Pope Francis told Father Fernando Prado during an interview for his book The Strength of Vocation, that homosexuality among clergy is a “serious matter” that “worries” him.
According to the BBC, the pope labeled homosexuality a fad and called it “fashionable.” Francis also urged members of the clergy to maintain and practice their vow of celibacy.
In excerpts of the interview published by Corriere della Sera, Saturday, the pontiff said that the Church must be "demanding" during the selection process for priesthood candidates.
He said, “The question of homosexuality is a very serious one" and those whose responsibility it is to train priests, he continued, have to make sure the candidates are "humanly and emotionally mature" before they are ordained.
He continued, "For this reason, the Church urges that persons with this rooted tendency not be accepted into ministry or consecrated life."
The BBC reports that this principle also applies to women who want to be nuns.
Francis said, "In our societies, it even seems homosexuality is fashionable. And this mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the Church.”
Francis stressed, however, that there is "no room for this" in the lives of priests and nuns.
This is not to say that Francis is completely against homosexuality.
In 2013, the head of the Catholic Church noted that homosexual acts were sinful, not homosexual orientation.
He said, "If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?"
Father Fernando Prado’s book The Strength of Vocation will be published next week. The book is based on interviews with Pope Francis and looks into the challenges of being a member of the clergy.
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