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Vatican remains silent as Pope Francis accused of homophobic slurs

Pope Francis reportedly used a deeply offensive slur against gay people during a closed-door discussion with bishops.

The meeting took place at an Italian bishops’ conference, where one of the topics discussed was whether to allow celibate gay men to undergo priestly training in Catholic seminaries.

The 87-year-old pontiff reportedly spoke out against the idea, saying that while it was important to embrace everyone, it risked leading the gay person into a double life.

He then reportedly declared that there were already too many frociaggine in some seminars, an offensive Italian slur that roughly translates to “f*****ness” or sodomy. The closed-door meeting took place in Rome last week, but was first reported on Monday by Italian tabloid Dasgopia.

This has since been reported by other media, including authoritative Italian dailies. The Republic And Corriere della Sera and the Adnkronos news agency, which cited its own anonymous sources among the bishops present at the meeting.

Adnkronos published what it described as the “precise words” Francis used in Italian, which translate to: “Look, there’s already an air of bullshit that’s not good. There is a culture of homosexuality today, because of which it is preferable that those with a homosexual orientation are not welcomed (in the seminary).

“It is very difficult for a boy who has this tendency not to fall (into sin) because he comes (to the seminary) thinking that the life of the priest can support him, but then he falls during the work of the ministry .”

The Vatican has not yet commented on the reports and did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The independent.

A person with knowledge of the incident suggested Francis thought it was a “joke”, saying those around him were surprised and perplexed by the alleged remarks. Corriere della Sera Cited sources said those present felt the pope, whose native language is Spanish, did not realize how offensive the word was.

According to Italian media, at a meeting in November, bishops decided that gay men could be included in seminaries if they practiced celibacy.

But that move was ultimately stopped by Pope Francis, who was widely praised throughout his time at the Vatican for striking an inclusive tone toward the queer community.

Earlier in December, the Vatican released a document in which Francis formally approved allowing priests to bless same-sex couples, stipulating that people seeking God’s love and mercy should not be subject to “a exhaustive moral analysis” to receive them.

The document expands on a letter Francis sent to two conservative cardinals and published in October. In this preliminary response, Francis suggested that such blessings could be offered in certain circumstances if they did not confuse the ritual with the sacrament of marriage.

In January 2023, Francis attacked laws in many countries that criminalize homosexuality and called for their elimination. “Being gay is not a crime,” Francis said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Another reversal occurred in late 2023, when the Vatican released a statement affirming that it was permissible, under certain circumstances, for transgender people to be baptized as Catholics and serve as godparents.

The document was signed by Francis and Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, who heads the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith.

If this has not caused scandal or “disorientation” among other Catholics, a transgender person “can receive baptism under the same conditions as other faithful,” the document states.

Likewise, the document states that trans adults – even if they have undergone gender transition surgery – can serve as godparents under certain conditions.

The new statement reversed the absolute ban on trans people serving as godparents issued by the Vatican’s doctrinal office in 2015.