Pope worried about 'fashionable' homosexuality in clergy

(Il Messaggero)

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has expressed his concern about the presence of "fashionable" homosexuality among the clergy of the Catholic Church, moving away from his previous more liberal statements on the matter, Corriere della Sera reports.

 “In our lives it even seems homosexuality is fashionable. And this mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the Church," the Pope said in an interview with a Spanish missionary priest in anticipation of his new book ‘La Forza della Vocazione’ (The Force of Vocation), which sheds light on the significant challenges of being a member of the clergy. Instead, he urged priests and nuns to observe the vow of celibacy taken upon joining the priesthood and maintained that there was “no room” for homosexuality in the lives of priests and nuns.

 Therefore, according to the Pope, the Church should be “demanding” in its choice of candidates for the priesthood and make sure that its clergy-men and -women are “humanly and emotionally mature”, imploring those “with this rooted tendency [homosexuality] not to be accepted into ministry or consecrated life.”

 In 2013, early in his post as head of the Catholic Church, Francis received criticism from conservatives for advocating an apparently liberal stance on the matter in an interview with Vatican journalists, after he said, "if a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?" In the same interview he added that gay clergy should be forgiven and their sins should be forgotten.