Following the news that the vehemently anti-gay Pope Benedict XVI, who said gays were “intrinsically disordered”, is to resign at the end of this month PinkNews brings you some of his most anti-gay moments, and some of the best reactions to them.

As the first Pope to resign since 1415, the 85-year-old anti-gay Catholic leader became Pope Benedict XVI in April 2005 following the death of John Paul II. Since assuming the top job in the Catholic Church, he has pursued a staunchly anti-gay doctrine.

While we cannot claim a thoroughly scientific approach to the rankings, the stories are ordered through a combination of how widely read they were and how much debate they provoked.

10. He was featured in several ads which caused controversy. A 2011 Bennetton advert featured him locked in a gay kiss with Sheik Ahmed Muhammaed el-Tayeb, a leading Egyptian theologian and Imam of the 1000-year-old Al-Azhar Mosque.

The Vatican said: “This shows a grave lack of respect for the Pope”, and the advert, which was blown up and draped over a bridge in Rome was taken down.

Benetton Pope ad

Later in 2012, the Advertising Standards Authority in New Zealand dismissed complaints about an ad which depicted Pope Benedict XVI blessing a gay couple’s wedding.

The ASA said it was unlikely to cause widespread offence.


9. The Pope, who had been accused by many of not taking a strong enough stand against child abuse in the Catholic Church, admitted in a speech that certain members “violated rights” of children.

In a speech to members of the Pontifical Council for the Family, the Pope stated:

“While the church’s mission was to protect minors, unfortunately, in different instances, certain of its members went against this commitment and violated rights.”

A study by the US Catholic Church declared that the abuse was not linked to homosexuality.

Several protests called for the Pope to be prosecuted over the child abuse priests’ scandal.