Rome Pride-goers celebrate 30th anniversary by making fun of Pope’s ‘frociaggine’ comment

On Saturday 15 June, Rome held its 30th annual LGBTQ+ Pride celebrations, and one theme stood out in particular – Pope Francis’ controversial “frociaggine” comment.

Earlier in June, Pope Francis reportedly used an anti-LGBTQ+ slur during discussions about whether out gay men who remain celibate should be admitted to Catholic seminaries, where priests are trained.

During the meeting, the Pontiff voiced his objection to the idea and was reported to say there was already too much “frociaggine” in seminaries, according to Italian tabloid Dagospia. 

The term “frociaggine”, which Pope Francis reportedly used to refer to gay men, is an f-pejorative in the Italian language and roughly translates to the derogatory term, “f****t”.

While the word literally means a bundle of sticks and was used in the 19th Century to describe older women who gathered firewood, it has since taken on negative connotations to describe gay men.

After his alleged comments came to light, the Vatican apologised for Pope Francis’ behaviour. The Vatican said it was “aware of the articles” about the Bishop of Rome’s reported slur, explaining that he is a supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. 

You may like to watch

However, members of Rome’s LGBTQ+ community weren’t about to let the Pope off the hook for his comments that easily, and on Saturday many of the Pride-goers waved placards, signs and banners making fun of the pontiff’s recent remarks.

People hold a cardboard cutout of Pope Francis with a rainbow garland, and signs that read: “you can never be too much “frociaggine”, and “Francy you are welcome in our parish” (Getty)

One sign, displayed from a large motorcycle driven by a woman in a rainbow-coloured hat read: “Attention, from here on high levels of f****try.”

Another, held up by a man dressed as the Pope, said: “There is too much f****try in this parade.”

A Pride-goer holds up a sign that translates as “unleash the f****t” (Photo by Simona Granati – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

Others took aim at someone other than the Pope. One protester held a sign featuring the photo of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni saying, “better gay than with her”.

Giorgia Meloni took office in October and has formed the most right-wing government Italy has seen in decades. Her Brothers of Italy stands in opposition to marriage equality, gay parental rights, and use of surrogate pregnancies. 

Please login or register to comment on this story.