Pope Francis Faces Backlash for Repeating Gay Slur Weeks After Apology

Pope Francis Faces Backlash for Repeating Gay Slur Weeks After Apology
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Pope Fran¬≠cis is fac¬≠ing renewed crit¬≠i¬≠cism after reports sur¬≠faced that he repeat¬≠ed a homo¬≠pho¬≠bic slur just weeks after apol¬≠o¬≠giz¬≠ing for using the same offen¬≠sive term.

Accord¬≠ing to reports, the 87-year-old pon¬≠tiff alleged¬≠ly used the deroga¬≠to¬≠ry Ital¬≠ian term ‚Äúfro¬≠ci¬≠ag¬≠gine,‚ÄĚ which rough¬≠ly trans¬≠lates to ‚Äúf‚ÄĒ-ness,‚ÄĚ dur¬≠ing a closed-door meet¬≠ing with rough¬≠ly 200 priests at Rome‚Äôs Sale¬≠sian Pon¬≠tif¬≠i¬≠cal Uni¬≠ver¬≠si¬≠ty on Tuesday.

This comes less than a month after Fran¬≠cis sparked wide¬≠spread out¬≠rage when he appar¬≠ent¬≠ly used the same slur while speak¬≠ing in a pri¬≠vate meet¬≠ing with a group of bish¬≠ops on May 20.

At the time, the Vat¬≠i¬≠can spokesman issued an apol¬≠o¬≠gy, stat¬≠ing that the pope ‚Äúnev¬≠er intend¬≠ed to offend or express him¬≠self in homo¬≠pho¬≠bic terms.‚ÄĚ

How­ev­er, the lat­est inci­dent has reignit­ed con­cerns about Fran­cis’ stance on LGBTQ+ issues with­in the Catholic Church. The pope is also report­ed to have sug­gest­ed that young men with a homo­sex­u­al ten­den­cy should not be allowed to enter the seminary.

While Fran­cis has been cred­it­ed in the past for mak­ing sub­stan­tial over­tures towards the LGBTQ+ com­mu­ni­ty dur­ing his 11-year papa­cy, his recent mis­steps have under­mined his author­i­ty and raised ques­tions about the direc­tion he envis­ages for the Church.

The Vat­i­can’s press office did not direct­ly address the lat­est alle­ga­tions, but instead point­ed to a state­ment released ear­li­er on Tues­day, in which the pope reit­er­at­ed the need to wel­come gay peo­ple into the Church while also empha­siz­ing cau­tion regard­ing their ordi­na­tion as seminarians.

The ongo¬≠ing con¬≠tro¬≠ver¬≠sy sur¬≠round¬≠ing the pope‚Äôs com¬≠ments high¬≠lights the del¬≠i¬≠cate and often divi¬≠sive nature of LGBTQ+ issues with¬≠in the Catholic Church. 

As the leader of the world’s largest Chris­t­ian denom­i­na­tion, Fran­cis’ words and actions con­tin­ue to be close­ly scru­ti­nized by both his sup­port­ers and critics.

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