Pope Francis sparks controversy saying there's no place for gay priests in the Catholic Church
Pope Francis is worried about the "fashionable" lifestyle of gay persons. He now thinks "there 's no place" for it in the church.
Corriere della Sera, an Italian magazine, ran some excerpts from a new book on Saturday. It featured quotes from a four-hour interview with Francis done in August.
According to AP News, the book, entitled "The Strength of Vocation," will be published in 10 languages this week. It features a conversation between Francis and a Spanish-born missionary priest, Fernando Prado.
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Pope Francis is "concerned" about what he described as the "serious issue" of homosexuality, saying in an interview published Saturday that being gay was a "fashion" to which the clergy is suspectible https://t.co/r0IFa32Xbr— AFP News Agency (@AFP) December 1, 2018
In one of the excerpts, Francis reveals he is concerned about the lifestyle.
"In our societies, it even seems homosexuality is fashionable. And this mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the church."
Francis spoke about comments from a clergyman who described the practice. The clergyman said it "isn't so grave" since it's "only an expression of affection."
Pope Francis has said he is worried about the number of gay men joining the Catholic priesthood, and warned that homosexuality was becoming “fashionable” in society https://t.co/ogySl2x1uz— The Times (@thetimes) December 2, 2018
In response, Francis said that that way of thinking "is in error." He added:
"In consecrated life and priestly life, there is no place for this 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."
According to Francis, people with "neuroses or strong unbalances" should not be allowed into "the priesthood."
Regarding the preparation of men for the priesthood, the pope urged:
"We must very much take care of human and sentimental maturity."
Pope Francis has been quoted in a soon-to-be published book as saying that having gays in the clergy "is something that worries me" and remarking that some societies are considering homosexuality a "fashionable" lifestyle. https://t.co/GPcLrjCHbZ pic.twitter.com/Cx5Mc7oBor— ABC News (@ABC) December 2, 2018
While appearing stricter in his stance, Francis is still accepting of those who are gay and follow the church's teachings.
He reminded the public:
"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."
Gay persons were first barred by the Catholic church in 2005. Consistently, teachings from the Church deem all sex outside of a married heterosexual relationship as sinful.
Online, many opposed the whole idea:
Yet the matter of celibacy is clear. Francis reiterated:
"[We] have to 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."
The eye-opening interview follows Francis' 2013 comments made soon after he assumed the papacy.
"If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?"
In 2016, the pope even called for Catholics to apologize to gays, "to the poor, to exploited women, to children exploited for labor."
The "groundbreaking moment" came after a German Cardinal mentioned that the Church should apologize for its negativity towards gays.
And earlier this year, the Pople reportedly told a Chilean sexual abuse survivor that it was "not a problem" he was gay.
The victim, Juan Carlos Cruz, explained that the Pope comforted him as he discussed his abuse. He also claimed the pope described him as a "perverse being."
At the same time, he told Cruz:
"God made you like that and loved you like this, and I don’t care. The Pope loves you like this. You have to be happy with who you are."
The interview followed an abuse scandal in Chile that led to Fernando Karadima, 87, being stripped of his clerical duties.
Cruz and other more liberal followers were hopeful with the pope's stance in prior years. With this new interview, it remains to be seen how they will react.