abdominal surgery for Pope Francis

Vatican apologises for Pope’s use of derogatory gay term


On Tuesday, the Vatican issued a statement saying that Pope Francis apologises and did not intend to offend anyone after using the term “frociaggine” on Monday.

Over the past few days, Italian media have been reporting on Pope Francis’s use of a derogatory term for homosexuality during a meeting with over 200 Italian bishops. The Pope, in a closed meeting, used the term “frociaggine”.

The term derives from ‘frocio,’ which translates to ‘faggot’ in English. The Argentine pontiff used it to describe gay activity in seminaries, stating there was an excess of “frociaggine” within them.

“Pope Francis is aware of the articles recently published about a private conversation with the bishops of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI),” the Vatican Press Office announced.

“As he has stated on numerous 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 use homophobic language, and he apologises to those who felt hurt by the term reported by others.”

Pope Francis more inclusive than previous popes

Pope Francis has been known for his more inclusive stance on homosexuality, famously stating “Who am I to judge?” He does, however, uphold the Catholic doctrine that considers active homosexuality a sin, though celibacy among gay individuals is accepted.

Recently, the Vatican authorised blessings for gay couples, emphasising that this blesses the individuals rather than the union itself.

The Pope’s use of “frociaggine” has caused dismay and anger among LGBTQ+ groups. Prominent rights activist Imma Battaglia expressed her disappointment, saying, “I’m proudly queer but I’m disappointed and offended by the Pope.” She added, “along with ‘faggotness’ there’s a lot of ‘whoreness’ in the Catholic Church.”

Don Dino D’Aloia, a priest who works with the LGBT community, criticised the Pope’s directive against gay seminarians, stating it “does nothing other than fuel pretence, hiding, and hypocrisy.”

Conversely, anti-gay general and League MEP candidate Roberto Vannacci defended the Pope, claiming he used “words that are used in common slang and shouldn’t scandalise anyone.”

The Italian media have speculated that Pope Francis may not have been fully aware of how offensive the term was or that he meant it as a poorly judged quip.

However, there is also speculation that the incident was deliberately leaked to damage the Pope and the Holy See, with the ‘gay lobby,’ which Francis has often criticised, suspected of being behind the leak.

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