A day after a homosexual priest came out in the Vatican, Italian Cardinal Camillo Ruini denied the existence of a gay lobby in the Vatican.
Ruini told the daily "Corriere della Sera" (Sunday edition) that there is a lot of talk about such things. It would be a "sad thing" if they were true, and you would have to clean up then. Ruini stressed, however, that he himself had no findings that would justify the term gay lobby, and that he did not want to slander innocent people.
Ruini (84) was one of the closest collaborators of Popes John Paul II as cardinal vicar for the diocese of Rome from 1991 to 2008. and Benedict XVI. He is considered a thought leader of the conservative wing of the Catholic Church. About Pope Francis, Ruini said in the interview, whose oft-quoted words about homosexuals ("Who am I to condemn them?") is probably the most misunderstood word of the pope. Francis has done nothing but repeat the Gospel admonition that a Christian should not condemn anyone, and this applies to homosexuals as well, he said.
Ruini said about the current pontificate that there are remarkable differences to the predecessors, but the continuity is much greater than the differences. He compared the change of Benedict XVI. to Francis with the one between Pope Pius XII. and Pope John XXIII. in 1958 and declared, "You have to be blind not to see how much good Pope Francis is doing the church and the spread of the Gospel."