The Catholic Church has found itself embroiled in another controversy regarding LGBTQ+ inclusion following reports of Pope Francis dismissing openly gay men from priestly training.

According to local media, the Pope used the derogatory term “frociaggine” during a discussion with bishops on Monday. The term, roughly translated as “effeminacy” or used similarly to a slur, has ignited immediate backlash.

This incident continues a pattern of mixed signals from Pope Francis, with the leader also making statements about inclusion and recognition of same-sex relationships in the past.


Although the Pope apologised through his press office on Tuesday, the core message remains unchanged. Since 2005, the Catholic Church 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 previous statements of tolerance with the current stance, reminding him of his famous “Who am I to judge?” remark regarding gay priests.

DeBernardo’s plea resonates with a broader sentiment within the LGBTQ+ community and progressive Catholics. Many question the logic behind the ban, especially given the dedication and service of numerous gay priests already within the Church.

This incident underscores the ongoing struggle within the Catholic Church regarding 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.