When Pope Francis told reporters that he doesn’t condemn homosexual priests, it was quite clear, that he didn’t mean that he condoned homosexual acts of priests.
Homosexual feelings are not sinful, acting on those feelings is. The same is true for heterosexual feelings in Catholic priests who, all of them, have taken vows of celibacy. Temptations are not sinful in themselves. After all even Jesus was tempted by the devil after he stayed fasting and praying for 40 days in the desert. But Jesus was without sin, because he did not give in to the temptations.
Another very important part of our faith is our belief in forgiveness and reconciliation with God. We have the Sacrament of Confession, and we believe that whoever truly repents with the intent of not falling into the same sin again will be forgiven by God.
And when God forgives, who indeed would the Pope or me or anybody else in the Church be to judge.
“Judge not, so that you will not be judged” said Jesus. And we better take heed of that.
What the Pope definitely did not say is, that for anyone living a homosexual life-style is fine with him or the Church, neither is it fine to live a promiscuous heterosexual life-style, nor is it acceptable to deliberately commit adultery or fornication. These all are still very serious sins we should avoid and if committed we must truly repent of.
Jesus told the adulterous woman to go and not sin any more.
This has always been the attitude of the Church to every sinner, “Go in peace and sin no more”
In my opinion the mass-media has (possibly deliberately) twisted the meaning of the Pope’s words in a way that would at least temporarily cause some division in the Church. But don’t worry, this won’t last. The Pope hasn’t done or said anything that would indicate a different direction of the Church on the subject of homosexuality.
As for me personally:
I’m convinced that homosexual feelings are not the result of biology, but of psychological and social conditions. Many young teenagers do have those feelings. For most they are a temporary phase caused by the hormonal confusions of puberty paired with some deep hurts caused by loneliness and rejection by peers or family.
Those young people who have been persuaded to act on those feelings will very likely develop a homosexual personality. Sexual experiences will create changes in the brain, the more experiences, the more changes occur. Through these experiences homosexual leanings will turn into a belief-system and become a part of a person’s identity. Once this has happened homosexual feelings will never fully disappear.
This means that while the development of a homosexual identity can be prevented, once it has formed it can never be fully reversed.
However this does not mean that a person who once lived a homosexual life-style cannot still turn away from this life-style and have a fulfilling heterosexual marriage relationship or become a priest who fully honors his vows, There are numerous examples of that. The difference is, that temptations which come will not be from a person of the opposite sex but from the same sex. And like in every other marriage, if one wants the marriage to last, temptations must be resisted. and the same is true for priests and their vows.
Below is a link to a very informative article about the origins of homosexual feelings and about ways of healing from those feelings, ways that must include asking for divine assistance.
Interesting is that according to the author one of the most important factors in developing male homosexual feelings is rejection by peers and sometimes even by fathers or elder brothers because of a lack of athletic abilities. It is the sports-obsession in western society that causes a large part of the conditions that lead to homosexual personalities.
So in other words those “gay”-bashers who bully other boys and young men, calling them sissies and worse are the ones who have created most of the problem.
The more a young person is accepted by those around him the less likely he or she will became “gay”.