Vatican Vexed By Pope Emeritus Ratzinger’s Frequent Visits To London’s Popular Gay Clubs
Retired Pope’s Frequent Visits To London’s Hottest Gay Clubs Rankles Vatican Which Calls His Trips “Outreach Efforts” To Reform The Behavior Of Strayed Catholics – Critics Say Ratzinger Should Be Open About His Sexuality
Published January 24, 2014
LONDON – With the sex abuse scandal still in the Vatican’s rear view mirror, the church now contends with a new source of embarrassment – the lifestyle of retired Pope Benedict XVI who retains the official title of “pope emeritus” in his retirement.
During the daylight hours, Pope Benedict dons a respectful white cassock and brown Prada shoes as he strolls in his posh London neighborhood of Kensington. He looks every bit the part of a pope emeritus as he gingerly waives to well-wishers.
When the sun goes down, however, a different Pope Benedict emerges. This alter ego persona – nicknamed “Ratzy” after his birth surname Ratzinger – differs from his daytime persona as starkly as Michael J. Fox’s werewolf persona did from his shy, bumbling high school student character in the film “Teen Wolf.”
At precisely 11 p.m. almost every Thursday through Saturday evenings, Pope Benedict leaves him home in a Vatican limousine to one of three popular London nightclubs – Club Abrasions, Clench and Treatable – all of which cater to a largely gay clientele. Ratzy usually enters the nightclubs via the rear entrance and sometimes stays only in private VIP areas. Club patrons report that he wears his hair brushed back, often dons thick sunglasses that obscure much of his face and wears conservative clothers in festive colors.
Thus far, the Vatican has remained relatively silent on Ratzy. One Vatican spokesperson described Pope Benedict’s nighttime activities as “outreach efforts” to reform the behavior of strayed Catholics living a gay lifestyle.
Rumors circulating the London gay and European Catholic communities suggest that the Vatican is in an uproar. Some club patrons claim that Pope Benedict’s handlers select club members to invite to the VIP room to engage in illicit activity. The Vatican will only admit to Ratzy conducting “private informal interviews” with club patrons for “strictly rehabilitative” purposes.
Adding fuel to the fire is a sexual battery lawsuit filed by a patron at Club Abrasions. The plaintiff alleges that Pope Benedict sexually assaulted him as he used a urinal in the men’s room. The Vatican denies the charge and has asserted papal immunity.
Critics of the Vatican have called for more transparency. “If Pope Benedict wants to live a gay lifestyle, he should not keep it a secret,” said Colin Newbanks, a London gay rights activist. “There are a lot of men that would find him sexy if he would just be up front about who he is.”
The Vatican did not immediately respond to requests for comment on this story, but one observer of the Vatican stated that a former pope leading a gay lifestyle could be more damaging that the child sex scandals: “Although the Vatican officially condemned sex with children, it was part of the priesthood culture,” he said. “Sex with men after puberty is another story.”