I couldn't see the lobby from my window,
so I moved into the hotel...
A couple of websites claim Benedict XVI thinks so.
Evidently the retired Holy Father said as much in his last interview with Seewald in his latest book, Final Conversations. Pope Benedict has said he broke up a small 'gay lobby' of four or five before his retirement. Today some sites are leading with the claim, "Benedict thinks the gay network may have reassembled under Francis." That's misleading.
Evidently what was really said was: "Whether it forms again, I do not know."
People will know for sure what the retired Holy Father said, if and when they read the book.
I just have a couple of comments for those jumping to conclusions.
First, 'network' is a more appropriate term rather than 'gay mafia' or 'gay lobby'. A network is as Crux describes it: "a network of gay clergy who protect one another’s secrets and try to help one another inside the system." Quietly.
Pope Benedict may have succeeded in breaking up some sort of faction within the system, but he probably did little else but send them back into a closet. Unless of course they were removed from the priesthood all together, which I doubt. Gay clergy won't go away. SSA men who are ordained as priests help fellow priests out, no matter what their sexual orientation may be. SSA or gay? We know there are gay priests who believe homosexuality is just fine - and there are SSA priests who disagree of course - but they agree to disagree, if you know what I mean. And many of you do.
All the priests I know are definitely not gay or SSA. Yet they are more than willing to help anyone - straight or gay - to reform one's life and follow Christ in the way of perfection. Even a brother priest who struggles to be faithful - they are there to help with the sacraments and good counsel. That is the right kind of network.
That said, there are priests and lay people who approve of homosexual activity and same sex marriage, as well as adoption by homosexuals. Religious-ed and youth ministers and others in parishes currently believe that Church teaching can and will change, and therefore they promote, support, and encourage acceptance and approval of homosexuality - quietly and discreetly. They protect one another's secrets and try to help one another inside the system - be it the parish, the diocese and it's ministries, or the Vatican. No one seems to be able to break that up - since in many places, there is also parental (lay) approval.
No one will be successful in breaking that up, especially when we have bishops suggesting homosexuality is good, and when priests and religious accept and receive awards from gay groups in gratitude for their support and encouragement to gay causes and/or the organizations which either approve of or promote homosexuality.
Thank God for Pope Benedict and Pope Francis and their safeguarding the deposit of Faith - but the gay network is probably just as strong as it ever was - because there have always been gay priests.
Pundits and news-sites writing headline copy need to stop twisting what the Pope(s) say and face reality. Trad or not - people network.