Pope Francis Says He's Worried About Homosexuality in the Priesthood

Society | December 3, 2018, Monday // 14:47| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: Pope Francis Says He's Worried About Homosexuality in the Priesthood Източник: pixabay

Men with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be admitted to the Catholic clergy, and priests who are gay should be celibate or leave rather than lead a double life, Pope Francis said in a new book.

Francis made the comments in a book-length interview with Spanish priest Fernando Prado called “The Strength of Vocation,” in which he discusses the challenges of being a priest or nun today.

 The pope said in the book that homosexuality in the Church “is something that worries me." It is due to be published this week in several languages. An advance copy of the Spanish version was provided to NBC News by a Vatican spokesperson and the Italian version was made available to Reuters. The Vatican did not comment on the content of the book.

“The question of homosexuality is a very serious one,” he said, adding that those entrusted with training men to be priests must be certain that candidates are “humanly and emotionally mature” before they can be ordained.

"In our societies, it even seems homosexuality is fashionable. And this mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the church," Francis was quoted as telling his interviewer.

Francis is quoted in the book as commenting on a clergyman who had told him that having gays in Catholic religious housing "isn't so grave" because it's "only an expression of affection."

 That reasoning "is in error," Francis said. "In consecrated life and priestly life, there is no room for this kind of affection."

“For this reason, the Church urges that persons with this rooted tendency not be accepted into (priestly) ministry or consecrated life,” he said.

He urged homosexuals who are already priests or nuns to be celibate and responsible to avoid creating scandal. “It is better that they leave the priesthood or the consecrated life rather than live a double life,” he said. The pope has warned Italian bishops in the past to vet seminarians closely and reject those they suspect might be gay.

Still, Francis, as he has in the past, stressed that gay Catholics contribute to the life of the church. He said the church must always remember that "they are persons who will live in the service of the church, of the Christian community, of the people of God. Let's never forget this perspective."

Francis in his papacy has sought to stress that while obeying church teachings, the faithful must also be compassionate and open to others with different views.
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Tags: church, Pope Francis, Catholic church, homosexuality, priests
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