Pope Francis
< 1 min read

The Catholic Church finds itself in yet another controversy surrounding LGBTQ+ inclusion, following Pope Francis’ reported dismissal of openly gay men from priestly training.

Italian media outlets, including Gay.it, were the first to report the Pope’s use of the derogatory term “frociaggine” while discussing the issue with bishops on Monday. Translated roughly as “effeminacy” or used in a context similar to a slur, the word sparked immediate backlash.

This incident follows a history of mixed signals from Pope Francis. Warm pronouncements about inclusion and recognition of same-sex relationships have been overshadowed by statements like this one.


While the Pope apologised via his press department on Tuesday, the core message remains unchanged. The Catholic Church, since 2005, has explicitly barred men with “deep-rooted homosexual tendencies” or those supportive of “gay culture” from seminary studies.

Francis DeBernardo, leader of the American Catholic LGBTQ+ Ministry, expressed disappointment at the lack of clarity.

“Without an explanation,” he stated, “his words will be interpreted as a blanket ban.”

He urged the Pope to reconcile his past statements of tolerance with the current stance, reminding him of his famous “Who am I to judge?” quote regarding gay priests.

Pope Francis at The Vatican
Pope Francis at The Vatican

DeBernardo’s plea echoes a broader sentiment within the LGBTQ+ community and progressive Catholics. Many question the logic behind the ban, especially considering the dedication and service of countless gay priests already serving within the Church.

The incident highlights the ongoing struggle within the Catholic Church towards LGBTQ+ inclusion. While Pope Francis has shown moments of apparent progress, significant barriers remain.

This latest development will undoubtedly spark further debate about the Church’s stance on homosexuality and the potential for genuine acceptance.

Last Updated on May 29, 2024

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