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Rome Gay Pride Mocks Francis for ‘Faggotry’ Remarks

Vatican silent as Jesus blasphemed in previous pride parades in the Eternal City



Pope Francis was the target of Rome’s Pride march as scores of participants raised banners mocking the pontiff for his recent comments on “faggotry.”

A lead protestor, who became the focus of media attention, mimicked the pope by dressing in a papal white cassock and zucchetto, with rainbow pectoral cross and a rainbow flag around his shoulders.

In his hands the protestor raised a banner with the words in Italian: “C’è troppa frociaggine in questo Pride” (“There is too much faggotry in this Pride [march]”).


Several protestors carried life-size cardboard cutouts of Pope Francis with a rainbow garland around his neck.


A massive Europa+ float dominated the procession with the slogan “Libera frociaggine in libero stato” (“Free faggotry in a free state”), as hundreds of LGBTQ+ participants sought to protest, as well as reclaim a word Francis has used twice in the last month.


Marchers mocked the hypocrisy of the Church for forbidding homosexual relationships while even the pope acknowledged that gay men are dominant in seminaries, the priesthood, and even the Vatican.


“You are so right there is really faggotry all over the place, especially in the toilets and between the sheets of the Vatican,” one sign read.

“Today Rome is a river of faggotry, not only in its seminaries,” read another of the many posters centered on the theme of “Francis and faggotry.”

Participants also acknowledged Fiducia Supplicans, which permits priests to bless homosexual couples in non-liturgical settings; with one onlooker holding a sign of a smiling Francis that simply read: “I bless this faggot.”


Another person standing next to the Francis cutout held a sign, saying: “Francy you are welcome in our parish.”


 “If according to Vannacci the LGBTQIA+ community is the minority, he has never met Pope Francis’ seminarians,” a large sign read, making a reference to General Roberto Vannacci who wrote "Gays are not normal" in his recent book "The World Upside Down."


Francis sparked outrage among LGBTQ+ activists after he used the slur word during a closed-door meeting of the general assembly of the Italian Episcopal Conference on May 20.

“Look, there is already an air of too much faggotry around [in seminaries] that is not good,” the pontiff told Italian bishops who are poised to issue a new document that will relax restrictions surrounding the admission of homosexuals to formation for the priesthood.

Titled “Ratio Formationis Sacerdotalis,” the document was approved at a meeting of the Italian Episcopal Conference in Assisi last November, with the majority of bishops voting for an amendment that distinguishes between simple homosexual orientation and “deeply rooted tendencies.”


While the document approves the entry of candidates under the former category, it bans men with deeply rooted homosexual tendencies from entering seminary formation. However, the Vatican has not yet approved the document.


The Holy See Press Office swiftly issued a rare apology acknowledging the pope’s comments, but pointing out that Francis has long insisted there was “room for everyone” in the Catholic Church.


“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,” Holy See Press Office spokesman Matteo Bruni told media.


However, Francis repeated the “faggotry” slang word on June 11 at a closed-door meeting with around 160 priests from the diocese of Rome at the Pontifical Salesian University. 


Francesco Langella, the director of communications for the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome, where the meeting took place, confirmed that the pope had repeated the Italian word “frociaggine.”


The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported that the pope had used the term in a narrative quoting the words of a bishop: “A bishop came to me and told me, ‘There is too much frociaggine here in the Vatican,’” the newspaper reported the pope as saying.

The Italian politician, Alessandro Zan, who has been attempting to pass legislation favorable to LGBTQ+, wrote on social media then: “There is not too much ‘frociaggine.’ There are too many homophobes.”

The Holy See Press Office said the pope “spoke about the danger of ideologies in the church and returned to the issue of the admission into seminaries of people with homosexual tendencies, reiterating the need to welcome and accompany them in the church and the prudential recommendation of the Dicastery for the Clergy regarding their admission to a seminary.”


Days after his first set of comments on “faggotry” the pontiff wrote an email to ex-seminarian Lorenzo Michele Noè Caruso, who had emailed Francis complaining he was expelled because he was gay.


“I was expelled from the seminary because I said I was gay. I wanted to be a priest, but I wasn’t permitted,” Caruso wrote to Francis in a three-page email on May 28, after he read the pope’s reported comments on gays in seminaries.


On June 1, Caruso received a handwritten reply from Francis, which was scanned and attached to the email he had sent. “Thank you so much for your email,” the pope wrote.   


“Jesus calls everyone, everyone. Some think of the Church as a customs house, and this is bad. The Church must be open to all. Brother, go ahead with your vocation,” Francis replied, addressing Caruso as “Dear, ‘One of the many seeds in the Lord's vineyard.’”


“It’s true! You know that clericalism is a plague? It’s an ugly ‘worldliness’ and as a great theologian said, ‘worldliness is the worst that can happen to the church, even worse than the era of concubinary popes’,” Francis wrote, citing the theologian, Hans Urs von Balthasar.


“Go forward with your vocation … I pray for you, please do it for me (I need it),” Francis added.

Italian Catholics and evangelicals have expressed deep distress at the Vatican’s silence on the explicit and widespread Christophobia displayed by participants in the LGBTQ+ march in recent years.

In 2021, Rome Pride portrayed an LGBTQ+ activist dressed as Jesus wearing a miniskirt and high heels; another profaned Jesus by wearing a crown of thorns, painted stigmata on his palms and side and draping himself with a rainbow flag.


“But does Pope Francis have nothing to say?” Catholics asked on Twitter, as a mural of two homosexual Vatican Swiss guards kissing appeared on a wall near the Vatican.


Another gay activist paraded as Jesus with heart-shaped stigmata, and carried a cross on which was written: “Ama il prossimo tuo come te stesso” (love your neighbor as yourself).


The LGBTQ+ parade also mocked the pope with a homosexual putting on a monk’s habit and a Pope Francis face mask. The crowd was heard shouting vulgar slogans and poking fun at the pontiff and his “pink cardinals.”


A frequent slogan mocking the pope played on the word-pair “Orgoglio-Bergoglio.” “Orgoglio” is the Italian word for “pride.” The rally’s main banner was emblazoned with the slogan for 2021 “Orgoglio e Ostentazione” (Pride and Ostentation).


Similar blasphemous scenes were enacted at the Pride parade in Milan, with penises sketched on the “rainbow cross” carried by a “transgender Jesus.”


Dr. Jules Gomes, (BA, BD, MTh, PhD), has a doctorate in biblical studies from the University of Cambridge. Currently a Vatican-accredited journalist based in Rome, he is the author of five books and several academic articles. Gomes lectured at Catholic and Protestant seminaries and universities and was canon theologian and artistic director at Liverpool Cathedral.


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