A recent interview with Pope Francis has apparently clarified the pontiff’s position on LGBT+ members of the clergy. An advanced copy of Fernando Prado’s The Strength of Vocation was made available to Reuters, and in it, the Pope makes it clear that LGBT+ priests, nuns and monks are not welcome in the Catholic Church.
In the interview, the Pope says:
“The issue of homosexuality is a very serious issue that must be adequately discerned from the beginning with candidates. In our societies, it even seems that homosexuality is fashionable and that mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the church.”
Pope Francis then affirmed his stance the position of LGBT+ people as clergy members:
“In consecrated and priestly life, there is 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.”
Additionally, the Pope added that LGBT+ clergy members should step down from their position:
“It is better that they leave the priesthood or the consecrated life rather than live a double life.”
The Pope’s comments point to an ingrained tendency within the Catholic Church that demonises LGBT+ identities. As he departed Ireland following the papal visit in August, Pope Francis told reporters that gay children should be brought to a psychiatrist.
On the plane, a reporter asked the pontiff what advice he would give to parents of LGBT+ children and he gave the following response:
“I would say first of all to pray. Then, to not condemn, to talk, to understand, to make space for the son or daughter. Then it depends on the age – it is one thing if it’s manifested in children, there are many things one can do with a psychiatrist. It is another if it’s manifested in your 20s.”
Moreover, last week Cardinal Gerhard Müller claimed that the “moral depravity” of gay men was to blame for the Catholic Church’s history of sexual abuse. Müller’s comments were in reference to the resignation of another cardinal – Theodore McCarrick – who was accused of sexually abusing boys earlier this summer.
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