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Pope Francis at 2016 Rome consistory, when "progressive" archbishops Cupich, Joseph Tobin, and Farrell were made cardinals.Steve Jalsevac / LifeSite


December 4, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The full book has not been released, but the teaser quotes from Pope Francis’ new book-length interview on clergy and religious life are causing a stir. The book suggests that active homosexuals within the ranks of clergy and religious are not acceptable. Only the most scrutinizing Pope-watchers will recognize Francis as having mentioned such things before since they seem to contradict so many of his words and actions.

The teaser quotes have the Pope warning against admitting practicing homosexuals into the priesthood. “In consecrated and priestly life, there’s no room for that kind of affection,” he says. “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.” He added that homosexual priests and men and women religious should be urged to “live celibacy with integrity.”

Pope Francis has good reason to recognize the harm that homosexual clergy are causing. According to the recently-retired head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith which dealt with such cases, sexual abuse by the clergy was overwhelmingly homosexual in nature. Cardinal Gerhard Mueller has reported that more than 80% of victims of clergy sexual abuse are male. Moreover, Cardinal McCarrick's homosexual escapades, scandals such as the homosexual orgy in the Vatican apartment, and the public resignation of a homosexual Vatican priest hoping to alter the Chruch's teaching captured worldwide media attention.

Intentional or not, Pope Francis has established a pattern of saying one controversial thing which deflects attention from another controversial matter. For instance, the famous “who am I to judge” remarks – which exploded into a campaign seeing the Pope on the cover of many homosexual magazines – actually came in response to a question about a homosexually active priest.

Another such case was when Pope Francis became the first Pope in history to state publicly that contraception is permitted in certain cases. He predicated his remarks by calling abortion a “crime” – a narrative that stole both the attention of the media and also the hearts of pro-lifers. What many failed to notice, however, is that that remark was a prelude to his saying that the use of contraception (the pill and condoms) is permitted in grave cases such as where Zika virus may be transmitted, increasing the risk of birth defects.

In May of this year, Pope Francis told the bishops of Italy to exercise an “attentive discernment” regarding cases of possible homosexuality among potential seminarians. “If there is even the slightest doubt, it is better not to let them enter,” the Pope told them.  

Those remarks came in the wake of a widely-reported conversation between Francis and Chilean sex abuse victim Juan Carlos Cruz, who identifies as “gay,” which gave rise to grave concerns about the integrity of the faith on the subject of homosexuality. In comments the Vatican refused to deny or confirm, the Pope allegedly said, “Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter. God made you like that and he loves you like that and I do not care. The Pope loves you as you are, you have to be happy with who you are.”

When the full book is released, will Catholics see an attempt to shift Catholic teaching on homosexuality (which of course cannot in reality be changed)? The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls homosexual behavior “acts of grave depravity” which are “intrinsically disordered,” and calls homosexual tendencies “objectively disordered.” The teaching of the Church also forbids any recognition of “civil unions” between homosexuals or silence about the immorality of homosexual acts.

Here are a number of reasons why some might worry about such a possibility:

  • Just this month, notoriously pro-homosexual Jesuit Fr. James Martin – who was made a Vatican consultant during this pontificate and a speaker at the World Meeting of Families in Ireland – stated that Pope Francis has gone out of his way to appoint “gay-friendly” bishops and cardinals in the Catholic Church.
  • Also this month, the Vatican approved a priest as rector of a Catholic university in Germany who has said and continues to maintain that homosexual couples should receive blessings in the Catholic Church.
  • In August, Pope Francis consecrated as a bishop and put in charge of the Vatican Secret Archives a Portuguese pro-homosexual priest.
  • In July, Pope Francis sent a three-page letter “blessing” and endorsing a Catholic ethics conference co-organized by Jesuit Father James Keenan, a public promoter of same-sex “marriage.” The conference featured many feminist and pro-LGBT speakers.
  • In March, a French priest announced in a televised interview that Pope Francis approved of his blessing of homosexual couples.
  • In February, one of the Pope’s top nine advisor cardinals suggested that spiritual encouragement of homosexual couples should be undertaken and blessings for homosexual couples should not be ruled out.
  • In a book-length interview in September 2017, Pope Francis signaled support for legal recognition of same-sex “civil unions.”
  • “Let us call things by their names,” he said. “Matrimony is between a man and a woman. This is the precise term. Let us call the same-sex union a ‘civil union.’”
  • On October 2, 2016, Pope Francis referred to a woman who underwent a sex-change operation as a “man.” He referred to her as having “married” another woman and admitted to inviting them to and receiving them at the Vatican in 2015, describing the couple as “happy.” Clarifying his use of pronouns, the pope said, “He that was her but is he.”
  • Despite the avalanche of evidence of harm to the Church from the Pope’s “who am I to judge” remark on his first plane interview in 2013, he repeated the line in June 2016 while misrepresenting the Catechism on homosexuality.
  • In 2014, Pope Francis appointed Bishop Blase Cupich as Archbishop of Chicago despite his reputation for telling priests not to join 40 Days for Life. After he demonstrated his dissent from Catholic teaching on homosexuality, saying homosexual couples should be given Holy Communion, Cupich was nevertheless named a cardinal.  
  • When the United States nuncio had pro-family hero Kim Davis meet with Pope Francis at the nunciature during his USA papal visit, Davis was refused permission to take photos of the meeting. When the media asked the Vatican about the meeting they first refused to confirm it, and after some time said that “the only real audience granted by the Pope at the nunciature (embassy) was with one of his former students and his family.” The Pope’s former student, Yayo Grassi, was there with his sister, mother, and his homosexual partner. They took not only photos but also video in which Pope Francis can be seen embracing Grassi and his homosexual partner.
  • In May 2014, Pope Francis concelebrated Mass with and kissed the hand of a leading homosexual activist priest campaigning for changes in the Church’s teaching on homosexuality.
  • Cardinal Godfried Danneels, the archbishop emeritus of Brussels, was a personal appointment by Pope Francis to the Synods of Bishops on the family in 2014 and 2015. In addition to wearing rainbow liturgical vestments and being caught on tape concealing clergy homosexual sex abuse, Danneels said in 2013 of the passage of gay “marriage”: “I think it’s a positive development that states are free to open up civil marriage for gays if they want.”