Pope Francis Apologizes After Being Accused of Using Homophobic Slur

Guglielmo Mangiapane/Reuters
Guglielmo Mangiapane/Reuters

A Vatican spokesperson on Tuesday said Pope Francis “extends his apologies” after Italian media reports claimed he used a homophobic slur during a closed-door meeting last week.

The reports cited anonymous attendees at a May 20 annual meeting of Italian bishops. Francis allegedly used the word when he was asked if seminaries should allow gay men to join in order to be ordained as priests.

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Francis allegedly answered that gay men shouldn’t be allowed to join the priesthood colleges, joking that there’s already too much “frociaggine” in them. Italy’s ANSA news agency reports that the derogatory word stems from the Italian word for “f****t” and translated the specific term the pope used as “f****tness.”

In a statement to reporters, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said Francis is “aware of the recent articles.” “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, as reported by others,” Bruni said.

He also cited Francis’ previous comments affirming his belief that there is “room for everyone” in the church. Bruni did not explicitly confirm or deny that the Argentine pontiff used the offensive word.

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