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Pope Francis confirms 'gay lobby' in confidential meeting

In a private meeting, Pope Francis said a 'gay lobby' was at work at the Vatican, which appears to confirm rumors swirling at the time of Benedict's resignation.

Pope Francis, seen here at an audience with Jesuit students from Italy and Albania on June 8, had a private meeting over the weekend where he confirmed the rumors of a 'gay lobby' influencing Vatican policy.

Andrew Medichini / AP

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Pope Francis lamented that a "gay lobby" was at work at the Vatican in private remarks to the leadership of a key Latin American church group — a stunning acknowledgment that appears to confirm earlier reports about corruption and dysfunction in the Holy See.

The Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious — the regional organization for priests and nuns of religious orders — confirmed Tuesday that its leaders had written a synthesis of Francis' remarks after their June 6 audience. The group, known by its Spanish acronym CLAR, said it was greatly distressed that the document had been published and apologized to the pope.

In the document, Francis is quoted as saying that while there were many holy people in the Vatican, there was also corruption: "The 'gay lobby' is mentioned, and it is true, it is there ... We need to see what we can do ..." the synthesis reads.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Tuesday the audience was private and that as a result he had nothing to say.


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