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Pope Francis again repeats gay slur in closed-door meeting days after issuing apology

On Tuesday, during his meeting with Roman priests, Francis reiterated his stance, expressing that "there seems to be a prevalent atmosphere in the Vatican," suggesting it would be preferable for young men with homosexual inclinations to refrain from entering the seminary.

Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Vatican City Published on: June 12, 2024 13:55 IST
Pope Francis attends the weekly general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican
Image Source : REUTERS Pope Francis attends the weekly general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican

Vatican city: The pope has again used a highly disparaging word against gay people for which he had already apologised last month, ANSA news agency said on Tuesday. Italian media had attributed to the pope the use of the word "frociaggine", a vulgar Italian term roughly translated as "faggotness", on May 20 during a closed-door meeting with Italian bishops.

According to ANSA, Francis repeated the term on Tuesday as he met Roman priests, saying "there is an air of faggotness in the Vatican," and it was better that young men with a homosexual tendency not be allowed to enter the seminary. Asked about the latest report, the Vatican's press office made reference 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 seminarians.

"Pope might not have realised"  

After the initial report of his use of the word, Corriere della Sera newspaper quoted unnamed bishops who were in the room as suggesting that the pope, as an Argentine, might not have realised that the Italian term he used was offensive.

The Vatican ban was articulated in a 2005 document from the Congregation for Catholic Education, and later repeated in a subsequent document in 2016, which said the church cannot admit to seminaries or ordain men who “practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called gay culture.”

Francis, who is 87, had been credited with making substantial overtures towards the LGBT community during his 11-year papacy. Some observers of the Vatican say his recent missteps undermine his authority and raise questions about his convictions and the reform path he has in mind for the Church. The Argentine pope often speaks informally, jokes using slang and even curses in private.

He has been known for his outreach to LGBTQ+ Catholics, however, starting from his famous “Who am I to judge” comment in 2013 about a priest who purportedly had a gay lover in his past.

(With inputs from agencies)

Also Read: Pope Francis apologises for using 'faggotness', a highly derogatory word to describe LGBT community

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