Former Pope Benedict claims he purged Vatican of ‘gay lobby’

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI will outline how he “purged” the Vatican’s gay lobby in an upcoming memoir.

Pope Benedict XVI served as head of the Catholic Church from 2005 to 2013.

Although Popes usually serve until death, Benedict resigned amid whispers of internal warring within the church, ill health, and serious corruption scandals.

He was replaced by Pope Francis – who enjoys a more ‘liberal’ image in the media, though he has repeatedly ruled out reforms on LGBT issues.

The German-born Pope Benedict, born Joseph Ratzinger, will release his memoirs this year – and they will allegedly detail how he battled with and destroyed the church’s internal ‘gay lobby’.

The term ‘gay lobby’ is often used to describe a shadowy network of high-ranking closeted gay officials within the Vatican; though anti-LGBT Catholics frequently conflate it with alleged paedophile sex abuse networks.

According to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, which has acquired the advance rights to the former Pope’s book and will start publishing excerpts in September, the memoir will include candid discussion of battles with the “gay lobby”.

The report suggests that Benedict will play this down in his memoirs, claiming the group was “a clique of up to five men” who held high ranks and influence within the church.

He claims that he managed to remove the group from power.

However, any suggestion that the Catholic Church has entirely purged its ranks of closeted gay men is likely to be met with extreme scepticism.

Pope Francis last acknowledged the ‘gay lobby’ in 2013, when he admitted: “There is talk of a gay lobby and it’s true, it exists. We have to see what can be done.”

A former high-ranking Catholic priest claimed last year that the Vatican is funding therapy to ‘cure’ the homosexuality of gay clergymen, and even operates its own gay cure clinic.

He named The Venturini Convent as the location of the ‘gay cure’ centre for Catholic priests.

Incredibly Father Gianluigi Pasto, 71, the head of the convent, confirmed at the time that it deals with “problems connected to sex”, but insisted it did not deal with gay priests or child abusers.