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‘He never meant to offend’: Pope apologises for using ‘homophobic’ slur

"In the Church, there is room for everyone - everyone!"

By Jamie Tabberer

A close up of Pope Francis
Pope Francis (Image: Commons)

The Vatican has apologised after Pope Francis reportedly used the highly offensive and homophobic slur “frociaggine” in a recent closed-doors meeting.

A newly-released statement from the Vatican said the Pope had not meant to offend anyone and was sorry to those “hurt by the use of a word.”

According to Italian media, the Pope made the comment on Monday 20 May 2024 during the Italian Bishops Conference assembly.

In reports that emerged yesterday (Monday 27 May 2024), head of the Catholic Church also reportedly said that gay men should not be allowed to train as priests.

“In the Church, there is room for everyone – everyone!” – the Pope

Matteo Bruni, the director of the Holy See – the Catholic Church’s governing body – is quoted in the statement as saying: “Pope Francis is aware of the articles that have come out recently concerning a conversation he had with bishops… behind closed doors.”

Bruni furthermore continued: “As he [the Pope] has stated on more than one occasion, ‘In the Church, there is room for everyone – everyone! Nobody is useless or superfluous, there is room for everyone, just the way we are.'”

The statement adds: “The Pope never meant to offend or to use homophobic language, and apologises to everyone who felt offended [or] hurt by the use of a word.”

“If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?”

According to La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera, two of Italy’s largest circulation daily newspapers, the 87-year-old said priesthood collages are too full of “frociaggine.” The word roughly translates to “faggotness.” 

La Repubblica cited anonymous courses in its report; Corriere della Sera cited unnamed bishops who suggested the pontiff, from Argentina, was not aware that the term was offensive.

The Pope has a mixed record on LGBTQ-related public statements, having previously said that Italian bishops should carefully vet priesthood applicants for suspected homosexuality.

“The issue of homosexuality is a very serious issue that must be adequately discerned from the beginning with the candidates,” he advised in 2018.

Meanwhile, in 2013, he famously said: “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?”

Image: Commons