Pope Francis reportedly used gay slur during discussion about trainee priests

Pope Francis allegedly used a gay slur during a meeting with bishops about allowing gay men to become priests.

Despite publicly voicing his support for LGBTQ+ people in the past, the offensive comment was allegedly made in Rome last week during discussions about whether gay men who are open about their sexuality – but remain celibate – should be admitted to Catholic seminaries, where priests are trained.

The inclusion of gay men is a topic the Italian bishops conference has apparently being considering for some time.

During the meeting, the Pontiff allegedly voiced his objection to the idea and said there was already too much “frociaggine” in seminaries – the Italian word roughly translates as “f****t”.

The comments were first reported by Italian tabloid website Dagospia before being picked up by other publications and news agencies in the country, which cited various sources to corroborate the story.

The Pope allegedly made a controversial comment during a closed-doors meeting. ( Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

The slur comes after Francis has tried to mend the fractious relationship between the Catholic Church and the LGBTQ+ community.

What has Pope Francis said about gay people?

In 2013, during the first few month of his papacy, Francis – also known as the Bishop of Rome – made headlines around the world when he told reporters that if “someone is gay and searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

More recently, in January 2023, he described laws which criminalise LGBTQ+ people as an injustice, saying it “is not right” because “persons with homosexual tendencies are children of God”.

He went on to say: “God loves them. God accompanies them… condemning a person like this is a sin.”

Three months later, the pope spoke to a group of young people about various issues – including LGBTQ+ inclusion – and said: “God does not reject anybody… God is a father, and I have no right to expel anyone from the Church.”

Six months on from that, he was praised for saying same-sex couples could have their unions blessed. 

He has also said trans people can be baptised within the Church and act as godparents or witnesses to marriage under the same conditions as any other adult.

Francis has made positive comments about the queer community in the past. (Vatican Media via Vatican Pool/Getty Images)

However, he has remained coy about his exact views on LGBTQ+ people joining the clergy. In 2018, he said: “In our societies, it even seems that homosexuality is fashionable, and that mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the Church.”

And his latest alleged comments could undo much of the work done to bridge the gap between the Catholicism and the queer community.

The Vatican has not yet commented.

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