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Vatican says no to conspiracy theories over Papal resignation

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
February 22nd, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The Vatican is denying vicious rumors that are on the spread, claiming that Benedict was compelled to resign under pressure from various factions within the Vatican. Those factions include people linked to several scandals which have rocked the Church in recent years.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Anytime something unusual happens, conspiracy theorists come out of the woodwork to claim they have secret knowledge or a unique perspective that explains everything. In the case of Benedict's resignation they are claiming that he was compelled to resign in the face of pressure from nefarious lobbies within the Church.

The latest conspiracy, is related to the assignment of a Vatican minister to Colombia. Speculation claims that Monsignor Ettore Balestrero, an Italian who occupied a post that roughly translates to that of foreign minister in the Vatican.

The Vatican is emphatically denying rumors that the decision to transfer Balestrero was connected to the Vatileaks scandal in which Benedict's butler leaked confidential Church documents to a reporter.

Some quarters of the Italian media are speculating that the move was a punishment for Balestrero. What Balestrero's role in the scandal was remains unclear because the report is still secret. However, word of his mention in the report, which was secretly prepared by church cardinals, has been leaked.

Balestrero has connections to the Vatican bank and may have been involved in the banking scandal. His new post could be an effort to clean up the financial arm of the Church.

This transfer, some speculate, suggests that the Pope was compelled to resign as a result of corruption within the Vatican, some of which could linked to Balestrero in the secret report.

However, that Balestrero has done anything wrong is empirically denied given the nature of his transfer. The Vatican has stated this his transfer was planned well in advance of Benedict's resignation and that his new post is considered both important and prestigious. From Bogata, Balestrero will be part of the umbrella group that oversees conferences of all the bishops of South America.

Such a transfer is inconsistent with one who may be tainted with scandal.

Nonetheless, the theories will abound, and with Benedict planning an a secluded retirement, there may not be much opportunity to quell the conspiracy theories. Then again, such notions aren't all that unusual. The Church has always been plagued with accusations of scandal throughout its history. Sadly, some of the scandals have been quite real, but many of them have simply been vicious stories concocted by enemies of the faith.

The good news is, the Church is protected and resilient, and it always survives attempts to destroy it, further proof of its divine favor and faithful devotion to its sacred responsibility.

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