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Gay scandal at the heart of the Vatican: Pope Francis faces his first crisis

By Damian Thompson, Telegraph

Pope Francis is discovering just what a nasty place the Vatican can be. Having acknowledged that there was a "gay lobby" in the Curia, the Pope has been told that the man he's appointed to be prelate of the Vatican Bank, Monsignor Battista Ricca, has an allegedly scandalous gay past. Moreover, Ricca is not only Francis's personal representative at the bank: he's also Director of the Domus Santa Marta, where Francis has chosen to live. Indeed, the Pope often eats with the 57-year-old Ricca, whose supposed sexual indiscretions are the subject of an explosive article by Sandro Magister, Vatican expert of L'Espresso magazine.

The best guide through this troubling affair is Dr Robert Moynihan, one of the most respected of all commentators on Vatican affairs and the author of a new book about Pope Francis. I receive his email newsletter, the Moynihan Report, in which he sets out the sequence of events.

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