Francis: Homosexuals “should not be accepted into the ministry or consecrated life.”

Aciprensa has it.  HERE

The UK’s (and now US’s) best Catholic weekly has it.  HERE

Francis made a book/interview which will be released next week.  A sample has been released.

In the sample we find that Francis says that pastoral care must be given to homosexuals, but that they should not be admitted to formation as religious or as priests.

“But FATHER! But FATHER!”, some of you are howling, “You are NOT reporting accurately.   There have to be… nuances… subtleties… complexities and refinements.  There must be…rainbows and bridges and…”

NO.  That’s what Francis said.  Read:

Francis warned. “It’s [Homosexuality is] not just an expression of an affection. In consecrated and priestly life, there’s no room for that kind of affection. [Even in the Jesuits?] 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.”  [Or her.]

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 scandalize either their communities or the faithful holy people of God by living a double life. It’s better for them to leave the ministry or the consecrated life rather than to live a double life.[He is talking about active homosexuality.]

The pope was asked in the book if there are limits to what can be tolerated in formation.

“Of course. When there are candidates with neurosis, marked imbalances, difficult to channel not even with therapeutic help, [So, here he seems to put homosexuality in with other disorders.  Rightly so.] they shouldn’t be accepted to either the priesthood or the religious life, They should be helped to take another direction, but they should not be abandoned. They should be guided, but they should not be admitted. [Third time!] Let us always bear in mind that they are persons who are going to live in the service of the Church, of the Christian community, of the people of God. Let’s not forget that perspective. We have to care for them so they are psychologically and affectively healthy,” the pope replied.

That seems to settle that.

Remember: Priesthood and religious life are not rights.  No one has the right to be a priest or religious.

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  1. Sawyer says:

    Let’s see what Fr. James Martin, S.J. has to say in response to the pope’s remarks. If those same remarks had been made by Cardinal Burke or Arinze or Sarah or by a faithful U.S. bishop, Martin would have tweeted faux outrage (as he has done before) about not being welcoming or pastoral or accepting or understanding or accompanying. Now that it comes from Pope Francis, what will Martin have to say? And if he doesn’t call out the pope like he’s done to others who made similar remarks, then you know Fr. Martin is a cowardly sycophant.

  2. APX says:

    Sawyer, he already has tweeted about it.

  3. FrAnt says:

    What prompted this? There’s a big “but” coming.

  4. Joe in Canada says:

    I hope he’s not talking only about ‘active homosexuality’. A priest might live perfect continence but his choices of recreation, vacation, tone of voice, type of humor, etc, can scandalize or confuse people. I knew a priest once who liked to say “aren’t I naughty?!”

  5. anthtan says:

    Curious. What happened to “Who am I to judge?”?

  6. Thomas says:

    That is quite refreshing. When I first saw the headline, I thought to myself “Oh, no. What is this going to be now??” But I was pleasantly surprised by the realism here. Of course, this is not the way that a St. Augustine would have described the problem. But I think most people can agree that if you take a vow of celibacy and then insert yourself into a situation where you expect to live a homosexual lifestyle, you are being a complete fraud and a liar.

  7. Gil Garza says:

    I believe that Francis has handed his critics a pilón.

    A pilón is a candied treat of little value meant to convey personal affection and the high regard of the recipient. A Peronist leader uses pilóns to secure the support of factions although they may be highly opposed to one other, within the government. Each faction therefore feels highly regarded within the coalition and treasures their pilón.

    A Peronist uses personal outreach and pilóns to secure the support of each group while he uses the official means of their administration to plot an unspoken path. The course of the Peronist government may be directly opposed to a particular group or faction of groups. However, the Peronist leader uses the pilón and his personal outreach to make that group or faction feel like part of the ruling coalition, despite the actions of his government.

    The allure of the Peronist form of government is the total control of all aspects of society in which the answer to every problem in society is the government. The Peronist is a fascist form of totalitarianism in which seductive exercise absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    [Right or wrong, this is really interesting commentary about Peronism.]

  8. Julia12 says:

    Francis the Peronist strikes again.

  9. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    Gee, is the old “Who am I to judge” now out of date? What about all those priests involved in gay controversies he has surrounded himself with? Are we to forget all that and now look ahead? What kind of leader changes his tune monthly?

  10. Late for heaven says:

    I no longer pay any attention to any words spoken by Pope Francis. I watch what he does. All his actions contradict these words.

    Two bird hunters went into the woods one day. They wept as they walked and called out their sorrow for the poor birds. Three birds, listening, were moved by their pity for them and came closer and closer to listen, all but one old wise bird and the young bird who followed him. The birds drew so close that the hunters were able to shoot very many of them, weeping all the while. After the hunters had gone the young bird said how sad this tragedy was and how how many tears the hunters shed. Yes my son, said the old bird. They made a great noise. But watch their hands.

  11. Late for heaven says:

    Should be: THE birds, listening….

  12. Kathleen10 says:

    Nothing says don’t look at me Feds like a declaration. But it ain’t-a-gonna worrrk.

    Nice story Late for heaven. Actions do indeed speak much louder than words.

  13. Simon_GNR says:

    Well that’s pretty clear. Peter has spoken through Francis. No homosexuals to be admitted to holy orders or the consecrated religious life. End of. Move on. No further debate or discussion necessary.

  14. VP says:

    “But watch their hands.”

    Someone was probably updating the Catechism while Francis was speaking.

  15. bobbird says:

    Aside from the warnings given, which are spot-on, I also note what the pope DIDN’T say: He did not denounce same-sex marriage and the new “Cupich Paradigm”, he did not denounce clerics (such as himself) who have denied that homosexual/heterosexual violations of celibacy in clerical behavior is the problem. Besides a “But” coming, this might be a weak attempt at “damage control” from the fall-out coming from Baltimore.

  16. tho says:

    We are still mired in a hierarchy that practices deceit. Bishop Morlino defined celibacy as a sacrifice, whereby true and holy priests, through a love for Jesus Christ, give up a life of marriage and family. The two strongest marks of a man is self preservation and the desire to reproduce, to forego both, or either one is a tremendous sacrifice and it can only be accomplished by uniting ones self with Jesus. A byproduct of that is happiness. No one can know true happiness like a holy priest because it is not episodic, it is forever.

  17. JARay says:

    I have been praying for Pope Francis. Can it be true that my prayers have actually been answered?!

  18. Elizabeth D says:

    I am glad for him to be clear about this. I see this is making it into some secular news. He has said similar things before but it needs to be said really, really clearly, and with emphasis and stated directly toward each prelate and religious superior in regards to those under his authority “this means you”. I seem to recall a Jesuit seminarian a few years ago, may have been in Chicago, talking publicly about being gay, and gay identity seemed to be important to him, but stated he was committed to living chastely. I have continued to be concerned about this, which is obviously regardless of his intentions the Church says he should be dismissed to live chastely as a layman if his same sex attraction is more than just a transitory issue. The man seemed to be clear and public that his homosexuality was deep seated. Does anyone recall this or know what happened with this man? I hope he is okay and in good shape in his spiritual life and Catholic faith but I do hope he is not still with the Jesuits.

  19. Imrahil says:


    assuming the Pope is honest and all, which some commenters here have doubted,

    I am sorry but I do not think this is an entirely good thing. Specifically the “and consecrated life” part. (Apart from the choice-of-word “ministry” for what I believe should be called “clergy” or by simplification “priesthood”.)

    Pope Benedict, in 2005, or was it 2006, made “experiencing SSA” into an irregularity or an obstacle (to use the traditional words) for receiving an ordination. This positive law was, I believe, good. But there is one thing it was not and that is “obviously good” and “obviously the only Catholic thing to do”. Previously, it had not been wrong for homosexuals to enter the clergy; it had only been wrong for clerics as well as laymen to practice homosexuality. In fact, if you assume a background where practicing homosexuality is generally treated just like stealing, murdering and the like, then perhaps it even makes sense that faithful Catholics living among faithful Catholics who experience SSA and do not experience opposite-sex attraction “might as well” get themselves ordained because they can’t so really marry anyway. Rumors at least have it that this did happen.

    Pope Benedict decided “from now on: no”. There is sense in that too; certainly in modern times, to battle scandals, reduce temptations, preserve the manly image of the clergy, and so on. That’s what Popes are there for, deciding such decisions. And after all, “noone has the right to be ordained” (except an already-ordained transitional deacon who has not given offense), that is, the Church has the right to set down the criteria for her clergy.

    – But what about the extending of this to consecrated life, now? Consecrated life is not an office of the Church (!), but, simplifyingly, it is there to make Catholics holy in greater measure and on a safer path than they can be in the world. This, in fact, sounds almost as if it were fitted to “Catholics experiencing SSA but not willing to act on them” in special measure. After all, where else can they go? The world doesn’t understand them and will shun them more quickly and strongly than ever a “homophobic” person shunned an active homosexual; and in all probability that includes their families. They can’t become priests. They can’t work in the area of education. Now Pope Francis said they can’t go to an order. What next? They can’t be Church musicians and parish secretaries?

    I would think that this heavily tempted category of men should be given every assistance to live a moral life that we can give them (except accepting them into the clergy), rather than obstacle after obstacle.

    And anyway: Of course, noone has a right to join a specific order, either, especially if this involves community life. The order has a right to choose their members. But does the Pope have a right to forbid orders the accepting of certain members, beyond ensuring they are faithful Catholics not bound by marriage (or the vow to another order)? And if so should he use it? In my view, the answer to at least one of these questions is “no”. After all, subsidiarity is a Catholic principle.

    And a last point: In the past – I grant: the rather remote past – the orders were also, and were I believe legitimately, something like the French Foreign Legion in the 20th century, without the shooting: a safe (though arduous) haven for those that have despaired of the life in the world and turn to an order because they see nowhere else a place they could go. (The rules against admitting those who have debts to pay – unspoken assumption: and can do so by working – do suggest that people in debt would have got the idea to join in the first place.) – After all, one of our really great saints, St. Alphonsus, entered religion (to simplify; I believe he became a diocesan priest before founding his own order) because he lost a case as a lawyer.

    That we have lost this option for, as I believe it was called, fuga mundi and our orders are only for those who would fare well in the world, living a Catholic moral life, and want to be yet better – though, not to be misunderstood, this is of course a good thing as well: this is, I believe, a damage to the entire Catholic picture.

  20. Unwilling says:

    Chastity is not effortless in consecrated life, and a contemplative community is extremely intimate. Religious communities are single-sex for a natural human reason. See RB 22 & 53. The thought/anxiety that one of your fellows might be sexually objectifying you would greatly encumber your ability to “pray always”. Allowing in homosexuals would be a contradiction. E.g. I was told by a homosexual that (although an atheist) he resolved to enter a Benedictine monastery for the primary purpose that it would provide him with carnal access to “so many gorgeous men” [I don’t believe he went through with it, though he did more than once visit a house of that repute].

  21. RKR says:

    check out twitter, James Martin is already spinning it:

    “This is closer to what @Pontifex said. Contrary to the many misleading headlines, he wasn’t arguing against gay priests, otherwise he wouldn’t have said they have to be “impeccably responsible.” He’s against gay priests who don’t lead celibate lives.”

  22. pbnelson says:

    This is good news, of course. But if there’s one thing I think we’ve all learned after five years of Francis, it’s watch what he does, not what he says. When he actually starts clearing out the Augean stables, then we’ll know this isn’t just more gaslighting. It pains me to be so cynical about my Holy Father but at this point in his pontificate actions speak louder than words.

  23. KateD says:

    What have we got to loose by encouraging Pope Francis in this forthright statement?

    Isn’t this exactly what we have been hoping and praying for? A clear and concise condemnation of the problem of homosexualist priests?

    Laud his courage. If it’s a Peronist ruse, we will know soon enough.

    The truth has a way of floating up to the surface eventually.

  24. Dad of Six says:


  25. Akita says:

    Notice weasel words: the homosexual priest, “must be impeccable” which simply means he must not be caught. Jorge Bergoglio does not subscribe to the church teaching of homosexuality being intrinsically disordered. See Louie Verrechio’s blog today 12/6 for elucidation on this.

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