From Sandro Magister's cover story for Italian weekly L'Espresso - excerpts of the Magister article:
"In the curia there is talk of a 'gay lobby.' And it is true, it's there. Let's see what we can do," Francis said on June 6 to Latin American religious received in audience.
And again: "It is not easy. Here there are many of the pope's 'bosses' with great seniority of service," he confided a few days ago to his Argentine friend and former student Jorge Milia.
In effect, some of these 'bosses' have hatched against Jorge Mario Bergoglio the cruelest and most subtle deception since he was elected pope.
They kept in the dark important information that, if he had known it before, would have kept him from appointing Monsignor Battista Ricca "prelate” of the Institute for Works of Religion....
Ricca and FrancisRicca, 57, originally from the diocese of Brescia, comes from a diplomatic career. He served for fifteen years in the nunciatures of various countries before he was called back to the Vatican, to the secretariat of state. But he won Bergoglio's trust in another guise, initially as director of the residence on Via della Scrofa at which the archbishop of Buenos Aries stayed during his visits to Rome, and now also as director of the Domus Sanctæ Marthæ in which Francis has chosen to live as pope....Just one week after appointing the “prelate,” however, during the same days in which he was meeting with the apostolic nuncios who had come to Rome from all over the world, the pope became aware, from multiple sources, of some episodes from Ricca's past previously unknown to him and such as to bring serious harm to the pope himself and to his intention of reform....The black hole in Ricca's personal history is the period he spent in Uruguay, in Montevideo, on the northern shore of the Rio de la Plata, across from Buenos Aires.
Ricca arrived at this nunciature in 1999, when the mandate of the nuncio Francesco De Nittis was coming to an end. Previously he had served at the diplomatic missions of Congo, Algeria, Colombia, and finally Switzerland.
Here, in Bern, he had met and become friends with a captain of the Swiss army, Patrick Haari. The two arrived in Uruguay together. And Ricca asked that his friend be given a role and a residence in the nunciature....The new nuncio, Janusz Bolonek of Poland, who arrived in Montevideo at the beginning of 2000, also found that “ménage” intolerable immediately, and informed the Vatican authorities about it, insisting repeatedly to Haari that he should leave. But to no use, given his connections with Ricca.
In early 2001 Ricca also got into a scrape over his reckless conduct. One day, having gone as on other occasions - in spite of the warnings he had received - to Bulevar Artigas, to a meeting place for homosexuals, he was beaten and had to call some priests to take him back to the nunciature, with his face swollen....Ricca, dragging his heels, was transferred to the nunciature of Trinidad and Tobago, where he remained until 2004. There as well he butted heads with the nuncio. Finally to be called to the Vatican and removed from diplomatic service on the ground.
As for Haari, in the process of leaving the nunciature he demanded that some of his luggage be sent to the Vatican as diplomatic baggage, to the address of Monsignor Ricca. Nuncio Bolonek refused, and the luggage ended up in a building outside of the nunciature. Where it remained for a few years, until from Rome Ricca said that he didn't want to have anything to do with it anymore.
Once the luggage was opened to get rid of its contents - as decided by the nuncio Bolonek - a pistol was found in it, which was handed over to the Uruguayan authorities, and in addition to personal effects, an enormous quantity of condoms and pornographic material....[A]t the Vatican there are some who actively promoted this cover-up operation. By blocking the investigations from the time of the events until today. By concealing the reports from the nuncio. By keeping Ricca's personal file immaculate. In this way they facilitated a prestigious new career for Ricca.
After his return to Rome, the monsignor was integrated into the diplomatic personnel serving at the secretariat of state: initially, from 2005, in the first section, that of general affairs; then, from 2008, in the second section, that of relations with states; and then again, from 2012, in the first section, with a top-level position, that of nunciature advisor first class....Moreover, beginning in 2006, Monsigner Ricca was entrusted with the direction first of one, then of two, and finally of three residences for cardinals, bishops, and priests visiting Rome, including that of Saint Martha. And this allowed him to weave an intricate network of relationships with the highest levels of the Catholic hierarchy all over the world.
The appointment as “prelate” of the IOR was for Ricca the crowning of this second career of his.