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Pope didn't mean to use gay slur says Vatican

Pope didn't mean to use gay slur says Vatican

Francis apologizes to those who felt offended

ROME, 28 May 2024, 17:33

ANSA English Desk



The Vatican said Tuesday that Pope Francis apologizes and did not want to offend anyone after using a derogatory term for homosexuality, "frociaggine", during a meeting with over 200 Italian bishops on Monday.
    The word stems from the term 'frocio', which translates into English as 'faggot'. The Argentine pontiff used it in reference to gay activity at seminaries, saying there was an excess of "frociaggine" in them.
    "Pope Francis is aware of the articles recently published about a conversation, behind closed doors, with the bishops of the (Italian Episcopal Conference) CEI," the Vatican Press Office said.
    "As he has stated on several occasions 'there is room for everyone in the Church, for everyone! Nobody is useless, nobody is superfluous, there is room for everyone. Just as we are, all of us.
    "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".
    The pope has softened the Church's line on gays, once famously saying "Who am I to judge?" in relation to them, while maintaining the Catholic dogma that active homosexuality is a sin, while celibacy by gays is admitted.
    The Vatican's recently decided to authorise the blessing of gay couples, while stressing that this means that the Catholic Church is blessing the individual persons and not the union.

The pope's use of frociaggine dismayed and angered gay groups and historic rights campaigner Imma Battaglia said "I'm proudly queer but I'm disappointed and offended by the pope".She also said that "along with 'faggotness' there's a lot of 'whoreness' (in the Catholic Church)."

A priest who works with the LGBT community, Don Dino D'Aloia, said the pope's directive against gay seminarians "does nothing other than fuel pretense, hiding and hypocrisy".

Anti-gay general and League MEP candidate Roberto Vannacci said the pope had only used "words that are used in common slang and which shouldn't scandalise anyone".

The Italian media have speculated that Francis wasn't aware how offensive the term was, or that he meant it as a badly judged quip.

But there was also speculation that the shock epithet episode was deliberately leaked to hurt the Argentine pontiff and the Holy See, with the 'gay lobby' which Francis has often rebuked suspected of being behind the leak.



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