Rorate Caeli

On "Gay Lobby", Sandro Magister challenges the Vatican: "We have the evidence"

Questioned on L'Espresso's cover story on the prominent promotion by Pope Francis of a supposed member of the Vatican "Gay Lobby" (previous post), Fr. Federico Lombardi, Holy See spokesman, called the accusation "untrustworthy" (non attendibile). Not only that, according to journalist Matteo Matzuzzi on Twitter, Lombardi said today that, "the Pope has had the chance to verify whether the accusations against Msgr. Ricca were consistent or not," and that "Pope Francis is aware of the accusations made against Msgr. Ricca but has decided to keep him in his position".

Sandro Magister, the well-known Vaticanist and article author, and L'Espresso (institutionally) fired back:

Poor Father Lombardi, the things that he has to say

This was the immediate reply of L'Espresso:

"To Father Lombardi, who defines as 'not trustworthy' what was published regarding Msgr. Ricca, L'Espresso replies reaffirming point by point the facts referred by Sandro Magister in his piece, confirmed by several primary sources and, as a whole, considered at the time of such gravity by the same Vatican authorities that forced them to remove the Monsignor from the Uruguay nunciature, in which he rendered his service, giving scandal to bishops,priests, religious and lay persons in that country.

"It can be added that the Vatican authorities, instead of making up improbable and ad-lib denials, could verify the trustworthiness of all that was published by L'Espresso by simply consulting the exhaustive documentation in their possession on the affair, in particular that related to his time in the Montevideo nunciature. Further documentation is available from the Uruguayan authorities, from security forces to fire brigades. Not to mention the numerous bishops, priests, religious, laymen in Uruguay who were direct witnesses of the scandal and are ready to speak."


  1. "Pope Francis is aware of the accusations made against Msgr. Ricca but has decided to keep him in his position"

    WOW. This is NOT a good sign. Before things get any better, I think we are in for a heck of a BUMPY ride these next few years my dear fellow Catholics. God help us!!

  2. The rapidity and thoroughness of Pope Francis' reform is quite impressive.

  3. I think it's wise to wait to judge the Pope on this one-- I'd feel a lot of pressure to substantiate allegations before I fired someone who I knew and thought I trusted. That is a hard position to be in. give him a few days at least!

  4. It doesn't surprise me Francis decided to keep Ricca in his position. In his four months as Pope, Francis has not mentioned abortion or gay marriage and when he mentioned the gay lobby back in June he didn't give me the impression he was too exercised about it. I suspect these issues just aren't his highest priorities.

    More and more, I think Francis wants to be seen as another JPII. He wants to spread the word to as many as he can, regardless of other issues. His super Cardinal panel for reform is a good example. In America, if you want to appear as though you're dealing with an issue you really don't want to deal with, appoint a commission.

  5. Anonymous2:18 PM

    This is a poor sign. Either the Pope is letting it ride for the time being until he can line up his facts, or the Pope doesn't care. Another example of this Pope talking the talk but not walking the walk!

    This all the more proves to me what I've always thought of this Pope.

  6. "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer." Sun-tzu
    Of course this presupposes it is your calculated intention to do so.

  7. I think the Bishop of Rome has bigger fishes to fry. Think of all that real estate of those religious communities whose mission on this earth has ended? And once this issue is liquidiated... I mean resolved,we can go back to that other pressing issue in the Church, i.e. what those ladies at the EF masses are wearing.

  8. Similar sources, claiming to b ein the know, spoke of the Pope Emeritus being near the end.
    Why delight in news that suggests inaction, or failings, and not in the factthe Church is undergoing renwal, and the New Evanglisation is spreading?

  9. Francis was elected by the likes of Mahony, Daneels, Re, and Schoenborn to keep their kind safe and sound. The wolves had elected one of their own to save themselves.
    It is obvious that anyone who knowingly promotes someone like Ricca, brings scandal to his office as well.
    That's what Francis has been good at - degrading papal office at every turn. I suspect all Ricca had to do is to remind his superiors what would happen if he reveals to newspapers what happened under his watch at all those hotels, including Santa Marta, with whom, and when.
    If Ricca fired, we might expect this pontificate imploding in front of our eyes.

  10. This could readily explain why clerics like Cardinal Mahoney were so overjoyed at the election of Pope Francis. They had elected one of their own in terms of outlook.

  11. That was really a disgusting read. Have these people no fear of God?

  12. Scandal, scandal and more scandal. When is this going to end? I am sick of it.

  13. If the allegations are true, and they seem to be, I don't know how you could stand to have this guy, Ricca, around. He should have no position at all in the Church; that he & others like him are kept around disgusts me. Doesn't the hierarchy realize the denigration these people bring upon the Church & the Priesthood?

  14. Trying to run a JP II Style pontificate without the Style and theatrics of JP II might prove disastrous for a pontificate. For one JP II’s pontificate started out at a very different time in History, and his personal holiness and joy was infectious. The Church did not have anywhere near the problems it has today with the secular world since the WW II Generation was still in Charge.
    In regards to discipline of Doctrine, Holy Father Francis does not have an intellectual Giant like Ratzinger to keep wolfs at Bay like JP II did. He needs to fix that ASAP if the plan is to have a jet set pontificate with polish joyriders.
    The whole Jesuit band that is around the Holy father like Fr. Lombardi is the crowd he should get rid off. Also Pope Francis has the problem of probably not being able to relate well to the Church outside of the Spanish Italian world.

    We need to pray for him. It might be that he was trying to run from the papal apartment prison, but, he was in a hotel prison after all.
    To really be rid of problems in the Church, the Holy Father needs to reach into the Poor Churches of Middle East, Africa, India, plus the much maligned Traditionalists in Europe and America for reliable faithful Catholics.
    The sooner he realizes this the better. He also probably needs to by pass the Vatican Machinery for his appointments and not be afraid to get rid of the Vatican Machinery.

  15. Whatever happened to avoiding even the *appearance* of scandal. If -- after all that has happened -- the Vatican remains less than extremely jealous to uphold the integrity of the priesthood, that integrity is lost. It is amazing how the Church is so often less demanding than the World in the standards it demands of its leadership.

  16. we go. Papa francesco has been played, showing that no matter where you live in the Vatican, they'll still run around behind you and do what they want. I've read elsewhere that the Papal apparatus has simply shifted itself into the Domus. So Francis is the new papal prisoner after all...also, at risk of my immortal soul, does anyone else find that Francis' pobre papa schtick is starting to get a little...annoying?

  17. Why God why? How can you do this to your Bride?

  18. backtothefuture said...

    "Have these people no fear of God?"

    Oh, Lord, they don't even BELIEVE in God!


    “The knock-out blow of Satan
    has been to cause disobedience
    in the name of obedience.”

    Litto froggy cross da pond
    Hope some fairy's got a wand
    Hit you hard up-side yo head
    Shed some light...yo brains is bread.
    You ain't got sense no nuffin'
    Brains is made of bran-flake muffin.
    Wolfy-sheep done called you near
    Ups you hopped ran like a deer.
    Him brother froggies followed too
    And jumped right in wolf-sheepy's stew.
    Then there you be all puffed with pride
    And one by one them froggies died.
    Then wolfy-sheep he called, "My sons?"
    And wolfy-sheep him meal all dones
    Says, "Litto frog get outa' hea'
    Tomorrow bring yo sistas dea'."
    And litto frog him hop away
    'Cause litto frog him do obey.
    And litto froggy hopped, hopped, hop
    Tumbled, tripped into Frog Pop.
    And froggy Pop asked, "What you say?"
    Said litto frog, "I do obey
    And all my litto brothers too
    They helped the wolf make sheepy stew.”
    Then froggy Pop him hung him head
    And took him son away and led
    Him hoppin' down the woodsy lane
    And put in froggy's hand his cane
    All shiney white to help him see...

    Merci Marcel!
    Viva Fellay!
    Thank You Christ for giving us real Roman Catholic men to lead!!!

  19. What if Ricca totally impressed Francis with a private admission of his past but an insistence that he has conquered that dark side of himself. I could easily see Francis accepting that as sufficient. One of Francis' first themes after being elected was that God the Father "never tires of forgiving". And since he's against the death penalty like his two predecessors, he has problems like they did with the foregiven person suffering severe consequences after foregiveness. In our US world, offending lawyers and brokers who commit crimes are foregiven ( released from prison) but barred from their former occupations. I think Catholic high clergy dwell in a less real world as to consequences. It could come back to bite him. Christ asked His Father to foregive those who were killing Him and His Father did foregive them....but as consequence, Jerusalem and over 600,000 people in it still paid the lethal penance in 70 AD like David's baby from Bathsheba did also pay for David's sin by death and as we still pay for Adam in our death. Foregiveness and consequence are separate issues. I don't think these last three Popes were keen on that distinction.

  20. Sinse when H. H. has merited slightest respect and right to eat his daily bread toghether with his cohorts on account of these aberations? How we the faithfull can not be outraged?

  21. Why would anyone have anything whatever to do with the mainstream Church?

    It is cursed by God.

  22. Thanks be to Almighty God for the internet, the instantaneous foil of point-blank clerical (and saecular) denials, and a force for the dissemination of information which, in this case, nefarious wolves in sheep's clothing clearly want to keep hidden. Francis has NO excuse. And as far as I am concerned, he gets NO extra time. The whistle has blown. Is the umpire as corrupt as the linesmen? We shall see.

  23. The quote by Pope Francis that there are many powerful bosses inside the Vatican Curia, shows that he is aware of his isolation in taking care of the many problems inside the Vatican, no matter that he lives at Santa Marta to not be a prisoner of the Papal apartments. What is more, bringing to task the IOR is probably above his paygrade, or anyone else's for that matter. As you may recollect Pope John Paul I tried to clean the Augean Stables, only to be dealt with swiftly by the Italian Mafia, together with Freemasonry.
    The situation must be similar today, because the Cosa Nostra is always present where there is money or money laundering involved, as is the case with the IOR, where money is aplenty.
    If Pope (Bishop) Francis really wants to be sincere, he should dismantle the IOR, and hand over the proceeds to the poor.
    On another thread from this post, I recently read in the news, that one pornographic website, listed among its many visitors, people at the Vatican.

  24. Anonymous10:39 PM

    The Church's problem with homosexuality within its clergy is pretty dire, and i say this as a gay (celibate/faithful) Catholic.

    First I'll state the obvious: in years past the priesthood offered a wonderful opportunity for men who were gay to adopt a lifestyle that meant that their sexuality went unpublisised, unpracticed (ideally) and denied. For those coming from strong Catholic communities the priest hood (and religious life) still offers this. Entering such institutions and offices does not take their homosexual tendencies away, it just means they have a valid cover.

    Since the sixties the gay lifestyle has become increasingly acceptable, and in some quarters even lauded. This acceptance has seeped into the Church in some quarters. These scandals in the Vatican (amongst other places are testimony to that).

    The problem as I see it is this: until gays can be honest about their sexuality, without fear of achieving an immediate pariah status once their sexual identity is revealed, then the secretive world of gay clergy will remain exactly that - secretive.

    There is a schizophrenia in Catholicism about homosexuality. Many of our clergy are homosexual, but there is such a fear of this being known because of the inherent homophobia within the our communities (note that I did not say Catholicism) that fear of acknowledging this openly causes many priests and faithful to deny their sexuality. Denying a fundamental aspect of who you are is inherently destructive to you as an individual and to you as a community member - and consequently your community. Acknowledging your sexual orientation does not mean acting upon it.

    Gays exist, we are called by our faith to be celibate, and as men obliged to celibacy it is a logical conclusion that some will then consider the priesthood. Homosexuality, if openly acknowledged as a feature of human identity and therefore Catholic life, were to be positively embraced by the Church (that's all of us), then maybe the existence a a secretive gay lobby would be impossible.

    To deny that some priest are gay would be down right silly. To admit that some gay men, having been called to the Catholic faith would then consider the priesthood, a vocation demanding celibacy, would be reasonable. Does it not then follow that to openly recognise that gays exist within the Church and their presence is a normal and healthy part of ecclesial life would as a consequence pull the rug from under the feet of any "gay lobby" that might seek to undermine the authenticity of priestly witness and ecclesial mission.

  25. Anonymous10:50 PM

    Just another mad Catholic,

    God does not do anything to the Church. The Clergy does.

    But do not despair: when Napoleon threatened to destroy the Church, Cardinal Consalvi replied the clergy had been trying it already for eighteen centuries, without success.


  26. @ Just,

    I am beginning to suspect that V II might not have been the work of the Holy Spirit. Paul VI mentioned something about smoke.....

  27. Rodrigo Borgia redivivus?

  28. Maybe he wants him there precisely because he already has all the dirt on him. OTOH Rodrigo Borgia redivivus?

  29. mundabor

    I meant why does God allow such men to become Priests.

  30. Oh this is good, and two of the popes that elevated most of these guys are going to be saints. Yea the heirarchy has so much crediblity! This is simply gut wrenching for a believer in the Catholic Church as the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. I have been trying to lead my family who are all Baptists to the Truth. How on earth can you evangelize the faith with this kind of leadership? "Come to the true faith founded on Jesus Christ and Peter, the Catholic Church, just ignore what the recent Pope's, the majority of Bishops and most of the priests claim the Church is." This is insane, it is as bad as being a Cleveland Browns fan. I keep saying it has been worse in the past, I am starting to have my doubts.

  31. @ D Hardman:
    " Denying a fundamental aspect of who you are is inherently destructive to you as an individual and to you as a community member - and consequently your community. Acknowledging your sexual orientation does not mean acting upon it."
    I agree with the 1st. proposition of your post (the first paragraph), but not the second one. Being in seminary surrounded by men only and young ones at that can be pretty dangerous for chastity. Besides, even if the priest manages to conclude his studies without fault, what about his role as minister, surrounded by altar boys? I strongly doubt your thesis and do not think it advisable.

  32. Fatima? Garabandal? LaSallete? Just thought I would throw these out there...

  33. "I have been trying to lead my family who are all Baptists to the Truth. How on earth can you evangelize the faith with this kind of leadership?"

    Yep and then they (those checking out the faith) may go the nearest NO parish to check out the faith surely the death knell.

  34. You've said what I thought too, Unam Sanctam.

  35. Gratia Longa-eskirt da Rap. Besta rapa I rid evah. U Da Sistah.

  36. Anonymous7:09 AM

    D Hardman,

    your thinking is just as flawed as your sexuality.

    Homosexuality is a perversion, not in the least a "fundamental aspect of who you are"; and is a perversion even if you do not act upon it.

    if you want to be Catholic, you must be Catholic, full stop. You embrace your perversion as much as you say you embrace the Church.

    The one with the priesthood as the ideal place for an homosexual is abominable thinking, and exactly what has created the gay mafia within the Church in the first place.

    If these are the faithful Catholics, give me the unfaithful ones.


  37. @ D Hardman:

    Homosexuality is a sexual disorder. An just like any other medical condition, it should be treated as such. Trying to pretend that it is something else is not only false, but outright dishonest.

  38. @ Mundabor,

    Simply love your blog. It is the first one I open every morning and the last one I close each night. :)

    Your "donkey as mode of transport" post was spot on. :)

  39. yes Mundabor....and whats your poison..??

    We are all human therefore flawed, lucky for me i happen not to be tempted with homosexual fantasies, ordinary boring heterosexual fantasies, money fantasies,sloth fantasies.....and just about everything else do for me....

    We are not this side of Heaven a perfect society, so give us a break with the perfectionism....we'll never get there.

  40. As much as I want to believe the Vatican spokesthings, I am hard
    put to think that L'Espresso would go this far without enough solid
    evidence to support the essentials of the story. Early on, I said
    that we were going to regret this pontificate. Francis has to stop
    making his pontificate about him and his humility. For all the talk
    about attending to the broader Church, he is not giving the poor
    and marginalized what only he can: strong executive discernment
    and action.

  41. Sandoval Magister was doing a huge favor to Pope Francis. Ignoring this is a big mistake.

    The following article, which also names names, comes to mind:

  42. Anonymous6:54 AM


    what is my poison is neither here nor there.

    Whatever my sins, I do not promote them, nod do I try to say or imply they are fine.

    There's a huge difference between being a fallible human being and leading others into believing being homosexual is OK, and a priestly career actually good for such people.


  43. Anonymous6:56 AM

    @ S.Armaticus.

    Many thanks, Sir!


  44. D. Hardman, your logic is offensive at the best. Stop orbit this homo premise hoax around the minds of those who can figure out how the homo industry works.

  45. Deacon Augustine: Isn't "Rodrigo Borgia redivivus?" a little severe at this point? Borgia was himself a profligate, Pope Francis merely appoints them. However, if your point consists of the observation that we have not yet rid ourselves of clerical scandal (on the scale of Borgia), I am in agreement. Fr. Lombardi seems to be a willing accomplice, or nonplussed to the point of being incompetent.


  47. Now the Uruguayan Bishops' Conference has publicly stated the facts about this Ricca are true.

    What does this say about Pope Bergoglio's judgement?

    I distinctly remember the night of his election. The disastrous entry onto the loggia, the lack of warmth, the utter contempt with which the 'Habemus Papam' was announced: it was sinister and my intuition immediately said “no”.

    Then the post on Rorate Caeli’s own announcement of his election from an Argentinian Catholic who said we would all rue the day this man was elected: a boor, and a dictatorial one at that, a man who deals with conflictual situations by ignoring them (aka running away); a cultural snob of the worst sort – the hater of beauty. A man who uses toilet metaphors in his speech.

    All proved to be correct.

    God forgive me, I don’t like this man at all.

    Benedict Carter

  48. Anonymous10:10 PM

    mfg said: I miss Pope Pius X11, and the legacy given to us by Pope Pius X and Pope Pius X1. It wasn't for nothing that the Jewish Mayor of Rome at the time of WW11 changed his name to Eugenio after the war. God give us men to match our hopes and dreams, to say nothing of prayers.


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