Holy Homophobia: Pope Apologized for Using a Gay Slur, Only to Repeat It Weeks Later

In May, Pope Francis of the Catholic Church was accused of using a homophobic slur during a private meeting with bishops about how the church would handle the inclusion of gay men in the priesthood and issued a rare apology from the papacy, but less than a month later the Pope has been accused of using the same slur again. 

The Word in Question

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Though I will not copy the word that was used in this article, the slur allegedly used by the Pope is the Italian equivalent of the most derogatory term used for gay men in English.

Initial Report and Confirmation

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The alleged slur was first reported by the Italian gossip site Dagospia and later confirmed by two respected Italian newspapers, La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera, who both cited unnamed firsthand sources.

Vatican’s Response

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The Vatican clarified through spokesman Matteo Bruni that Pope Francis did not intend to use homophobic language and apologized to those offended. 

Room for All

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Bruni emphasized that the Pope remains committed to maintaining a welcoming church for all and that “nobody is useless, nobody is superfluous, (where) there is room for everyone.”

Never Intended to Offend

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Bruni said in the statement, “The pope never intended to offend or express himself in homophobic terms, and he apologizes to those who felt offended by the use of a term reported by others.

Recent Meetings and Statements

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Now, less than a month after the Church’s official apology, the Pope has allegedly repeated the slur In a meeting with 200 priests at Rome’s Salesian Pontifical University. 

The Air in the Church

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When translated, Pope Francis reportedly said, “There is an air of f******ness in the Vatican,” and suggested that young men with homosexual tendencies should not be allowed into the seminary.

The Vatican’s Latest Statement

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The Vatican released a statement on the meeting after its conclusion, but unexpectedly, the statement did not mention the derogatory word and instead emphasized the “danger of ideologies in the Church.”

Welcomed in Church, Not Priesthood

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The Vatican’s statement highlighted the Pope’s call to welcome and accompany gay men in the Church but still made sure to caution gay individuals who are looking to enter the priesthood.

2005 Concerns

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This cautioned approach aligns with the 2005 Vatican ruling that homosexual men should not become priests due to concerns about their ability to remain chaste.

Proper Sense of Paternity

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The 2005 Vatican ruling states, “Homosexual candidates cannot become priests because their sexual orientation estranges them from the proper sense of paternity.” 

A Misunderstanding

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Some bishops present at the earlier meeting where the Pope initially used the word suggested that Pope Francis, being an Argentine, might not have realized how offensive the term actually was. 

Committing to the Slur

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However, since the Pope used the term for a second time in an even larger venue only a few weeks after the Church was forced to apologize, it seems that the Pope is fine using the word while knowing the true weight behind it.

Welcoming the LGBTQ+ Community

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What makes this story so interesting is the fact Pope Francis had previously seemed very supportive and inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community being welcomed into the Catholic Church.

The Pope’s Judgement

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In a 2013 statement, Pope Francis said, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?” 

Blessing Same-Sex Couples

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 Last year, Pope Francis even allowed priests to bless same-sex couples, a move that triggered a serious conservative backlash throughout the church.

Past Apologies

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Apologies from the Pope and Catholic Church as a whole are extremely rare, however, this is not the first time Pope Francis has been forced to make a public apology for his actions.

The Pope’s Grave Mistake

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In 2018, Pope Francis admitted to making “grave mistakes” in handling the abuse crisis in Chile and personally met with the victims affected by the situation to apologize.

Theologians’ Perspectives

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Andrea Grillo, a professor of sacramental theology, says that the key issue is the Pope’s stance against gay men becoming priests rather than the use of the slur itself. 

Outdated Theories

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Grillo has suggested that the Pope is convinced by outdated theories about homosexuality and chastity that gay men will not be able to control their sexual urges.

Controlling Urges

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Highlighting the underlying beliefs influencing the Pope’s statement, Grillo said, “The Pope seems convinced of [the veracity of outdated] theories according to which a homosexual won’t be able to remain chaste, and thus cannot be ordained.”

The post Holy Homophobia: Pope Apologized for Using a Gay Slur, Only to Repeat It Weeks Later first appeared on Pulse of Pride.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Riccardo De Luca – Update.