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Pope Francis accused of using derogatory gay slur again after recent apology

Pope Francis presides over the Corpus Christi ceremony outside Saint Mary Major basilica after a procession arrived from Saint John in Lateran basilica, on June 2, 2024 in Rome, Italy.
Pope Francis presides over the Corpus Christi ceremony outside Saint Mary Major basilica after a procession arrived from Saint John in Lateran basilica, on June 2, 2024 in Rome, Italy. | TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis has reportedly again used a derogatory Italian term for homosexual men during a closed-door meeting in Rome earlier this week, even after a rare apology from the Vatican two weeks ago for having used the same word.

Francis used the vulgar word when speaking to approximately 160 priests at the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome on Tuesday, according to sources close to the meeting cited by multiple Italian outlets.

A website called Silere Non Possum published a full Italian transcript of his purported remarks Wednesday but did not name a source for them.

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The purpose of the meeting with the priests was to address whether to admit men "with homosexual tendencies to seminaries, reiterating the need to welcome them and accompany them in the Church and the prudential indication of the Dicastery for the Clergy regarding their entry into the seminary," according to the Vatican Press Office.

During his reported remarks, Francis recounted how a monsignor asked him about the rumors of the Vatican's pervasive gay culture, to which he said he replied by confirming there is "un'aria di frociaggine" in the institution, which translates, "an air of faggotry."

"I said, 'Yes, there is an air of faggotry. It's true, in the Vatican, there is,'" the pontiff reportedly told the monsignor. "'But look, monsignor, today it is an honorific for our culture. Let us be careful, not to despise people with homosexual tendencies but to accompany them, there are so many good people.'"

"'Accompany them, help them. Send them to psychologists. Please, however, be careful about accepting them in the seminary,'" Francis said he also advised the monsignor.

Echoing his remarks during another closed-door meeting with members of the Italian bishops' conference at Vatican City last month, Francis advised against men with homosexual tendencies from attending Catholic seminaries but noted such individuals should not be rejected by the Church altogether.

"What I said on this issue: If a young man wants to enter the seminary and has a homosexual tendency: stop him," Francis is quoted as saying.

"This is something that the Dicastery for the Clergy has said and I support, because today the homosexual culture has progressed so much and there are good young men who want the Lord, but it's better not to [admit them to seminary], better not to."

The leaked transcript marks the second time the pope, whose native language is Spanish, has used the vulgar Italian word "frociaggine" when speaking of homosexuals in recent weeks.

After news broke of the pope's alleged use of the term, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni issued a statement on May 28 claiming the pontiff did not intend to offend anyone.

"As he has had the opportunity to state on several occasions, 'In the Church there is room for everyone, for everyone! No one is useless, no one is superfluous, there is room for everyone. Just as we are, everyone,'" Bruni said at the time.

"The pope never intended to offend or express himself in homophobic terms, and he extends his apologies to those who were offended by the use of a term, reported by others," Bruni added.

Italian news outlet Corriere reported last month that the pope "sometimes stumbles over somewhat creative Italian without being aware of the nuances," according to Catholic News Service.

In December, with Francis' approval, the Vatican's Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a document allowing priests to provide blessings to same-sex couples.

The document drew criticism, and the Vatican clarified that it would simply allow priests to "bless couples in irregular situations and same-sex couples without officially validating their status or changing in any way the Church's perennial teaching on marriage."

Jon Brown is a reporter for The Christian Post. Send news tips to jon.brown@christianpost.com

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