By RACHEL DONADIO
ROME — For years, perhaps even centuries, it has been an open secret in Rome: Some prelates in the Vatican hierarchy are, in fact, gay. But the whispers were amplified this week when Pope Francis himself, in a private audience, appeared to have acknowledged what he called a “gay lobby” operating inside the Vatican, vying for power and influence.
Speaking to a meeting of the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious Men and Women on June 6, Francis discussed a dossier he had received from his predecessor, Benedict XVI. “The ‘gay lobby’ is mentioned, and it is true, it is there. … We need to see what we can do,” Francis said in Spanish, according to a loose summary of the meeting posted on a Chilean Web site, Reflection and Liberation, and later translated into English by the blog Rorate Caeli.