Pope Francis admitted that he believes a gay lobby wields power within the Vatican administration during a private talk with the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious Men and Women (CLAR).
"And yes, it is difficult," he said of efforts to reform the church. "In the curia there are holy people, truly holy people. But there is also an undercurrent of corruption, there is also, it's true, there's talk of the gay lobby, and yes it's true. It's there and we have to see what we can do about it," he said in Spanish, according to Latin American Catholic website Reflexión y Liberación.
While the Pope said all the Cardinals identified the need for reform during Conclave in March, he explained that he is not the person who can spearhead reform.
"I'm very disorganized, I've never been good at it," he said. But Pope Francis said Cardinals Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga from Honduras and Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa of Chile will push forward with reform.
The existence of a "gay lobby" was one of the reasons Pope Benedict is said to have resigned, The Irish Times reported after his decision in February.
While Pope Francis was very frank with CLAR, the organization that oversees Catholic communities of priests, sisters and monks, his spokesperson declined to elaborate on the purported powerful gay lobby.
"It was a private meeting, I have no comment to make," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told Agence France-Presse on Tuesday.