Pope Francis, misguidedly known as the “Cool Pope” because he is a supporter of mothers who breastfeed and climate change, has a history of being unclear about whether he thinks God would be cool with gay people in the church, or people being gay, period. His latest comments on the matter further expose that his views on sexuality are pretty much what you’d expect from the Catholic Church, which is to say they’re bad.
Once asked about gay priests in 2013, Pope Francis said, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” That seems to no longer be his position. In his new book The Strength of a Vocation, Pope Francis describes being gay as “fashionable” and calls for men who seek priesthood to be treated with scrutiny until they are proven not to be gay.
“The issue of homosexuality is a very serious issue that must be adequately discerned from the beginning with the candidates,” he writes. He goes on (per the Guardian):
“In consecrated and priestly life, there’s no room for that kind of affection. 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.”
Pope Francis also seems to hold retrograde ideas about how sexuality works, saying that “at a time perhaps,” people do not “exhibit” same-sex attraction, but “later on it comes out.” This backs the Catholic Church’s view that homosexuality is a sin, and therefore more like a choice or a tendency that one can and show ignore.
If gay people do seek priesthood, the Pope advises them to remain celibate, which, duh, is one of the rules for being a priest:
We “have to urge homosexual priests, and men and women religious, to live celibacy with integrity, and above all, that they be impeccably responsible, trying to never scandalise either their communities or the faithful holy people of God,” the pope said.
This is just another example of what the Pope cares about most of all: upholding Catholic doctrine and not rocking the boat, no matter what that means for its practitioners.