Jorge Mario Bergoglio attends his first private Mass as Pope Francis in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore on March 14, 2013 in Rome, Italy.
Credit: L'Osservatore Romano

In a speech that the general public wasn't supposed to hear, Pope Francis described a "corrupt gay lobby" working in the Vatican.

"There is a current of corruption. There is talk of a 'gay lobby' and it's true, it exists. We have to see what can be done," the Pope reportedly remarked in a private speech to the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious Men and Women. 

Was the Pope just trying to bash gay-rights activists by adding the scary word "lobby" to their name? News outlets don't think so. In fact, the Associated Press and other agencies think the Pope's speech confirms earlier rumors that there is, in fact, a gay lobby of sorts in the Vatican. 

More from GlobalPost: Anti-gay Christmas message of Pope Benedict XVI

Rumors of a gay lobby started in the days leading up to Pope Benedict XVI's Feb. 28 resignation. According to reports in Italian media, gay Vatican clergymen were both victims of blackmail and corruption, but were also taking part in it. Documents also claimed there was favoritism in the Vatican based on gay relationships, Agence France-Presse reported.

The news media got that information from a top secret report prepared for Pope Benedict that somehow got leaked.

It's not clear who leaked the documents, but as Reuters reported, the pope's butler was convicted last year of stealing papal documents. He was later pardoned. 

These latest, remarks, meanwhile, were leaked when the the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious Men and Women innocently described the speech on its website, apparently by accident.

"The HPLC presidency deeply regrets what has happened and confusion that this may have created," the organization said in a statement

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