Rorate Caeli

Pope Uses the “F word”: Tells Italian Bishops Not to Admit Gay Seminarians, because “there’s already too much faggotry” in the Church (Updated)


“There's already too much 'faggotry'.” Pope Francis thus invites Italian bishops not to admit gay seminarians

By Iacopo Scaramuzzi
La Repubblica 
May 27, 2024

[Full article in Italian here]


Very harsh attack by Pope Francis against the presence of homosexuals in seminaries. In the closed-door meeting with the more than 200 Italian bishops that opened the General Assembly of the Italian Bishops' Conference on Monday in the Synod Hall, the Pontiff on this topic launched into very serious calls toward greater selection in access to seminaries, not without using even colorful terms and even pointing the finger at the excess of “faggotry.” The Pontiff's stern intervention, which did not fail to surprise those present, is confirmed by several sources. Thus, for Bergoglio, homosexuals should not be allowed in seminaries. From “who am I to judge” to a now much more stern stance, if only regarding the selection and training of priests.

The Issue

The issue has been debated for many years, and already an instruction from the Vatican's dicastery for the Clergy in 2005-under Benedict XVI-confirmed in 2016 under Pope Francis, stipulated that “the Church, while deeply respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the Seminary and to Holy Orders those who practice homosexuality, present deeply rooted homosexual tendencies or support the so-called gay culture.” The Italian bishops, for their part, at their last assembly in Assisi had debated the possibility of more nuanced restrictions, feeling encouraged precisely by Bergoglio's past openings on the issue of homosexuality. Although amid much contestation, an amendment had thus been approved that merely distinguished between “acts” and “tendencies,” reaffirming the obligation of celibacy for all seminarians, homosexual and heterosexual, and thus opening the door of seminaries to gay candidates for the priesthood committed, however, to the option of celibacy. But in the hour-and-a-half-long discussion with the prelates, the Pope in fact barred the way: so respect, yes, for the gay person knocking at the seminary doors, but placing firm stakes on access to prevent the homosexual who chooses the priesthood from ending up leading a double life, with all the negative consequences of the case.

The Reactions

And to reinforce his opinion and be clear even with a joke, Francis reportedly recriminated explicitly about the excess of “faggotry” in certain Italian seminaries. On the Pope's exit both the Cei and Holy See circles avoided comment today. A certain nervousness, however, was manifested in the blunt manner in which the gendarmes removed journalists, cordoning off Cardinal Pietro Parolin, during Mass at Santa Maria Maggiore for the 61st Africa Day. Reactions, and of diametrically opposite sign, were not lacking instead from the Lgbtq world as well as from Catholics in the “Family Day” area. “The Pope is backtracking on Lgbt+ rights and discriminating against gay seminarians,” said Fabrizio Marrazzo, spokesman for the Gay Lgbt+ Party, and “if such a discriminatory statement is confirmed by the Church, we ask that the government block the 8x1000 funds.” In addition, “we would like to understand how gay seminarians will be identified: will they conduct searches? Will they use the Holy Inquisition? Or will they subject priests to hits of songs by Lgbt+ singers to see their reactions? This is not only discriminatory but also ridiculous.” “Standing ovation for the Pope. It's about time. Absit iniuria verbis. Just a few days before Pride. And now everyone to get blessed,” former League senator Simone Pillon, on the other hand, commented on X.


Updated (May 28): The Vatican Press Office issued an apology on Tuesday: