Metro Weekly

Pope tells bishops to seek out and prevent gay priesthood applicants

That warning comes only days after a gay Chilean man said the pope told him "God made you this way"

Pope Francis – Photo via / Wikimedia

Pope Francis told Italian bishops on Monday to try and monitor for any potentially gay applicants to the priesthood and to not allow them into the church.

Vatican Insider and Il Messaggero reported on Thursday that the comments were made in a closed-door meeting.

“Keep an eye on the admissions to seminaries, keep your eyes open,” the pope allegedly said. “If in doubt, better not let them enter.”

The pope’s comments come just days after Chilean gay man Juan Carlos Cruz, who was a victim of sex abuse by the clergy, claimed the pope told him privately that God made him gay and his sexuality did not matter.

“He said to me, ‘Juan Carlos, that’s not a problem,’” he told Spanish newspaper El Pais. “You have to be happy with who you are. God made you this way and loves you this way, and the pope loves you this way.”

While many see Pope Francis as trying to soften the church’s stance on LGBTQ issues, it is not uncommon for him to have an inconsistent message. In 2016, the pope told the press that Christians owe apologies to gays and other groups who have been marginalized by the church.

However, in 2015, he said that conservative Christians should be allowed to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses if doing so violates their personal religious beliefs. And that same year, he said that the institution of marriage was threatened by redefining sexuality, but also said during a 2013 trip, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?”

Support Metro Weekly’s Journalism

These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!