Pope Francis has said that homosexuality in the clergy is a “serious matter” that “worries” him.
The comments were made in an interview about religious vocations, given to a Spanish missionary priest as part of an upcoming book.
The pontiff described homosexuality as “fashionable”, and urged clergy to observe their vow of celibacy.
Italian daily Corriere della Sera ran excerpts of the interviews on its website on Saturday.
Pope Francis said that the Church had to be “demanding” in choosing candidates for the priesthood.
“For this reason, the Church urges that persons with this rooted tendency not be accepted into ministry or consecrated life.”
“In our societies, it even seems homosexuality is fashionable. And this mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the Church,” he went on to say.
The head of the Catholic Church stressed there was “no room for this” in the lives of priests and nuns.
“If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?” he said.