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New Yorkers React To Reports Of Vatican Sex Ring Scandal, Pope’s Resignation

Pope Benedict XVI (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

Pope Benedict XVI (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Many New Yorkers at St. Patrick’s Cathedral Saturday – but not all – dismissed the reports that a scandal had a role in the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.

The Vatican lashed out at the Italian news media Saturday for what it called defamatory and false reports about the contents of a secret dossier prepared for the pope by a group of cardinals, claiming the existence of a gay priests’ lobby and alleging financial mismanagement. There are claims that it was this scandal that prompted the pope to resign.

As 1010 WINS’ Gene Michaels reported, most of the people at the cathedral Saturday did not believe the reports about the scandal. But Lisa and Greg were not a part of that majority.

“I wouldn’t be surprised,” Lisa said.

“Pope Benedict knows that he’s got a terrible situation on his hands. He hasn’t dealt with it as well as he might have, and when it comes as close to the Vatican as that, if that’s true, then I think it was appropriate for him to resign,” Greg added.

But Patrick dismissed the scandal as unfounded.

“There’s no proof of that. That is speculation,” he said. “If you read carefully, you’ll find that the reporter that filed that report based it all on speculation.”

CBS News correspondent Allen Pizzey reported that the lurid reports spoke of a gay lobby of priests whose activities have not only gone against church teaching but have left them, and by extension the Vatican, open to blackmail.

The reports, first broken by the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica, also claimed the cardinals who prepared the dossier learned of an underground gay priests’ network that meets for sexual encounters in various locations in Rome and Vatican City.

The three cardinals who investigated the leaked documents are expected to meet with Benedict Monday – in a sign of just how seriously he takes the issue, Pizzey reported. It is not clear whether the dossier will be given to the rest of the cardinals before they enter the conclave to select the next pope, or kept in a safe for the next pope’s consideration.

The Vatican accused the Italian media organizations that reported on the alleged scandal of trying to influence the election of the next pope.

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