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Pope Francis Apologizes for Offensive Remark About Gay Community

Pope Francis Apologizes for Offensive Remark About Gay Community

Pope Francis issued an apology on Tuesday following reports that he used a derogatory term referring to the LGBTQ+ community during a private meeting with Italian bishops.

In a statement, the Vatican clarified that “The pope never intended to offend or express himself in homophobic terms and he extends his apologies to those who felt offended by the use of a term, reported by others.”

The incident reportedly occurred on May 20 when Francis met with over 250 bishops from the Italian Bishops’ Conference. During the meeting, he was asked about the inclusion of openly homosexual men in priest training programs, even if they committed to celibacy. According to two Italian newspapers, Francis used the offensive term “frociaggine,” which translates to “faggotry,” to express his opposition.

This remark drew widespread criticism from both LGBTQ+ groups and practicing Catholics. The Vatican did not confirm the exact word used but referenced the media reports. The statement from Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni reiterated that Pope Francis remains committed to a welcoming Church where “nobody is useless, nobody is superfluous, [where] there is room for everyone.”

Francis has a history of linguistic gaffes, as Italian is not his native language. Despite this, he has been known for his outreach to LGBTQ+ Catholics, famously saying “Who am I to judge?” in 2013 regarding a priest with a gay past.

The pope’s comments came amid discussions about a new document on training for Italian seminarians, which seeks to address the Vatican’s stance on gay priests. The 2005 Vatican document and its 2016 reaffirmation state that men who “practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called gay culture” cannot be admitted to seminaries or ordained.

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