The Pope Is Not Gay! - Angelo Quattrocchi, Romy Giuliani Clark I originally ran across this book in an article in the New York Review of Books.  My comments regarding that article preceded my reading of this book and have been left intact at the end of this review. The book reinforces my maxim that "people specialize in their deficiencies."  It would appear that Ratzinger, or Ratzy, as Benedict XVI is unaffectionately called, has some serious issues with his own sexuality, not to mention authoritarianism.  

Quattrocchi, who died in 2009, was a reporter for Italian newspapers. ​​​Of course, sex-phobia has a long history in the Catholic Church starting with Paul who said in his letters that if you enjoyed or indulged in sex you could never make it to heaven. (I am sooo doomed.) Andrew Priest (don't you just love the irony?), a psychologist and anthropologist, in addition to being a Protestant priest, wrote [Paul] “suffered from a pathological lack of emotional maturity and was psychologically unstable, and was therefore too apt to confuse his instinctive reactions and capricious value judgments with rules emanating from on high. . .He was more attracted to Christ on the cross than he was to the Christ of the resurrection.  His doctrine of atonement bears the mark of his sadomasochistic tastes...." * Quattrocchi suggest Ratzy suffers from the same flaws.  Ratzy has been singularly silent with regard to any "adolescent relationships.  Growing up, as he did, member of the Nazi Youth, subject to Nazi hate for homosexuals, Quattrocchi says sex became an obsession to the future pope. 

The idea that the Vatican and priesthood are a sanctuary for homosexuals is not a new one. Roger Peyrefitte waged a rather bitter battle with the Catholic establishment, including Francois Mauriac, over his derogatory The Keys of St. Peter novel in the 1950's. ** Ratzy was brought to Rome in 1986 "to restore the old order," and he immediately kicked off two decades of homophobia.  In his Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexuals  he says, paraphrased by Quattrocchi, "I condemn you and as always I discriminate against you.  But I do it to please my God and, of course, for your own good.  Souls are good. Arseholes bad."  Ratzy rejected the budding homosexual rights movement against discrimination as being ultimately destructive to souls. Ratzy said, " 'Sexual orientation' does not constitute a quality comparable to race, ethnic background, etc. in respect to non-discrimination. Unlike these, homosexual orientation is an objective disorder." ***  He goes on to support discriminatory practices against gays.

Quattrocchi finds that the Pope's pronouncements since his election (he argues, without evidence, that Ratzinger had been groomed for the job by John Paul and the first three ballots were merely a sham to make it look as if there might be some disagreement,) have been sex- and homo-phobic.
About half the book is devoted to Georg Ganswein. Georg, described as a magnificent specimen, with Steve McQueen looks, even in his fifties, was a follower of Lefebvre, long considered the leader of a heretical movement. (Benedict has worked to rehabilitate his organization within the church.) Georg was a superb politician and gradually worked his way up the ladder of Opus Dei, the powerful, extremely conservative Catholic organization.  Ratzy took note. As a good German, one who also appreciated the Latin mass--Ratzy and Georg presided over quasi-secret Latin masses for the Italian rich during the late eighties--he is made Ratzinger's second-in-command at the CDF, the church's 20th century inquisition​​​​ agency.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ In the meantime, Ratzy was making himself indispensable to Wijtila.

After his inevitable installation as pope, Georg was installed as his personal assistant, helping him dress, etc. and always present often caught on camera in rather intimate situations. ***** The result of this symbiosis is "a combination of doctrinal rigidity and flamboyant dress."  Quattrochi places a lot of importance on the pope's (all chosen by Georg) dress:  Prada red shoes, Ray-Ban sunglasses (apparently the first time a pope was ever seen in sunglasses,) ermine and ever more flamboyance.  Quattrochi quotes several pieces by Italian newspapers, all remarking on the strangeness of the pope's new clothes. The pink cassocks especially had the tongues wagging.
The rumor mills begin to go crazy with speculation that the pope is gay and in a relationship with Georg. Apparently there was a gay pope,  Julius III (famous for his support of Michaelangelo) who fell in love with a thirteen-year-old boy and who made the boy a cardinal (at age seventeen) after his election to the papacy (one is so tempted to say popehood.)

A fine example of Ratzinger's hair-splitting and desire to suppress dissent was evident just recently in his letter to English Bishops with regard to the beatification of Newman as quoted by Garry Wills, a committed Catholic, who flat out calls the Pope a liar: "Pope Benedict XVI is the best-dressed liar in the world." **** T he Pope writes: “In a social milieu that encourages the expression of a variety of opinions on every question that arises, it is important to recognize dissent for what it is, and not to mistake it for a mature contribution to a balanced and wide-ranging debate.” So dissent is to be condemned and not part of a "balanced" debate.

Quattrocchi leaves us with a rather pathetic portrait: Our infallible little man, entranced, as he recounts, by his vestments, the sounds, the pomp of a church in Bavaria, [who] has led a life filled with indestructible certainties, structured around and consolidated by  his studies of incontrovertible texts, which had to be learned and annotated but never refuted. . . . The secularist will inevitably wonder, not particularly maliciously, whether such fury [the pope's homophobic pronouncements] isn't the fruit of a deeply repressed desire for what he condemns. . . .In short, he might simply be the most repressed, imploded gay in the world."

*Andrew Priest,'Un Homosexuel peut-il etre Chretien?, Arcadie, no 160 (April 1967)
**  Not many copies of this book around, Where is GoogleBooks when we need it.
*** From a 1992 document published by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith headed by Ratzinger. Appendix 2 in Quattrochi's book.
*****Georg himself said: But it is also true that the fact of meeting each other and being together on a daily basis creates a sense of 'familiarity, which makes you feel less nervous. But obviously I know who the Holy Father is and so I know how to behave appropriately. There are always some situations, however, when the heart beats a little stronger than usual.

Notes re the article in the New York Times Review of Books:

Colm Toibin uses this book as a springboard for an examination of the Catholic Church's quixotic relationship with homosexuality, especially since Vatican II which statists would argue laid the groundwork for what now appears to be seminaries filled with more than 50% homosexuals looking for an opportunity to wear dresses and not have to worry about screwing women. He spends less time on the book that he does in picking apart the positively devilish manner the Church has hidden and condoned really appalling behavior by some of its minions, not to mention authorities. I's an institution that has virtually destroyed whatever moral authority it might have had -- witness Ireland -- yet insists on prescribing moral remedies at world summits as a representative of a micro-country.

Quattrocchi apparently pulls few punches suggesting that "In this way [the Pope's adoration of fine red shoes, his love of fine robes which he changes often, and his constant companion, a rather pretty-boy personal secretary who helps him dress:] his true nature, his deepest unspoken inclinations are revealed. In short, he might simply be the most repressed, imploded gay in the world."

Full review is worth reading at " Among the Flutterers" by Colm Tóibín,

P.S. If you can't get access to the review because it's for print subscribers only, send me an email and I'll forward a pdf copy of it.