Pope apologizes for using vulgar term against gay people

The comments, spoken in a private setting, were delivered to an assembly of Italian bishops on May 20. The discussion came after the Italian bishops approved a document on seminary training in Italy.
Pope apologizes:- Pope Francis apologized Tuesday for using vulgar language about gay people when talking about the Catholic Church’s ban on gay priests. [VOA]
Pope apologizes:- Pope Francis apologized Tuesday for using vulgar language about gay people when talking about the Catholic Church’s ban on gay priests. [VOA]

Pope apologizes:- Pope Francis apologized Tuesday for using vulgar language about gay people when talking about the Catholic Church’s ban on gay priests.

The comments, spoken in a private setting, were delivered to an assembly of Italian bishops on May 20. The discussion came after the Italian bishops approved a document on seminary training in Italy.

The unpublished document, still under review by the Holy See, reportedly may offer some leniency in the Vatican’s strict ban on gay priests.

In 2005, the Congregation for Catholic Education wrote a document on the ban and reaffirmed it in 2016. The document states that the church cannot allow men to become priests or join the seminary if they “practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called gay culture.”

After the recent meeting, unnamed Italian bishops stated that Francis jokingly included a derogatory Italian term for gay men during his remarks, according to Italian media.

Matteo Bruni, a spokesperson for the Vatican, acknowledged the commentary and ensuing media coverage in a statement. In it, Bruni said that Francis has made outreach of LGBTQ+ Catholics a large part of his papacy.

“The pope never intended to offend or express himself in homophobic terms, and he extends his apologies to those who were offended by the use of a term that was reported by others,” Bruni said in the statement.

The Argentinian Francis, whose first language is Spanish, has made linguistic errors while speaking Italian in the past. He also often speaks casually, using slang and curses in private settings.

Pope Francis’s outreach to LGBTQ+ Catholics includes his 2013 line, “Who am I to judge,” referring to a priest who may have had a gay lover in the past. VOA/SP

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