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Pope Francis apologizes after being quoted using homophobic slur

Pope apologizes after using homophobic slur
Pope Francis apologizes after being quoted using homophobic slur 00:30

Pope Francis' office issued a statement on Tuesday responding to reports that the pontiff had used a homophobic term for LGBTQ+ people in a closed-door meeting with bishops.

"In the Church there is room for everyone, for everyone! Nobody is useless, nobody is superfluous, there is room for everyone. Just as we are, all of us," Pope Francis said in a statement.

The pope had "never intended to offend or express himself in homophobic terms, and he apologizes to those who felt offended by the use of a term reported by others," said Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy See Press Office.

On Monday, it was reported that the Pope Francis had used derogatory language at the Italian Bishops' Conference when asked if gay men should be allowed to train as priests if they remain celibate. The pope reportedly said gay men should not be allowed to train as priests even if they pledge to remain celibate, and he used a homophobic slur.

The remarks were first reported on the Italian tabloid website Dagospia and then by other Italian news agencies.

Pope Francis has been seen as being publicly respectful towards LGBTQ+ people and recently said priests should be able to bless same-sex couples in some circumstances, though he stressed the blessings would be for the individuals in the couples and not the couples themselves.

Anna Matranga in Rome contributed to this report.

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