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Pope Francis has come under fire again for using a derogatory term against LGBTQ+ individuals, repeating an error he made nearly a month ago. Italian media report that the pontiff used the offensive term during a private meeting at the Vatican, coinciding with Pride Month.

Addressing Roman priests at The Salesian Pontifical University on Tuesday, the Pope remarked, “There is an air of fa****ness in the Vatican,” according to ANSA. He further suggested that young gay men should avoid entering seminaries.

When asked about the closed-door meeting, the Vatican’s press office referred to a statement in which the Pope stressed the importance of accepting LGBTQ+ individuals into the Church while also advising against their admission to seminaries.

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The Vatican Press Office released a brief detailing the hour-and-a-half meeting with approximately 160 priests. According to the bulletin and ANSA reports, the 87-year-old pontiff discussed various topics, including the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Israel-Hamas war, and artificial intelligence.

He concluded by addressing the issue of admitting individuals with “homosexual tendencies” to seminaries, reiterating that “everyone” should be welcome in the Church, yet highlighting the Church’s stance against gay men seeking priesthood.

This incident follows a similar one on May 20, where Pope Francis used an Italian term roughly translating to “fa***try” during a private discussion with Italian bishops. Despite some bishops at the meeting suggesting he used the term jokingly, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni issued an apology on behalf of the Pope.

“As he has had the opportunity to state on several occasions, ‘In the Church, there is room for everyone, for everyone! No one is useless, no one is superfluous, there is room for everyone. Just as we are, everyone,'” Bruni stated.

“The Pope never intended to offend or express himself in homophobic terms, and he extends his apologies to those who were offended by the use of a term that was reported by others,” Bruni added.

The Pope’s repeated use of the term has sparked amusement online, with many making light of his apparent inability to refrain from such language despite the backlash and previous apologies.

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