VATICAN, November 24, 2010 ( – Even if homosexuality were innate, it would not make the behavior morally acceptable, Pope Benedict told interviewer Peter Seewald in the new interview book “Light of the World.”

When Seewald observed that homosexuality exists in monasteries and among priests, the Pope responded: “Well, that is just one of the miseries of the church. And the persons who are affected must at least try not to express this inclination actively,” according to Catholic News Service.

On page 151 of the book, which has already sold out in Italy, when asked about the acceptance of homosexuality in the West, the Pope affirmed the “meaning and direction of sexuality,” which he said is “to bring about the union of man and woman, and in this way to give humanity posterity, children, a future. This is the determination internal to the essence of sexuality. Everything else is against sexuality’s intrinsic meaning and direction.”

“This is a point we need to hold firm, even if it is not pleasing to our age,” the Pope added.

In November 2005, the Congregation for Catholic Education released the “Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocation with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders.”

The Instruction, approved by Pope Benedict, forbade admission to seminary to “those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture’.”

“Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women,” said the document. “One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies.”

The matter was so contentious that many bishops refused to implement the Instruction, requiring the Vatican to reaffirm the instruction in 2008.