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Pope Francis criticized for using homophobic slur in bishop meeting

Muri Assunção, New York Daily News on

Published in News & Features

Pope Francis has apologized for using a homophobic slur during a recent closed-door meeting with more than 200 Italian bishops, the Vatican said.

The leader of the Catholic Church was heavily criticized on Monday after multiple Italian news outlets reported he had used the Italian term “frociaggine” when discussing the admission of gay men into Catholic seminaries.

Francis’ alleged use of the vulgar term — which derives from the offensive word “frocio,” or f—-t in English — occurred early last week at the start of the Italian Bishops Conference, or CEI.

According to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, the remark came as a joke, as Francis said the reason gay men shouldn’t be allowed to enter seminaries was because there was already too much “frociaggine” in them.

“Pope Francis is aware of the articles recently published about a conversation, behind closed doors, with the bishops of the CEI,” Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni told reporters Tuesday, according to the Italian news agency ANSA.

 

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

The use of the offensive term was first reported by the political gossip website Dagospia. On Monday, two of Italy’s largest newspapers, La Repubblica and Corriere della Serra, corroborated the story, citing multiple unnamed sources, including some bishops.

The 87-year-old pontiff, whose views on LGBTQ Catholics have angered some of the church’s more conservative members, said late last year that pastoral ministers were allowed to bless same-sex unions — as long as those unions are not confused with sacramental marriage.

“As he stated on several occasions, ‘In the Church there is room for everyone, for everyone! Nobody is useless, nobody is superfluous [and] there is room for everyone. Just as we all are,'” Bruni said.


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