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Pope used gay slur in meeting with Italian bishops—media

By Agence France-Presse Published May 28, 2024 10:46 am

Pope Francis used an offensive gay slang word during a meeting with Italian bishops, where he joked about the number of gay men in seminaries, media reports said Monday, May 27.

During the private meeting one week ago, the 87-year-old pontiff was reported to have used the derogatory Roman term "frociaggine," which translates loosely as the offensive English words "faggots" or "poofs."

Francis repeated his opposition to openly gay men joining priest training colleges, and then joked that there were "already too many 'frociaggine' in some seminaries.

The comment first appeared in La Repubblica newspaper and then the Corriere della Sera, which reported the view of some of those present that the pope did not realise how offensive the word was.

The Argentine pontiff's first language is Spanish.

The Vatican did not respond to requests for comment.

Since becoming pope in 2013, Francis has insisted on the importance of a Catholic Church open to all, including LGBTQ+ believers, and even opened the door last year to the blessing of gay couples.

But official church doctrine still states same-sex acts are "intrinsically disordered." (AFP)