Vatican City – Barbie Latza Nadeau reports in the Daily Beast that Pope Francis continues to send mixed messages on the acceptance of LGBTQ people in the church but is very concerned about their participation as clergy. Nadeau reminds the reader that back in 2013, shortly after Pope Francis was elected, he shocked the world with his words: “If a person seeks God and has goodwill, then who am I to judge,” when asked about a gay priest? In some ways, Francis has been eating his words ever since, constantly called to explain by conservatives in the church what he meant.
Now it seems Francis isn’t mincing his words on the topic. He told Spanish Claretian missionary Fernando Prado that in reality he’s actually “very worried” about homosexuality in the church. Prado, whose book La Forza della Vocazione (The Strength of Vocation) came out in multiple languages on December 3rd, spent four hours interviewing the pontiff in Vatican City this fall about problems in the priesthood. When Prado asked Francis specifically about the high percentage of gays in the priesthood today, Francis became very judgmental indeed. He said that seminaries need to do better at weeding them out. “It’s something that worries me,” he said, according to the excerpts. “The issue of homosexuality is a very serious matter that must be properly discerned from the beginning with the candidates,” he told the Spanish missionary. “We have to be demanding.”
Francis has been accused of sending mixed messages about the issue of gay people in the church, reportedly telling a bishop, “the Church recommends that people with this ingrained tendency not be accepted into the ministry or the consecrated life.” And to those gay priests and nuns who are already ordained, Francis said this: “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. It is better that you leave the ministry or consecrated life rather than live a double life.” (The Daily Beast – Barbie Latza Nadeau at Thedailybeast.com/pope-francis-goes-full-homophobic-now-very-worried-about-homosexuality-in-the-church)