BOSTON (CBS) – Pope Benedict XVI’s sudden and historic resignation seems to have come out of nowhere, but some believe there’s more to it than health concerns.

The New York Times reported that the Pope will meet with three cardinals this week to discuss their investigation into a scandal over stolen documents. Citing Italian papers, the report says the cardinals found evidence of Vatican officials in compromising situations, including blackmail over gay sex rings.

With a growing history of scandal, some groups, including Bishop Accountability, are advocating for more transparency from the church.

“An abrupt historical decision being made like this, immediately everyone starts speculating what the real reason was,” Anne Doyle, the co-director of Bishop Accountability, said of the resignation. “I think there’s been a worldwide disintegration of the church’s ability to control embarrassing information.

At Catholic churches in Boston, are adamant that scandals publicized by the Italian press are much ado about nothing.

“Whenever you have something like this that happens to a world figure – and the Pope certainly is a world figure – it’s kind of emotionally satisfying to think there’s some conspiracy behind it,” said Spence Lee, a parishioner in Boston.

With the conclave to pick a new Pope getting underway this week, some Catholics are hoping for a fresh outlook that will leave the allegations of scandal behind.


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