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Uproar over homophobic remark: Pope apologizes

Uproar over homophobic remark: Pope apologizes
“There is room for everyone in the Church,” said Francis.

The Pope did not intend to offend anyone or to use homophobic language, the Vatican said in a press release on Tuesday. “Pope Francis is aware of the articles that recently appeared about a conversation behind closed doors with the bishops of the Italian Bishops’ Conference. As he has said on several occasions, ‘In the Church there is room for everyone, for everyone! No one is superfluous, no one is superfluous, there is room for everyone. Just as we are, everyone,'” the Vatican press release said.

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“There are already too many faggots in the seminaries,” the Pope was quoted as saying. He is said to have used a coarser Italian word, reported La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera, Italy’s largest-circulation daily newspapers.

“Repressive politics must end”

“The Catholic Church no longer knows where to hide the many homosexuals among the clergy. The Catholic Church’s repressive policies towards the LGBTQ+ community must end,” commented Rosario Coco, president of the gay association Gaynet.

“We must not forget that the seminaries in Italy are also financed with Italian taxpayers’ money. If this discriminatory statement by the Pope is confirmed, we demand that the government in Rome block taxpayers’ money for the Catholic Church,” demanded Fabrizio Marrazzo, spokesman for the “Gay Lgbt+” party. The social democratic parliamentarian and activist for gay rights, Alessandro Zan, complained about homophobia in the Italian church.

“Unintentional slip-up”

According to “La Repubblica”, some bishops confirmed that the Pope had used the vulgar word at the meeting last week, but they apparently tried to downplay the situation to the Italian press and spoke of an unintentional slip-up by the Argentinean Pope, for whom Italian is not his mother tongue. It was clear to those present that the Pope was not aware of how offensive the word was in Italian, the bishops explained.

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The Italian bishops, at their meeting in Assisi in November, approved a new text regulating admission to seminaries, “Ratio formationis sacerdotalis”, which has not yet been published pending approval by the Holy See. They had approved by a majority an amendment that maintains the distinction between a simple homosexual orientation and so-called “deep-rooted tendencies”.

No admission to seminars?

In essence, a homosexual can be admitted to the seminary as long as he guarantees, like a heterosexual, that he knows how to observe the discipline of celibacy. However, Francis seems to have a more radical view: in order to avoid problems, he believes that homosexuals should not be admitted to the seminaries, and that this should be done without exception.

In the declaration “Fiducia supplicans” of the Vatican’s authority on the doctrine of December 18, 2023, the Pope’s chief dogmatician, Argentine Cardinal Victor Fernandez, permitted an informal blessing of same-sex, unmarried or remarried couples and at the same time emphasized that confusion with the sacrament of marriage must be excluded. The declaration of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith had caused heated discussions within and outside the Catholic Church.

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Source: Nachrichten

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