Pope Francis again uses gay slur — reports

Agence France-Presse
Pope Francis again uses gay slur � reports
Pope Francis waves to the crowd during the weekly general audience on June 12, 2024 at St Peter's square in The Vatican.
AFP / Isabella Bonotto

VATICAN CITY, Holy See — Pope Francis again used a vulgar term for gay men in a recent meeting with priests in Rome, one that prompted an extraordinary apology from the Catholic Church leader two weeks ago, Italian media reports said Wednesday.

Visiting the Salesian Pontifical University on Tuesday, the 87-year-old pontiff used the term "frociaggine", a word that translates as "faggotry" in the Roman dialect of Italian.

"At the Vatican, there is an ambiance of 'frociaggine'," Francis said during the private meeting with around 200 priests at the school, according to the ANSA press agency.

"Gays are good boys... they are searching for the Lord. But it would be better to guide them towards a good spiritual father, towards a psychologist" instead of accepting them in seminaries, added the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

The Vatican did not immediately respond when asked by AFP on the reported remarks.

Later Tuesday, the Vatican confirmed that Francis had "returned to the issue of admitting people with homosexual tendencies to seminaries, reiterating the need to welcome and accompany them within the Church".

It did not mention the alleged use of "frociaggine".

In late May, the pope issued an apology for using the term during a closed-door meeting with Italian bishops, after reports filtered out from the event.

"The pope never intended to offend or express himself in homophobic terms and he extends his apologies to those who felt offended by the use of a term, reported by others," the Vatican said on May 28.

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