Gay people should not be admitted to the Catholic clergy and priests who are gay must be “impeccably responsible” or leave, Pope Francis has said.
Francis says in a new book The Strength of Vocation, to be published in several languages this week, that homosexuality in the Church “is something that I am concerned about,” AFP reported.
“The issue of homosexuality is a very serious issue that must be adequately discerned from the beginning with the candidates,” he says in the book, in regards to the selection of priests.
“In our societies it even seems that homosexuality is fashionable and that mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the church.
“In consecrated and priestly life, there’s no room for [homosexual] affection.
“Therefore, the church recommends that people with that kind of ingrained tendency should not be accepted into the ministry or consecrated life.”
Francis said gay people who are already priests or nuns must be celibate and “responsible” to avoid “scandalising” the church.
“[We] have to urge homosexual priests … to live celibacy with integrity, and above all, that they be impeccably responsible, trying to never scandalise either their communities or the faithful holy people of God,” he said.
“It is better that they leave the priesthood or the consecrated life rather than live a double life.”
‘Deep-seated homosexual tendencies’
In 2013, Pope Francis famously said, “If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?”
But in 2016, the Catholic Church reaffirmed its ban on priests who were “practicing” homosexuals.
“The Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture,'” the document stated.
“Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women.
“One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies.”
Earlier this year, Francis reportedly told a gay victim of clerical sexual abuse, “God made you like this.”
But just weeks later, he declared same-sex couples and LGBTIQ parents were not real families.
In 2016, Francis said the growing acceptance of transgender people and the teaching of gender diversity in schools was “terrible” and “the epoch of sin against God the Creator”.