Pope Claims Being Gay Is 'Fashionable'

Pope Francis has delivered an ultimatum to gay priests: Be celibate or leave.

In a book-length interview, Pope Francis told Spanish priest Fernando Prado he was “concerned” about, what he described as, the “serious issue” of homosexuality in the clergy, before going on to label being gay as 'fashionable'.

"In our societies it even seems that homosexuality is fashionable and that mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the church" he said.

The 81-year-old said it would be better for priests and nuns who have deep-rooted gay tendencies to leave rather than live a double life and that the church had to be demanding in choosing candidates for the priesthood.

IMAGE: Getty

In the past the Pope has spoken of the need to better screen candidates for the religious life, but this is the first time he's made clear-cut comments about actively gay priests.

The Church teaches that homosexual tendencies are not sinful in themselves, but homosexual acts are.

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The Pope said there was "no room for this" in the lives of priests and nuns and urged gay nuns and priests to be celibate and responsible to avoid creating scandal.

Be celibate or leave.

As expected, many on twitter weren't happy - particularly about the 'being gay is fashionable' comment.

The whole interview which was about four hours long, can be read in a book called The Strength of Vocation, to be published in ten different languages this week.