Pope Francis Issues An Apology After Homophobic Slur

(PatriotWise.com) — The Vatican was forced to apologize after the local Italian press revealed that Pope Francis used an Italian word commonly viewed as a slur against gay men during a private meeting with Italian bishops on May 20.

Two of Italy’s largest daily newspapers claimed that sources in the meeting said that while the group was discussing the issue of allowing gay men to attend seminary to train as priests, the pontiff said seminaries were already filled with “frociaggine,” an Italian word that translates to “faggotness” in English.

The bishops who attended the meeting were allegedly caught by surprise when Pope Francis used the Italian slur, especially in light of his efforts to reach out to LGBT Catholics.

The pope also reminded the bishops that he opposed having gay men enter the priesthood.

Some of the bishops in attendance told the Italian papers that they suspected that the pope was not aware of just how offensive “frociaggine” was to Italian speakers.

Following the outrage over the newspaper reports, on Tuesday, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni issued a statement confirming that the pope knew about the stories in the Italian papers and reiterated that Pope Francis believed that the Catholic Church had “room for everyone” just as they were.

Bruni said the pope had not intended to offend anyone or “express himself in homophobic terms.” He said that the pope had expressed his apologies to those who may have taken offense by what was “reported by others.”

Gerry O’Connell, a reporter who has covered the Vatican for years, said that the pontiff’s use of the word was more likely a gaffe rather than a deliberate slur. He explained that, as someone who is not a native Italian, the pope may not have realized that the word was homophobic.

The pope has long faced criticism from more conservative Roman Catholics over his more liberal positions on LGBT issues, climate change, illegal immigration, and the role of women in the Church.

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