Pope Benedict Gay Scandal: Vatican Denies 'Gay Lobby' Reports

The Vatican secretariat of state issued an official statement denying Italian media reports that Pope Benedict XVI resigned due to "various lobbies, including a 'gay lobby.'" 

"It is deplorable that as we draw closer to the time of the beginning of the conclave … that there be a widespread distribution of often unverified, unverifiable or completely false news stories that cause serious damage to persons and institutions," reads the statement.

The reports suggest that Benedict decided to resign when presented with a December 17 report, prepared by Cardinals Julian Herranz, Josef Tomko and Salvatore De Giorgi, and commissioned by Benedict himself, which supposedly found various lobbies within the Holy See that were "consistently breaking the sixth and seventh commandments" (namely "thou shalt not steal" and "thou shalt not commit adultery"). 

Hence the Vatican's official denial, which the AFP calls "unusual," where the Catholic Church spokesman Federico Lombardi calls the reports "gossip, disinformation and sometimes calumny."