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Pope Francis Apologizes for Homophobic Remark

Pope Francis has apologized for using an anti-gay slur during a meeting with bishops. The 87-year-old pontiff made the controversial remark last week in a closed-door session with Italian bishops, where he suggested that gay men should not be allowed to train for the priesthood.

“The Pope never intended to offend or express himself in homophobic terms, and he extends his apologies to those who felt offended by the use of a term, as reported by others,” the Vatican stated on Tuesday.

Pope Francis has often expressed a more inclusive view, saying, “in the Church there is room for everyone, everyone! No one is useless, no one is superfluous, there is room for everyone. Just as we are, everyone.”

The Pope’s comments became public on Monday after two Italian newspapers, *Corriere della Sera* and *La Repubblica*, reported on the meeting, quoting sources present. They claimed the Pope used a derogatory term roughly translating to “f*****ry” when discussing some seminaries.

The Vatican previously ruled in 2005 that men who are actively gay or have “deep-seated” homosexual tendencies cannot be ordained. Pope Francis upheld this ruling in 2016 and advised Italian bishops in 2018 not to accept gay candidates for the priesthood.

Despite his recent comments, Pope Francis has tried to adopt a more welcoming stance toward LGBTQ+ Catholics during his papacy. He famously said, “who am I to judge?” regarding gay priests and has supported the possibility of informal blessings for same-sex couples.

The Pope’s use of the offensive term may have been unintentional, as noted by Corriere della Sera, given that he speaks Italian as a second language. The remark reportedly caused incredulous laughter among the bishops present.

Due to the private nature of the meeting, no official transcript of the comments exists.

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