THE VATICAN – Pope Benedict XVI must be counting the days until his retirement kicks in. With three days to go, The Vatican faces new allegations of priests behaving badly.
Cardinal Keith O’brien is stepping down as the leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland and as Britain’s top Catholic cleric. This happened after four men accused him of sexually abusing them while they studied to be priests back in the 80’s. He denies the allegations that came out in news reports over the weekend. He also says he gave the pope his undated resignation last November. This means he won’t be part of the conclave that will elect the next pope.
That was supposed to start on March 15, but the pope now says it can start anytime enough cardinals show up at The Vatican after Thursday, Benedict’s last day as pope.
The Scottish scandal is just the latest to rock The Vatican. While the cardinal was getting fingered, an Italian newspaper was reporting the pope quit the same day he received a secret document revealing the existence of a ring of gay priests and blackmail. The Vatican says the story is false and just an attempt to influence the election of the new pope.
The Vatican’s former chief exorcist thinks Satan may be bedeviling the Holy See. Gabriele Amorth was the head Satan Bedeviler for the diocese of Rome for 25 years.
He told CNN back in 2010 that the devil is hard at work everywhere, including The Vatican, because that’s his job.
And from the looks of things, this year’s performance appraisal for Satan should be smokin’!