world News : Pope Francis 'repeats homophobic slur'

world News : Pope Francis 'repeats homophobic slur'
world News : Pope Francis 'repeats homophobic slur'

Wednesday 12 June 2024 11:45 PM

newsonline - Weeks after apologising for using a highly offensive word about gay men - the Pope has reportedly used the same term again.

Pope Francis initially made the remark in a closed-door meeting with bishops last month, when describing priesthood colleges as already too full of "frociaggine" - a highly offensive Italian slur.

According to ANSA news agency, the Pope repeated the term on Tuesday while meeting Roman priests, saying there is an air of "frociaggine" in the Vatican and it was better that young men with a homosexual tendency not be allowed to enter the seminary.

Asked to respond to the latest report, the Vatican pointed to a statement it had issued regarding Tuesday's meeting with the priests, in which the Pope reiterated the need to welcome gay people into the Church and the need for caution regarding them becoming priests.

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During the 20 May meeting behind closed doors, he is said to have reiterated that gay men should not be allowed to become priests.

In a statement following that meeting, the Vatican said: "Pope Francis is aware of the articles recently published about a conversation, behind closed doors, with the bishops of the CEI [the Italian Episcopal Conference of Catholic bishops].

"As he stated on several occasions, 'In the Church there is room for everyone, for everyone! Nobody is useless, nobody is superfluous, there is room for everyone. Just as we are, all of us'.

"The Pope never intended to offend or express himself in homophobic terms, and he apologises to those who felt offended by the use of a term reported by others."

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video playerPope Francis. Pic: Reuters 2:21

May: Vatican apologises over Pope comment

According to Il Messaggero, a national paper based in Rome, the Pope's comments came during an informal Q&A session at the annual bishops' meeting which was attended by more than 200 members of the clergy.

Some seeking to defend His Holiness have said that Spanish and not Italian is his first language, and the Pope has made linguistic gaffes in the past when speaking in a language other than his mother tongue.

Corriere della Sera, an Italian daily newspaper based in Milan, quoted unnamed bishops who were in the room as suggesting the Pope, as an Argentine, might not have realised the Italian term he used was offensive.

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Francis has been credited with leading the Roman Catholic Church into taking a more welcoming approach towards the LGBT+ community during his 11-year 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 a 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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