Pope said to have used vulgar term for LGBT community

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Pope Francis reportedly used a highly derogatory term towards the LGBT community in a recent closed-door meeting with Italian bishops, where he reiterated that gay people should not be allowed to become priests.

Italy’s two largest daily papers both quoted the pontiff as saying seminaries, or priesthood colleges, are already too full of “frociaggine,” a vulgar Italian term roughly translating as “faggotness”.

The Vatican did not respond to a request for comment. The alleged incident is said to have happened on May 20.

One outlet suggested the Pope, as an Argentine, might not have realized that the Italian term he used was offensive.

The 87-year-old has so far been credited with leading the Roman Catholic Church into taking a more welcoming approach towards the LGBT community.

His move last year to allow priests to bless members of same-sex couples triggered a substantial conservative backlash.

Nevertheless, the Pope’s recent alleged comments on gay seminarians, slur excluded, echo a similar message he delivered in 2018 when he told bishops to carefully vet priesthood applicants and reject any suspected homosexuals.

In a 2005 document, released under Francis’s late predecessor Benedict XVI, the Vatican said the Church could admit into the priesthood those who had clearly overcome homosexual tendencies for at least three years.

The document said practicing homosexuals and those with “deep-seated” gay tendencies and those who “support the so-called gay culture” should be barred.