Pic: Jeffrey Bruno
It appears that just because Pope Francis is supportive of gay individuals, doesn’t mean he thinks they are suitable to become priests.
According to local media, the pontiff told church leaders at a meeting this week that they should ensure that candidates for the priesthood do not have homosexual ‘tendencies’.
“Keep an eye on the admissions to seminaries, keep your eyes open,” Francis was quoted as saying to Italian bishops. “If in doubt, better not let them enter.”
While the Vatican has refused to confirm the report, the stance is in line with December 2016 Vatican guidelines that upheld the Catholic Church’s ban on gay men, and anyone supporting “gay culture”, from becoming priests.
That document states: “The Church, while deeply respecting the people concerned, cannot admit to a seminary or into holy orders those who practice homosexuality, show deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support what is called gay culture.”
The news of the pope’s comments on the issue comes days after a Chilean survivor of Catholic child sexual abuse spoke of his private meeting with the pope.
In it, Juan Carlos Cruz said that the Pope told him that his being “gay does not matter” and that “God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care.”
While Pope Francis has shown a willingness for the church to be more accepting of gay individuals he has remained deeply opposed to the recognition of transgender people, same-sex families and same-sex marriage, describing these in public statements as threats to the family and humanity.
According to Catholic dogma, gay sexuality is defined as “acts of grave depravity”, as “intrinsically disordered” and “contrary to the natural law”.