February 23rd, 2013
05:14 PM ET

Key moments in pope's resignation

CNN's Becky Anderson looks at the key events and reactions since Pope Benedict resigned.
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI • Vatican

February 23rd, 2013
04:48 PM ET

Vatican denies swirling rumors as pope prepares to step down

By Hada Messia, Ben Wedeman and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

Rome (CNN) - The Vatican sought Saturday to tamp down rumors involving sex, money and gay priests that have been swirling in the Italian media and have been linked by some to Pope Benedict XVI's decision to resign.

The strongly-worded denial came on the eve of the pope's last Angelus blessing, expected to draw huge crowds of the faithful, before he stands down on Thursday.

Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone said it was "deplorable" that as the time for the Roman Catholic cardinals to elect a new pope approaches, a rash of "often unverified, unverifiable or completely false news stories" has appeared.

Such unfounded stories "cause serious damage to persons and institutions," he said, and are an attempt to influence the cardinals' free will in the election "through public opinion."

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bishops • Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI

About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.