Pope Uses Homophobic Blunder That Puts Catholic Church Under Fire

Pope Francis has been 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.

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 Silence

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Since the story broke, the Vatican Press Office has not responded to requests for comment on the incident, and there is no official record of the meeting for the public to find.

Awaiting Confirmation

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The Vatican’s silence has left the public relying on secondhand reports and anonymous sources, which has led to a lot of speculation and debate about the pope’s intention and potential lack of awareness.

Mixed Reactions Among Bishops

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The news outlets that first reported the story say that the alleged remark was met with a big laugh from the bishops present due to the mix of shock and disbelief at the situation.

 A Possible Mistake

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Some bishops speculated that this was a simple mistake since the pope’s native language is Spanish, and he might not have realized how offensive the term is in Italian.

Support for LGBTQ+ Rights 

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Adding to the speculation and uncertainty is Pope Francis’s history with the LGBTQ+ community, where he has previously expressed a great deal of support for LGBTQ+ individuals.

The Pope’s Judgment

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When asked about the gay community in 2013, Pope Francis famously stated, “Who am I to judge?” Which many saw as a significant step toward a more inclusive and understanding Catholic Church.

Church Policy on Gay Priests

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Despite Pope Francis’s seemingly more inclusive stance, the Vatican’s 2005 policy from Pope Benedict XVI clearly denies gay men the opportunity to join the church as priests.

Supporting Gay Culture

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The policy says that the church will prohibit individuals with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” or those who support “gay culture” from entering the seminary or priesthood.

2018 Remarks on Gay Priests

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In a similar private meeting in 2018, Pope Francis told bishops to reject priesthood applicants suspected of being gay and remember the importance of adhering to Church doctrines.

Rejected Reform Proposal

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Despite the Pope’s 2018 emphasis on strict adherance to Church doctrines, a recent proposal by bishops attempted to define differences between “simple homosexual orientation” and “deeply rooted tendencies.” 

Setting Up Gay Priests

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If the Bishop’s proposal was accepted by the church, it would have allowed gay men to enter into the priesthood if they committed to celibacy. 

Rejecting the Proposal

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Eventually Pope Francis rejected the bishop’s proposal because he believed there was too great risk that these priests would take on double lives.

Approving Same Sex Couples

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Although he will not bless gay couples as partners, Pope Francis has publicly supported the blessing of same-sex couples as individuals.

Why Not?

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When asked if he would bless gay couples, Pope Francis said, “To bless a homosexual-type union… goes against the law of the church. But to bless each person, why not?”

Conservative Criticism

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In a “60 Minutes” interview, Pope Francis criticized U.S. religious conservatives for opposing his stance on same-sex blessings and said their refusal to accept these decisions a “suicidal attitude.”

African Bishops’ Opposition

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Some African bishops have opposed Francis’ stance on same-sex blessings due to their cultural values, but the pope dismissed these criticisms as outline opinions from small groups.

Call for Inclusivity

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In the past, Pope Francis has repeatedly called for the Church to welcome LGBTQ+ individuals and condemed homophobia, so his newest remarks have undoubtedly left LGBTQ+ Catholics in uncertain space.

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