Pope used derogatory term for gay men, reports claim

todayMay 28, 2024 1

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Pope used derogatory term for gay men, reports claim

The Pope used a highly offensive word towards gay men as he reaffirmed his stance that they should not be priests, Italian media has reported.

Pope Francis is believed to have made the remark in a closed-door meeting with bishops, according to the country’s largest daily newspapers La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera.

Both quoted the Pope as describing priesthood colleges as already too full of “frociaggine” – a highly offensive Italian slur.

The Vatican has not commented on the reports.

Pope Francis baptises a man during the Easter Vigil in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, March 30, 2024. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

Pic: Reuters

The incident is said to have happened on 20 May, as first reported by political gossip website Dagospia, when the Italian Bishops Conference held a private meeting with the Pope.

La Repubblica based its story on several unspecified sources, while Corriere cited unnamed bishops, who suggested the Pope, an Argentinian, might have not realised the Italian term is offensive.

“It’s all the fault of some bishop who broke his mandate of silence to report the gaffe that occurred last week,” reported Il Messaggero, a national paper based in Rome.

According to the paper, the Pope’s comments came during an informal Q&A session at the annual bishops’ meeting which was attended by over 200 members of the clergy.

The Pope, 87, has been credited with leading the Roman Catholic Church into taking a more welcoming approach towards the LGBT+ community.

Fears Pope’s good work undone

​When he became Pope, back in 2013, Francis signalled a more tolerant, welcoming attitude to the LGBT+ community, saying: “If a person is gay and seeks God, and has goodwill, who am I to judge?”

He sparked a furious response among some conservative followers by allowing priests to bless same-sex couples last year.

There were whispers that he might be thinking of allowing gay men to become priests, as long as they remained celibate.

Now, that idea has been dismissed, and the Pope’s crude language has reverberated.

Make no mistake – the term allegedly used by Pope Francis is extremely – and obviously – offensive. It seems hard to believe he could have used it by accident.

We are told there is now embarrassment within the Vatican and fear that good work has been undone.

But, a week after he was reported to have used this crude term, the Pope has not issued a statement, much less an apology.

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At the start of his papacy in 2013, he said: “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?”

Last year, he allowed priests to bless same-sex couples, triggering significant conservative backlash.

But in 2018, he told Italian bishops to carefully vet priesthood applicants and reject anyone suspected of being gay.

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In a 2005 document, during Benedict XVI’s papacy, the Vatican said the church could admit into the priesthood those who had overcome gay tendencies for at least three years.

The document said those with “deep-seated” gay tendencies and those who “support the so-called gay culture” should be barred.

Written by: Newsroom

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