Pope Francis has expressed his views regarding ‘homosexuality in the churches’ saying that having gays in the Catholic clergy is something that worries him and remarking that some societies consider homosexuality as a “fashionable” lifestyle to which the Catholic clergy is susceptible.
Speaking at an interview with Spanish priest Fernando Prado ahead of a book release called “The Strength of Vocation”, the Pope said that active homosexuals in the Catholic Church should leave, rather than living a “double life”. He urged homosexuals who are already priests and nuns to be celibate and behave responsibly to avoid dragging church into any scandal.
“The issue of homosexuality is a very serious issue that must be adequately discerned from the beginning with the candidates,” the pontiff said with regards to the screening of candidates before they join the priesthood.
Pope Francis’s position with regards to homosexuality in the clergy is not new as the Roman Catholic church believes that homosexual acts are sinful. A 2016 church decree had stressed the ‘obligation of sexual abstinence’ and had barred gays from joining holy orders.
“We have to urge homosexual priests, and men and women religious, to live celibacy with integrity, and above all, that they are impeccably responsible, trying to never scandalise either their communities or the faithful holy people of God,” Pope Francis said.
Earlier in 2013, contrary to his current homophobic views, Pope Francis just months after assuming the papacy had said, “If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?”, signalling a softer tone on homosexuality. “The key is for the church to welcome, not exclude and show mercy, not condemnation,” Pope Francis had spoken about the need for the church to welcome people regardless of their sexual orientation.
Recently, Former papal nuncio (ambassador) to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano had shockingly revealed that Pope Francis was aware of the sexual abuse allegations against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and yet did nothing to punish but went to elevate him to a position where he was helping choose powerful American Bishops. Archbishop Vigano had also called for the resignation of the Pope.
in many countries in the world, Catholic priests and churches are under investigation for hiding cases of sexual abuse by priests. Authorities have been alleging that the Catholic church uses the excuse of ‘pontifical secrets’ to shield guilty priests and works actively to rehabilitate them, further endangering potential victims.