Bisexual student pleads with Pope Francis to stop using homophobic slurs

An edited image of a stern Pope Francis on top of a set of scribbles.

A bisexual student has pleaded with Pope Francis to stop using offensive language about LGBTQ+ people, after the religious leader was reported to use a homophobic slur on two separate occasions.

The pontiff has been accused of twice using “frociaggine” – a pejorative word in Italian which roughly translates as f****t – during behind-closed-door meetings with priests.

He was first accused of using the slur in May after saying that there was too much “frociaggine” in Catholic seminaries after being asked if out gay men who remain celibate could be admitted.

The slur was reportedly repeated in June, when the head of the Catholic Church allegedly said there was an air of “frociaggine” in the Vatican.

During a discussion on “building bridges across Asia Pacific,” in which the pope spoke to university students, Jack Lorenz Acebedo Rivera pleaded with him to not use the slur any more.

“Stop using offensive language against the LGBTQIA+ community,” Rivera said. “This leads to immense pain.”

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The psychology student at the Ateneo de Manila, in the Philippines, added that he had been bullied because of his sexuality, and that the pope’s rhetoric fuels the fire of discrimination.

“I myself am outcasted and bullied due to my bisexuality, my gayness, my identity and being the son of a single parent,” he said.

Pope Francis, pictured.
Pope Francis has been asked to stop using derogatory words about the LGBTQ+ community. (Getty)

The student, who was wearing a rainbow sash, urged Francis to work towards LGBTQ+ equality and to help make divorce easier in the Philippines.

The pope spoke strongly against discrimination but did not directly address Rivera’s specific issues about homophobic language.

The pontiff issued a rare apology following the first use of the slur, with the Vatican saying he “never intended to offend or express himself in homophobic terms.”

A Vatican spokesman added: “He apologises to those who felt offended by the use of a term reported by others.”

Neither the pope nor the Vatican has addressed the reported second use of the word.

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