“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,” he said. “In our societies, it even seems that homosexuality is fashionable and that mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the Church.”
In the excerpt from the book, The Strength of a Vocation, the Pope remembered hearing a religious leader in the Church who believed it wasn’t “that serious, it’s just an expression of affection.”
“It’s not just an expression of affection. In consecrated and priestly life, there’s no room for that kind of affection,” he stated. “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.”
Once upon a time, Pope Francis was thought to have a more progressive attitude on homosexuality. In 2013, he was quoted as saying, “If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?”
Over the years, that persona has slowly eroded; Francis recently declared that parents should take gay children to a psychiatrist.
“I say to the priests, gay religious men and women, we must urge you to live fully celibate and, above all, to be exquisitely responsible, trying not to scandalize your communities or the holy faithful people of God by living a double life,” Francis continued. “It is better that you leave the ministry or consecrated life rather than live a double life.”