rife with intrigue and conspiracies.
Chief among the factions identified by the cardinals, according to Repubblica, is a group of actively gay clergy, some of whom are being blackmailed by former victims or people who know about their misdeeds.
A source close to the cardinals' investigation is quoted as saying, "Everything revolves around the non-observance of the sixth and seventh commandments" -- against adultery and theft.
The report even went so far as to identify the gay clerics' meeting places in and around Rome.
According to La Repubblica, twice since his resignation, Benedict has referred to conspiracies within the Vatican that "mar the face of the church."
La Repubblica report is just the latest suggestion that there is a network of homosexuals at work inside the Vatican. In 2010, a chorister was dismissed for allegedly procuring male prostitutes, and some months later, a broadcast news show recorded video of priests going to gay clubs.
The Catholic Catechism teaches that homosexuality is "intrinsically disordered" and a sin. The pope has forbidden active homosexuals to study for the priesthood.
It's been known or at least suspected for years in many corners that the Catholic Church was rotting from within because of liberal attitudes in decades past that allowed active homosexuals to enter the clergy and in some cases assume powerful leadership roles.
The child sex scandal that has rocked the church for years is often painted by supporters of gay rights as being "mere" pedophilia, but it's been obvious to most thinking people that the abuse of children in this case is fundamentally a symptom of the existence of practicing homosexuals within the clergy.
In addition to the targeting of children, the villains who have been gutting the church's moral fabric have by clear numbers preferred male victims. So in this case, there is no separating pedophiles from homosexuals because they are one and the same priests whose villainy has brought financial and spiritual ruin upon the church.
Despite the chaos that has already been caused, there are those within and without the church who dare to call for open endorsement by that same church of homosexual behavior. These people seem to intend nothing less than the dismantling of the last shreds of the church's biblical authority and the final defeat of Christendom.
That homosexuality has been and remains a sin is simply an issue that Christians cannot afford to compromise on despite the overwhelming pressures brought to bear by secular authorities and culture. The Catholic Church tried to compromise, and it's nearly brought the church to its death.
Other denominations and even secular organizations need to heed the lesson here.