The Pope Tells Bishops to Keep Gay Men Out of the Priesthood

The comments came just one day after a victim of clerical sex abuse said the Pope told him God made him that way and loved him.

Pope Francis told bishops in Italy this week in a closed-door meeting to carefully vet applicants to the priesthood and keep out anyone they fear might be gay.

“Keep an eye on the admissions to seminaries, keep your eyes open,” the Pope was quoted as saying by Italian newspaper La Stampa, as part of its “Vatican Insider” supplement, picked up by Reuters. “If in doubt, better not let them enter.”

The comments came just one day after a victim of clerical sex abuse, Juan Carlos Cruz, was quoted as saying the Pope told him God made him that way and that both he and God loved him.

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Giuseppe Ciccia/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Vatican declined to comment on the reported remarks, allegedly made last month, other than to say, “We do not normally comment on the Pope’s private conversations.”

Many noted it was an even more affirming position than the one he took in 2013, when he asked, “Who am I to judge?” in response to concerns over the existence of gay Catholics.

The Catholic Church continues to teach that gay sex is sinful, encouraging LGB people to refrain.

The Vatican clarified in 2005, during Pope Benedict’s reign, that the Church could admit into the priesthood those who had overcome their so-called “homosexual tendencies” for at least three years.

Those who were still engaged in gay sex were still banned, however, as well as those with “deep-seated” gay tendencies and those who support gay culture.

Pope Francis reaffirmed that stance in 2016, while approving the training document “The Gift of the Priestly Vocation,” which kept the policy in place.

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