Pope Francis has said that “homosexuality is fashionable” and that there is “no room for that kind of affection” in the clergy in a new interview.
The interview was published in Italy as part of a new book titled The Strength of Vocation, The Guardian reported.
“The issue of homosexuality is a very serious issue that must be adequately discerned from the beginning with the candidates,” he said, addressing the idea of LGBTI people becoming priests.
“In our societies it even seems that homosexuality is fashionable and that mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the church.
“This is something I am concerned about, because perhaps at one time it did not receive much attention.”
The Church officially barred gay people from entering the priesthood over a decade ago, and the current Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” and that “under no circumstances can they be approved”.
“It can happen that at the time perhaps they didn’t exhibit [that they were gay], but later on it comes out,” the Pope continues in the interview.
“In consecrated and priestly life, there’s no room for that kind of affection. Therefore, the church recommends that people with that kind of ingrained tendency should not be accepted into the ministry or consecrated life.
“The ministry or the consecrated life is not his place.”
The pontiff said that the Church should “urge homosexual priests, and men and women religious, 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.”
“It’s better for them to leave the ministry or the consecrated life rather than to live a double life,” he said.