Pope Francis has been quoted in an upcoming book as saying that having gays in the clergy "is something that worries me" and remarking that some societies consider homosexuality a "fashionable" lifestyle. Italian daily Corriere della Sera's website Saturday ran excerpts of the book, in which Francis was quoted as describing homosexuality within the walls of seminaries, convents, and other places where clergy live as "a very serious question." "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, a Spanish-born missionary priest, Fernando Prado. The book, based on four hours of conversations the two had in August at the Vatican, will be published in 10 languages next week. Its Spanish title is "La Fuerza de la vocacion," ("The Strength of Vocation").
Francis reiterated past Vatican pronouncements about the attention that must be given to admitting men to seminaries, saying "we must very much take care of human and sentimental maturity" when training future priests. Separately, the Italian news agency ANSA quoted Francis in the book as commenting on a clergyman who told him that having gays in Catholic religious housing "isn't so grave" because it's "only an expression of affection." That reasoning "is in error," Francis said. "In consecrated life and priestly life, there is no place for this kind of affection." He said candidates with "neuroses or strong unbalances" should not be accepted "to the priesthood nor to (other forms of) consecrated life." Still, Francis stressed that gay Catholics contribute to the life of the church and that "they are persons who will live in the service of the church, of the Christian community, of the people of God. Let's never forget this perspective."
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