Pope Francis apologises after outrage for use of homophobic 'slur',

  VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis has now apologised after allegedly claiming there was “too much faggotry” in the seminaries during a speech to 200 Italian bishops, as reported in Dagospia and confirmed by several sources.

  The shift from the pope’s famous quote “Who am I to judge?” to the colourful and offensive term “frociaggine”(faggotry) which was quoted by Italian newspaper as said behind closed doors surprised many, and called his apparent tolerance into question. In the latest assembly in Assisi, many bishops had debated the possibility of softening restrictions, encouraged by Francis’ previous open-mindedness. 

   The topic has been a subject of debate for many years. In 2005, Pope Benedict issued an instruction stating, "The Church, while deeply respecting the people in question, cannot admit those who practise homosexuality, present deeply rooted homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called gay culture to the Seminary and Holy Orders." This instruction was reaffirmed in 2016 by Pope Francis. An amendment was later approved to distinguish between 'acts' and 'tendencies,' reaffirming the obligation of celibacy for all seminarians, regardless of sexual orientation.

  The pope’s comment has elicited a range of reactions. Simone Pillon, senator for the League party wrote on X, “Standing ovation for the pope. It was about time. Absit iniuria verbis (let injury be absent from these words). And just a few days before pride. And now everyone go get blessed.” 

  “The pope retreats on LGBT rights and discriminates against gay seminarians.” said Fabrizio Marrazzo, spokesperson for the Gay Party, “We would like to understand how they are going to verify gay seminarians: will there be searches? Will they use Holy Inquisition? Or will they subject priests to hits from LGBT singers to see their reaction? All of this is not only discriminatory but also ridiculous.”

  Some Italian news sources have noted that Francis, whose first language is Spanish, may not have realised how offensive the term is. 

  Sources from the Holy See Press Office now suggest that the Pope never intended to express himself in homophobic terms, and has apologised for the term which was attributed to him by others. 

  On several occasions, the pope has expressed that "in the Church there is room for everyone, for everyone! No one is useless, no one is superluous, there is room for everyone. Just as we are, all of us."