A reality we can’t deny

Pope Francis discusses homosexuality in the priesthood: "People with that kind of ingrained tendency should not be accepted into the ministry or consecrated life"

Pope Francis. (Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA)

In a book-length interview to be published next week, Pope Francis addressed gifts and challenges for clerical and religious vocations, among them the challenge of homosexuality in the clergy.

“The issue of homosexuality is a very serious issue that must be adequately discerned from the beginning with the candidates, if that is the case. We have to be exacting. In our societies it even seems that homosexuality is fashionable and that mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the Church,” the pope says in the book “The Strength of a Vocation,” set to be released Dec. 3 in ten languages.

In an excerpt from the book, released Friday by Religión Digital, the pope said he is concerned about the issue of evaluating and forming people with homosexual tendencies in the clergy and consecrated life.

“This is something I am concerned about, because perhaps at one time it did not receive much attention,” he said.

“The issue of homosexuality is a very serious issue that must be adequately discerned from the beginning with the candidates, if that is the case,” the pope reiterated.

Francis recalled that one time “I had a somewhat scandalized bishop here who told me that he had found out that in his diocese, a very large diocese, there were several homosexual priests and that he had to deal with all that, intervening, above all, in the formation process, to form a different group of clergy.”

“It’s a reality we can’t deny. There is no lack of cases in the consecrated life either. A religious told me that, on a canonical visit to one of the provinces in his congregation, he was surprised. He saw that there were good young students and even some already professed religious who were gay,” he related.

The pope said that the religious “wondered if it were an issue and asked me if there was something wrong with that. Francis said he was told by one religious superior that the issue was not “that serious, it’s just an expression of an affection.”

“That’s a mistake,” Francis warned. “It’s not just an expression of an affection. In consecrated and priestly life, there’s 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. The ministry or the consecrated life is not his place.”

Full story at Catholic News Agency.

Comments

  1. Hippo Gus says:

    The topic discusses homosexuality among the “clergy.” By implication, therefore, the term clergy restricts the population to those who are “ordained” to the clerical state, who are men only.

    However, isn’t it reasonable that a broader population needs to be addressed with respect to the disordered state of same-sex attraction? After all, there are consecrated religious, both men and women, who may also suffer from same-sex attraction.

    Is it not an issue of both the potential for abuse of minors or vulnerable adults, but also one of maintaining continence, consistent with honoring in general vows of chastity?

    • Fast track says:

      Consecrated women religious aren’t involved in the abuse which is over 80% male homosexual. Serious and intellectually coherent Catholics are going to clean out the priesthood, and smoke screen logic like yours will not divert us. As Fulton Sheen said, it’s up to the laity to reform the Church.

    • Indeed, chastity is for all of us, difficult as it may be for any number of reasons, but possible with Godʻs grace. There was a recent case of a religious order priest in San Diego who was arrested for sexual battery on an adult male. Bishop McElroy defends homosexuality, saying that there is no need for conversion or repentance. He promotes James Martin. The priestʻs religious superior has been a promoter of “tolerance” for homosexuality as well. If this is done for the laity, the fight against the urges from a member of the clergy is going to be weakened.

      • (Continued): I did hear now Bishop Mc Elroy say on television when he was in the San Francisco area that the catechism needed to be changed on homosexuality. That sent a red flag up for me since Pope John Paul II’s catechism is just fine on the homosexual issues. I also see how some, including Hilary Clinton , even want to change the Bible on those issues.

        “Ain’t” going to fall for it.

        • This was meant to go under my Dec. 4 post at 6:49 p.m. in answer to Fr. Perozich’s Dec. 3 post at 7:11 am. Sorry for the mistake.

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      Like many people engaging this discussion, your logic is working in reverse. The percentage of homosexual clergy who committed these horrible crimes is quite small. In the single digits. So if the solution is to eliminate from the priesthood ALL of the people who happen to belong to a given sexual orientation that also contained abusers, so as to eliminate even the innocent ones, then we need to eliminate the male priesthood entirely. Because your logic says that if one member of a sexual orientation is guilty, then they all must be eliminated, and we know that about a fifth of clergy sex abuse victims were girls. Do we really want to eliminate the priesthood altogether?

      • St. Christopher says:

        Homosexual sex is a sin that cries to Heaven for vengeance, “YFC,” as you well know. All sexual sins are wrong, but homosexuality is a special evil, one that even the dark angels turn away from when it is committed given its manifest offense against God’s Natural Law. Further, you logic is, well, illogical. Not all homosexuals molest teen-aged boys, but all boys that are molested are victims of homosexuals. We pray for the good men and women, though, that fight against their SSA and remain chaste and celibate throughout their lives.

        • Your Fellow Catholic says:

          St. Christopher its not about homosexual sex. It’s about homosexual celibates and hetersexual celibates. Homosexuality is not a sin. It is a sexual orientation, which the way some men are created. All girls that were molested were victims of heterosexuals. Elimnate all heterosexuals from the ministry because some can’t remain celibate?

          • Surely You Jest. says:

            The Bible says if you look upon someone with lust, you commit sin. That being said you commit sin in your heart as Jimmy Carter once famously stated in response to the question of whether he ever cheated on his wife. Sin starts in the mind and heart and the follow through although may not be physical can still be a problem. Duh.

          • Your Fellow Catholic says:

            Dear Shirley: Whatever wisdom you bring to this conversation, whether in jest or not, applies equally to gay priests and straight priests.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Because it’s a disorder

  3. Bob, you know you raped me! says:

    That’s how many politicians talk, don’t they?
    They say one thing first, then they say the exact opposite.
    Bergoglio said “Who am I to judge?”
    Now he is saying homosexuals should not be ordained priests. Huh?
    Bergoglio gave homo-promo “Father” James Martin a high ranking position in the Vatican, did he not?
    Bergoglio threw the underground Church in China under the bus, remember?
    The he says, “That’s so sad!” Oh, is that right?

    • Anonymous says:

      Peronism: say yes to everyone and do what you want

      • You have summarized well this papacy. Dux Vult. The Leader Wills It. I pray that Pope Francisʻ heart be moved to proclaim the truths of Jesus in the Lordʻs Holy Catholic Church from Scripture and Tradition, and suppress any of his own will that might alter the truth of Godʻs will. Actually I pray the same for myself and for all Christians. Some new will of God has not been discovered by any man, rather God promotes His will through the Holy Spirit placed in us in our baptism, so that we proclaim in our age what Jesus did during His time on earth.

        • Yes, Fr. Perozich. It should be Deus vult instead of Dux vult.. I am not correcting you but others. I used to defend Pope Francis, but it does seem to me that he preaches one thing and rewards another. The Dubia does need to be answered and according to the teachings of the other popes.and Church tradition.(to be continued.)

          • I mistakenly put the continuation to this answer to Fr. Perozich under a post of his on Dec. 3 at 7:18 am. It did end up fitting well there to what he had said, though. My point right above is that we must make sure that God wills what our leader or leaders will before we obey — even a pope. No human being can tell us to break God’s Commandment such the taboos against sexual sins. If they do, we are not to obey. Now I will get off of as I need a rest from all the bickering and confusion. Deus vult! God wills it! (laughter.)

          • Correction: “break God’s Commandments such as the taboos”.

    • History Major says:

      “Who am I to judge” was not in the context that you think it was. It was stated in the middle of a lengthier statement on the gay lobby being bad but not existing in Rome (I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt). He was talking about people with same-sex attraction who were acting in good will and trying to live the teachings of the Church.

  4. Ambrosio de Milano says:

    Here is another reality which we can’t deny:

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/catholic-historian-explains-the-right-way-for-catholics-to-resist-pope-fran

    The Holy Father and his willing accomplices do not have a monopoly on the deposit if the Faith in order to manipulate it to their own ends.

  5. Celibacy is what is expected of priests. Vatican Council II brought in homoheresy by admitting practicant sodomites. The guiding principle of Pope Francis´ pontificate is “Who am I to judge?” when asked about Monsignor Ricca, an incontinent homosexual he knew well from Ricca´s perversions in the Uruguayan Nunciature. Since the Pope is with them, then we just have to wait this VC2 horror out. McCarrick, Wuherl, Cupich, and Mahony forever?

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      Of course Vatican II did no such thing Gratias.

    • In 2005 the Diocese of San Jose hosted the 12 Annual National Association of ‘Catholic’ Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries and allowed X-rated gay pornography to be sold at exhibits during the conferences. Patrick McGrath gave the opening speech for the conference. The first workshop was titled “Are You a Good Witch or a Bad Witch?”. PJ is still in good standing with Rome. I believe the apple is rotten to the core!

      • Your Fellow Catholic says:

        Ron, even assuming, arguendo, that what you say is true, what exactly did Vatican II do in this regard? I don’t think the fathers who wrote, for example, the soaring Lumen Gentium thought they were allowing pornography, x-rated or not, gay or straight, to be a part of a catholic conference. When you and Gratias make the claim that Vatican II brought in some kind of supposed homoheresy & the admission of “practicant sodomites”, I think we have a right to ask what exactly in the documents of Vatican II are you talking about? I have to wonder whether you read them with a pair of cheap pink colored glasses you picked up at Walmart.

        • There is a grand conspiracy, it started when Lucifer said I will not serve. There is a war between God and Satan with the goal the destruction of the Catholic Church. I believe allowing homosexuals into the seminaries and the Protestantism of the Catholic Church through Vatican ll part of that conspiracy. “Vatican II appears to have been an unrelieved disaster for Roman Catholism; http://www.cmri.org/vatican2_stats.html

        • JUST THE FACTS, PLEASE says:

          YFC, do you think your snide and disrespectful insulting of Ron makes your arguments more credible? Ad hominem responses do the opposite, I’d bet.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Nothing will change. This is just deflection.

  7. This is nothing but a distraction !!!

  8. “This is something I am concerned about, because perhaps at one time it did not receive much attention,” Bergoglio said.

    What a lie.
    Pope Benedict 16th specifically instituted a policy stating that homosexuality is a disorder and practicing homosexuals have no place in the priesthood.
    So much for that policy.

  9. The detractors of the Holy Father have yet again been proven wrong. So the Pope gave this interview before Vigano published his letter basically accusing the Holy Father of promoting homosexuality in the clergy. How false! Well, here we have the Holy Father on record expressing that this is indeed a problem, and recently said that those who are same-sex attracted ought to leave the clergy.

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      Jon, its not yet clear what he said in the interview, is it? We are getting snippets here and there, presumably to highlight the agenda of the bloggers doing the reporting. I haven’t found the full text yet, so if you have a link, I’d love to see it. The most extended excerpt I saw seemed to make it clear that the Holy Father was talking about men who have sex while in the priesthood, or are inclined to do so, not those who are gay as a matter of sexual orientation. But even at that, I don’t know the full context because the book seems to be hard to get a hold of. Any leads would be helpful.

      • Dear Young Fellow Catholic: There is enough in the excerpts to indicate to us that homosexuality in general in the priesthood is a concern to the Holy Father: not only those in the clergy who are acting out, but also those “with that kind of ingrained tendency” which Francis adds “should not be accepted into the ministry or consecrated life.” It is already clear from these excerpts what Francis means. To parse even further what the Holy Father means–as if the excepts weren’t already clear–is disingenuous.

        • Your Fellow Catholic says:

          I’ve seen excerpts, jon, that his context is a concern with gay men in the priesthood who engage in sexual behaviors. He clearly describes behaviors, not just sexual orientation in at least some of the excerpts. Part of the problem here is that the Church uses language that is internally inconsistent, and is not consistent with the way that people in general or even people in clinical settings use the language, to convey notions about sexuality and sexual behavior, which are always among the more complicated concepts to communicate. What he means by a sexual tendancy goes undefined, and therefore ambiguous. Does, for example, a celibate straight priest exhibit heterosexual tendancies?

          • So Your Fellow Catholic asks “does a celibate straight priest exhibit heterosexual tendancies [sic]”. This question folks reveals the flawed thinking that one’s sexuality is mainly and only expressed through physical intimacy. One’s sexuality permeates and colors the whole of one’s life. Therefore, OF COURSE a “straight” man whatever his vocation or occupation EXHIBITS his sexuality in his outlook, his relationships, his prayer, his work, his speech, his demeanor, and more; likewise for a same-sex attracted man. And because the particular relationship that a priest is called to have vis-a-vis the people he serves is akin to that of a father to a child and a husband to a wife, the more appropriate question/concern for Your Fellow…

          • Catholic to have is: can a same-sex attracted man (who calls himself unabashedly “gay”–a sure sign that the inclination/tendency is so “ingrained” in him) can relate as a “disinterested” spiritual father to the men, and especially to the young men, of his people; and as a groom to the congregation as a whole?

    • To be even more exact, I note that Francis is calling those in the clergy who are same-sex attracted to live chastely, so as not to give scandal. Yet, given the excerpts, the Holy Father adds that it would be better for them to leave than to give scandal were they to act out (“living a double life”). Though not all same-sex attractive clergy act out, if this tendency is “ingrained” it would be better for them to leave. There is enough in the excerpts for the world to know what is in the mind of Francis.

  10. Vatican II says, “freedom of religion for all, ” throw out all the rules, ” no “bossing,” no discipline– “do as you please.”. That’s the way you do, in Vatican II! “Authority” is now a dirty word! The Pope isn’t very serious!

    • So go ahead and identify for us, Anon, which documents of Vatican II say all those things you claim it says in quotation marks. Cite for us the documents and paragraph numbers please. Thank you.

      • This has nothing to do with the documents. This has to do with the very bad practices of the Catholic Church, since the Council.

        • Then you are self-contradictory. The Second Vatican Council which you have erroneously accused of doing all the things in your quotation marks is not the whole of the Catholic Church. My advice, if I may, is that you have to really think things through before you type your thoughts. Thank you.

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COMMENTS POLICY: Comments are limited to 750 characters and will be truncated at 750. Comments should not contain offensive or libelous language. Please strive to be civil. All comments are subject to approval by our moderator and to editing as the moderator deems appropriate. Inclusion of your email address is optional.