Rorate Caeli

How the "Gay Lobby" tricked Francis into making his first major mistake

[Update: Vatican denies; L'Espresso replies, "we have the evidence"]

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 Francis
Ricca, 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.

Magister also links to our translation of the Pope's revelation of the "Gay Lobby" to the Latin American religious, which we helped make known worldwide. (Image source: L'Espresso)


  1. What is important now is how the Holy Father responds to this revelation. This will be telling.

    Of course Ricca must go. But surely the Holy Father has an idea of who misled him into making this appointment.

  2. Anonymous2:06 AM

    So what? We have saints to make.

  3. I find it hard to believe that Pope Francis knew nothing about the man he appointed to this very important post. Isn't it his job to know these things?

  4. Anyone reading Magister's full article will notice the mention of a certain cardinal whose proximity to the Holy Father on the loggia the night of his election was quite prominent indeed.

  5. @ Peccator:

    And this cardinal is?

    Another troubling news piece emanating from Pope Francis' pontificate...

  6. Well, Each and every person in the Diplomatic corp of the Vatican probably needs to go.

  7. It seems that the Cardinal Protector for Ricca was: "At the Vatican they let it go. The substitute for general affairs in the secretariat of state at the time was Giovanni Battista Re, a future cardinal, he too originally from the diocese of Brescia."

  8. Uruguay is a tiny country but it seems with a lot of hanky-panky. Sandro Magister is doing a great service to Pope Francisco by exposing this homoheretic cleric.

    The Pope should recruit a chief of staff who understands how the Vatican works. Archbishop Gänswein would do, but Francisco does not have a use for Georg. So get another one. This is the great advantage of being the last absolute monarch on earth.

    It is embarrassing that after deep reflection on how to transform the Vatican Bank the Argentinian Pope settled on a person he knew as manager of the two hotels he had stayed in Rome. A wider search committee is needed. The good manager does not do it all himself.

  9. I fear we are witnessing a See of confusion; exactly what was voted for by the conclave.
    If these allegations are correct, this becomes a pivotal moment for the Pope to assert his authority as head of the Catholic Church.
    Pray the Holy Spirit will give him the courage not to try to distance himself from the wolves, but to root them out and eliminate them.

  10. Pope Francis is not the only Pope to be deceived by those he trusted. In the past 45 years the Popes have been tricked into believing certain men would be of great service to the Church. These men were raised to the Cardinalate and others chosen Bishops. All because the Popes trusted their advisers. It is not wrong to say that most Bishops in the Church are bad Bishops. They have been the perpetrators of modernism, blocking all that would be good for the Church. The SSPX waits in vain to be regularized. There are leaders in the Church who would guarantee that it never happens. The SSPX should begin to point out the errors of modernist Bishops who continue to cause grave damage to the Church. Their Bishops and Theological experts would be doing a great service to Christ and his Church.

  11. When reading Magister article and parsing through events mentioned, the major premise (Francis set up by "Gay Lobby") becomes the most wild and convoluted option. So, Bergoglio, having known Ricca since Uruguaian days, having met him in Buenos Aires, having stayed in his hotels, and now, having resided exclusively in Santa Marta of Ricco, was "tricked" into promoting Ricca? Really? To whom is it not obvious from the chronology of events that Ricca is a friend of Bergoglio?
    Don't blame "Gay Mafia" and send Magister to write a pointing fingers piece! C'mon.

  12. Poor Holy Father! Betrayal is everywhere. None can be trusted. Pray much for him.

  13. I don't understand. How can telling the truth---FINALLY---be a blunder?

  14. Genty, Liam Ronan: he is, himself, precisely, one of the wolves.

  15. It always concerned me how Cd.Mahony chortled so gleefully when Pope Francis had been selected. All these dark machinations have no place in but have always been part of the Vatican, it would seem. It reminds me of something Corrie ten Boom (I think) wrote about how demons were always thicker around monasteries, not because there was evil but because there was so much good. They don't need to be where people are already under satan's power.

  16. I pray for the Pope every single day even though his election was distressing. This new situation and how he deals with it will show us clearly what he is made of. If he does not do anything, you/we will have our answer. I also thank God every day for the SSPX.

  17. Homosexuality has its own culture and its own way of speaking, and I believe that is the ultimate cause of everything we see here. Having superiors who are against listening to analysis/investigation of errors - in any way, shape, or form - is exactly the problem with Rome's population - including the Pope. Throwing up a red flag about any error with them is touchy, especially after the error has been copiously documented and implemented via Vatican II. In dealing with homosexuals, if you don't talk the talk and walk the walk, you are an outcast and you're just talking through your hat to them - forever. Many have decided to join their ranks rather than fight for what is right (but then, "right" has changed, hasn't it?). Just ask Traditional Catholics.

    Besides being related to homosexuality, the mindless trends from the Vatican are most likely connected with alcohol use - which, according to the World Health Organization, is indicated in chronic health and social problems. But everyone knows that. Alcohol use (I'm talking about alcohol use AND abuse) is a risk factor for: perversion and homosexual acts; health issues (even leading to death); brain damage; cognitive impairment; criminality; sexual abuse and rape of men, women and children; risky sexual behavior leading to AIDS, abortions and "unintended pregnancies"; violence, etc. All reiterate the Church's problems. Every Catholic knows alcohol use is promoted by the Church (see the back of your bulletin) even by the Pope (his first dumb drunk joke was the toast right after his election at the drinking party with the Cardinals). Is alcohol-induced cognitive malfunction the reason why cardinals elected Bergoglio after their big "dinner/dialogue" party preceding the final vote? What does the alcohol tab for the Conclave look like (or was it all a charitable donation from Big Alcohol)? In any case, we have a mess on our hands. Every Vatican II Pope is pictured with either a cocktail in his hand or a bottle and glass in front of him. It is foolish to dismiss the relationships between alcohol, homosexuality, and the demise of the Church today.

  18. @Anchorite
    This (what you say about Pope Francis acquaintance with this man) is most likely the Case. I was very disappointed when I saw Pope Francis at the window. Something just did not seem right. I tried to be Charitable, but I have become increasingly disturbed by the Media designed ‘embrace of poverty’ and the whole publicity circus around the Papacy these days. I know this is probably just my own failures and my dislike for non-traditional catholic stuff. So I pray I am wrong.
    Trying to pull a JP II style pontificate at this point, and trying to steer the Holy See so quickly away from the direction that the previous pontificate was going is bound to raise problems. Its quite unfortunate that we have a man who has never been in a bank his entire life running a countries central bank. I know of a few western province Dominican Friars who left high flying banking career’s for holy orders. I am sure the Church has a good collection of such people. I am also pretty sure the Holy Father would know of such men. Why he chooses to go with this man is a problem. Especially being aware of allegations behind him.
    I Hope Pope Francis is genuinely in the dark about this Man’s Sinful life, but based on this story, it does not look good. If he does not investigate the matter, we have a serious problem. But the Immaculate Heart of Mary will eventually prevail.

    @Rural Catholic
    Cardinal Mahony needs to fix his situation with the Lord. He has made some very uncharitably swipes at the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI. I really feel for him. He seems to lack a sense of right and wrong, especially when it comes to abuse of Children. I am shocked that a man without any reckonable compassion towards abused children would rise so high in the Catholic Church.


    I would not say Alcohol is to blame. But abandonment of prior Church disciplines such as fasting during times of prayer, and things like that is more to blame. The Clergy seem not sensitized about the horror of sin, and most of them today have little or no training in how to lead holy lives. Those that come from religious orders such us our Holy Father got trained in an environment of total disdain of everything their founders stood for. If one is not serious about holiness, then you get into all sorts of problems.

  19. 'Inda we not Baptists. I'm pretty sue even Pius x drank wine at every meal.

  20. Wow. This is a jaw-dropper.


  21. Jesus drank wine. And he made it more available at the wedding at Cana. I don't think dipsomania is what ails the Church.

  22. Anonymous3:25 PM

    Come on folks. Wine and fasting or lack thereof is not the problem or the issue. Let us not get side-tracked as soooo often happens in the comments sections. This Pope is not stupid and knows precisely who this man is. Good gravy! Did anyone look at the photo and this man's face? Look--the Fifth Column got into the seminaries and the curia and the papal throne years ago. The question is; what can we reasonably expect will happen now? Is there a Pope who will actually "take one for the team"?

  23. The Old Testament says that God created wine from the beginning so that men may enjoy themselves, but not that they may become drunk. The OT also says, "Give the sorrowing man strong drink that he may be consoled". St. Paul says something about a little wine is good for the health of the body. St. Padre Pio for his daily meal had some cheese and bread with a quart of beer. The Europeans do not have stomach problems as much as the US and it is attributed to their having one or two glasses of wine at their meals. Alcohol is not the problem, it is its abuse. When one drinks to the point of loosing his reason then it becomes sinful.

  24. @ Returnee: Is there a Pope who will actually "take one for the team"?

    The answer is yes. The Pope was Albino Luciani, Pope John Paul One, the Bishop dressed in White, from the Third Secret of Fatima. JPI's first priority as Pope was to clean house at the IOR. He died thirty-three days later.


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