Pope Francis has used homophobic language against men for the second time in just weeks, the Italian news agency said

Rome – Only weeks later Apologies for the use of a homophobic slur, Pope Francis The same word was used again during a closed meeting on Tuesday, according to the Italian news agency ANSA.

The ANSA news agency reported, citing unnamed sources who attended the meeting the pope He used the offensive term during a discussion with nearly 200 Romanian priests at the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome.

Francis, 87, had used the same insulting language for gay men before, during a meeting with the Italian bishops on May 20. The issue then was whether gay men should be allowed to enter seminary.

Eight days later, the director of the Holy See press office, Matteo Bruni, issued a rare apology, saying the pope “never intended to offend or express himself in homophobic terms, and he apologizes to those who felt offended by the use of the phrase.” A term passed on by others.”

Pope Francis speaks during his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican, June 12, 2024.

Alessandra Tarantino/AP

On Tuesday, Bruni issued a statement summarizing the Pope’s statements during the meeting with Roman priests, saying he spoke on topics ranging from… Ukraine And the The war in Gaza To artificial intelligence.

Bruni said the pope “reaffirmed the need to welcome and accompany those with homosexual tendencies in the Church,” but the pope also urged caution in accepting gay people into the seminary. Bruni’s statement did not mention the Pope’s alleged use of this offensive remark.

At each of the relevant meetings, Francis was clear in his position that gay men should not be allowed to be ordained. Although Francis has been credited with welcoming members of the LBGTQ community into the church during his 11-year papacy, he has not welcomed gay priests.

In 2005, the Vatican issued a document stating that the church could not “admit into seminary or the priesthood those who practice homosexuality, display deep-rooted homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called ‘gay culture’.”

In 2016, Pope Francis supported this position.

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