In-fighting between editors of two Vatican City newspapers led one to claim his rival was secretly a homosexual, reports the Telegraph.
A new book, His Holiness: The Secret Papers of Benedict XVI—basically a Wikileaks-like collection of leaked Vatican letters, memos and e-mails—claims Gian Maria Vian, editor of L’Osservatore Romano, manufactured evidence that Dino Boffo, editor of L’Avvenire, had a gay affair with a married man and harassed his wife.
L’Osservatore is essentially the Pope’s official newspaper. Though it has taken a more objective journalistic approach in recent years–even praising how Oscar Wilde “lucidly analysed the modern world”—it works hand-in-hand with the Vatican on most items.
Though Boffo claimed he was innocent—and the allegations were eventually disproven—the rumors hit the mainstream press and Boffo resigned in 2009.
Boffo later pointed a finger at Vian:
Months after the scandal, he wrote to the Pope’s private secretary claiming that he had found out that it was Mr Vian, the editor of L’Osservatore Romano, who had leaked the false dossier.
He speculated that the bid to topple him was part of a power play within the Catholic hierarchy.
While Mr Vian has not publicly commented on the accusations, the Vatican has jumped to his defence, saying that he had nothing to do with the affair.
The Vatican is p.o’d about the publication of His Holiness, which also recounts bribes and donations made to procure an audience with the Pope, and details about Benedict’s personal finances.