After Resignation, Media Speculates Over Pope’s Orientation,
Rumors about Pope Benedict XVI's sexual orientation have resurfaced on the day of his resignation after gay Catholic blogger Andrew Sullivan wrote a controversial piece for the Dish.
It was announced on Thursday that Benedict, 85, will not return to Germany for retirement and will continue to live in the Vatican with his longtime handsome secretary/companion Archbishop Georg Gänswein, 56. In Sullivan's article, which is titled "Two Popes, One Secretary," the blogger speculates over the odd living arrangements.
"So Benedict's handsome male companion will continue to live with him, while working for the other Pope during the day," Sullivan wrote. "Are we supposed to think that's, well, a normal arrangement?"
The Italian media has called Gänswein "Gorgeous Georg" and he's been featured on the cover of Italian Vogue, New York Daily News points out.
In past writings, Sullivan said that it was "obvious" that "the current Pope is a gay man" who has not "explored his sexuality, or has violated his own strictures on the matter." But after Benedict's new living arrangements were revealed, it only added fuel to Sullivan's fire.
"This man - clearly in some kind of love with Ratzinger (and vice-versa) will now be working for the new Pope as secretary in the day and spending the nights with the Pope Emeritus," Sullivan wrote. "This is not the Vatican. It's Melrose Place."
The Business Insider, which reported on the Sullivan's piece, wrote, "Sullivan isn't exactly alone in his suspicions. He points towards a book by Angelo Quattrocchi (playfully titled 'The Pope is Not Gay') that he felt reached similar conclusions. In addition, former Benedictine monk-priest and author Richard Sipe claims to have spoken to a number of Roman clerics and members of the Roman press corps who were 'convinced' that Benedict XVI was gay.
"Of course, it doesn't help the rumors that Gänswein has become something of a star in his own right," the newspaper continues. "He's been dubbed the 'The George Clooney of the Vatican,' and appeared on the cover of the Italian Vanity Fair under the headline 'It's no sin to be good looking.' Donatella Versace has even dedicated a menswear collection to him."
Gawker got in on the speculation as well and even called Gänswein Benedict's boyfriend.
"In a twist some have found odd, Gänswein will keep his position as head of the new pope's household. Who will he have breakfast with? Where will naptime occur? Do you even want to be my roommate? I feel like I never see you anymore. Oh, the fights they'll have," Gawker writes.
These rumors come just days after the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica alleged that the reason why Benedict was resigning (the first pope to do so in 600 years) wasn't because of health issues, which the Catholic leader cited as his reason for calling it quits, but because of a secret "gay lobby" within the Vatican.
According to the publication, a 300-page report by three cardinals claim Benedict was under the influence of several lobbies within the Holy See, including a gay lobby.