Pope Francis has expressed his concerns about what he describes as the “serious issue” of homosexuality and said that being gay is a “fashion” to which the clergy is susceptible, The Guardian reported.
The Roman Catholic church’s position is that homosexual acts are sinful. Francis added that people with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should be barred from entry into the Catholic clergy, and priests who are gay should be celibate or leave rather than lead a double life.
Francis made the remarks in a book-length interview with Spanish priest Fernando Prado called The Strength of Vocation, in which he discusses the challenges of being a priest or nun today.
"In our societies, it even seems homosexuality is fashionable. And this mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the church," Francis was quoted as telling his interviewer.
Francis urged homosexuals who are already priests or nuns to be celibate and behave responsibly to avoid plunging the church into a scandal. “It is better they leave priesthood or the consecrated life rather than live a double life,” he said.
In August this year, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the Vatican’s former ambassador, alleged that a “homosexual network” existed in the Vatican, whose members helped promote each other’s careers in the Church.