Pope Francis has once again criticized gay clergy members in the Catholic Church, saying the idea “worries” him and is a “serious matter.”
Italian media published excerpts from an upcoming book by Spanish priest Fernando Prado in which he interviews the Pontiff about religious vocations, BBC News reports.
Francis called “the issue of homosexuality” a “very serious matter,” and said that sexuality must be “adequately discerned” from prospective clergy candidates.
The Pontiff also said that it “seems that homosexuality is fashionable” in society, and “this mentality…affects the life of the Church.”
Francis was absolute in his rejection of homosexual clergy members.
“In the consecrated life and in the priestly life there is no place for this kind of affection,” he said (as translated by Google). “For this reason, the Church recommends that people with this rooted tendency are not accepted in the ministry or in the consecrated life. The ministry or the consecrated life are not their place.”
Francis included women who intended to be nuns in his rejection of homosexuality in the Church, and said that gay men and women should leave the Church rather than live a “double life.”
“Homosexual priests, religious men and women are urged to live celibacy in full and, above all, to be perfectly responsible, trying not to create scandal in their own communities or in the holy faithful people of God by living a double life,” he said. “It is better that they leave the ministry or the consecrated life rather than live a double life.”
Francis’ words hardly come as a surprise. Earlier this year he told bishops to seek out and prevent gay priesthood applicants, telling them to “keep your eyes open” and “if in doubt, better not let them enter.”
And in June, Francis condemned same-sex families at an event for Catholic families, saying same-sex couples did not deserve to have their families recognized by the Church.
“People speak of varied families, of various kinds of family [but] the family [as] man and woman in the image of God is the only one,” he said.