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Reports say Roman Catholic Pope Francis has acknowledged the existence of a "gay lobby" and a "stream of corruption" at the Vatican.

The pope is reported to have made the remarks last week in a private meeting with representatives for priests and nuns in Latin American and the Caribbean.

A Chilean Catholic website has published a summary of the conversation.

Vatican Spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said it had been a private meeting and he had no comment.

In the conversation, the pope is quoted as saying that while there were many holy people in the Vatican, there was also corruption. He also confirmed the existence of what he called a "gay lobby.”

In February, shortly before Pope Benedict resigned, Italian media carried reports of corruption and blackmail attempts against gay clergymen.

Based on reports from AP, Reuters and AFP
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