Pope Francis's confusion and indecision over gay and bisexual people continues -- in a new interview, the pontiff calls homosexuality "concerning," "serious," and "fashionable" and says men exhibiting gay tendencies should not be allowed in the clergy.
The new broadside against gays follows the most recent pedophilia scandal rocking the Roman Catholic Church; a scandal that many in the Church unfairly and incorrectly blamed on gay priests.
“In consecrated and priestly life, there’s no room for that kind of [homosexual] affection," Francis said in an interview published in the book The Strength of a Vocation, and reported by The Guardian. "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.”
Francis went further, saying potential clergy thought to exhibit gay tendencies must be snuffed out from the church.
“The issue of homosexuality is a very serious issue that must be adequately discerned from the beginning with the candidates,” Francis said. “In our societies it even seems that homosexuality is fashionable and that mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the church.” The pontiff added that he's "concerned" about LGB people in the church, and says it's an issue that only recently came to the Vatican's attention, possibly alluding to some sort of glorious past when gay clergy suffered in the closet.
When Pope Francis, the first pontiff from the Southern hemisphere, assumed the papacy five years ago he initially displayed a softening towards gay people. He famously said, “If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?” Since then, the pope has often reverted back to the Church's insidious homophobia of scapegoating and shaming gay people.
This year, Francis reportedly told a gay man, "God made you like this." Weeks later, Francis declared same-sex couples and LGBTQ parents were "not families." He also recently recommended the parents of gay children seek out psychiatric help.