Pope Francis said during a recent interview he is “worried” about the presence of homosexuality in the Catholic priesthood — an issue he called a “serious matter.”
The pontiff made the comments during a discussion with a Spanish missionary who asked him about religious vocations, according to the BBC.
“The question of homosexuality is a very serious one,” Francis said. “For this reason, the Church urges that persons with this rooted tendency not be accepted into ministry or consecrated life.”
He went on to say it’s important for those who train priests pour into candidates who are “humanly and emotionally mature” before they are ordained as clergy.
While this is not a shift in the Vatican’s position on homosexuality, it is among the pope’s boldest comments against same-sex relationships. In 2013, Francis said homosexual acts are sinful, though he added a bit of nuance, arguing such an orientation is not.
Francis, who has been relatively popular in progressive circles, chided homosexuality as trendy in today’s cultural climate.
“In our societies, it even seems homosexuality is fashionable. And this mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the Church,” he explained, adding there is “no room for this” in the priesthood or among nuns.