VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis has acknowledged the existence of a "gay lobby" and a "stream of corruption" in the Vatican, according to reports in Catholic media not denied by the Vatican.
The pope made the remarks last week in Spanish during a private meeting with representatives of the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious (CLAR), according to the Chilean Catholic website "Reflection and Liberation".
On Tuesday it published what it said was a summary of the conversation written by participants after the June 6 meeting in the Vatican. CLAR, which is based in Colombia, confirmed that a summary had been written but regretted that it had been published.
In the conversation, the pope is quoted as talking about various subjects of concern, including the problems of the Curia, the Church's central administration which was at the centre of a corruption scandal last year.
"In the Curia, there are also holy people, really, there are holy people. But there also is a stream of corruption, there is that as well, it is true... The 'gay lobby' is mentioned, and it is true, it is there... We need to see what we can do," the synthesis by CLAR officials said.
In its own statement, the presidency of CLAR said it "deeply regretted the publication of a text which refers to the conversation with the Holy Father". It did not confirm the precise quotes attributed to the pope but acknowledged the summary reflected the "general feeling" of the meeting.