Saturday , July 13 2024

Student tells Pope to stop using anti-LGBTQ language


VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis has been told by a Filipino Catholic university student to “stop using offensive language” against LGBTQ people.

Slurs cause “immense pain”, Jack Lorenz Acebedo Rivero said during an online video panel with other Catholic university students and the pope.

His comments come after reports that the Pope used extremely offensive language against gay men during a closed-door meeting last month with bishops.

He later apologized to those who were “hurt” and the Vatican said he did not mean to offend anyone.

The Pope reportedly said gay men should not be allowed to train for the priesthood, adding there was already an air of frociaggine, which translates as a highly offensive slur.

This has shocked many, as the Pope has often talked publicly of being respectful towards gay people.

He recently created consternation among Catholic traditionalists by saying priests should be able to bless same-sex couples in some circumstances and has frequently talked of gay people being welcome in the Church.

The forum, which was broadcast live on social media on Thursday, had the theme “Building Bridges” in a region of diverse religions and ethnicities. It brought together Catholic university students from across different countries.

The student from the Ateneo de Manila University told the Pope that he has been “outlasted and bullied due to my bisexuality, my gayness, my identity and being the son of a single parent”.

He then called on him to: “Stop using offensive language against the LGBTQIA+

Rivera, who wore a rainbow-colored sash over his traditional Filipino garment, also asked the Pope to “allow divorce in the Philippines”.

Aside from the Vatican, the Philippines is the only country in the world where divorce is illegal. This is due to a strong lobby against it by the Roman Catholic Church.

The Pope waited for all three students in Rivera’s group to speak before giving his replies.

He did not address Rivera’s concerns specifically but he said through a translator that he was advising Rivera to differentiate true love from false love.

“Always pick true love,” he said.

The Pope also told the group that “women are the best people” even if society views them as second to men.

He recalled a conversation with a female European leader, who he said told him that “maternal ability” gives her the edge over men.

“Many women have brought children on their own… A widower can hardly go on their own. A woman, alone, can certainly grow her family. This is the greatness of women.”

Meanwhile, Transgender people can be baptized in the Catholic Church as long as doing so does not cause scandal or “confusion”, the Vatican has announced.

The Church’s doctrinal office also said Trans people could be godparents at a baptism and witnesses at a wedding.

The move follows attempts by Pope Francis to make the Church more welcoming to LGBT people.

The Pope told one Trans person in July that “even if we are sinners, he (God) draws near to help us”.

The Vatican’s updated stance comes after Brazilian Bishop Jose Negri wrote to the Church’s Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith with six questions regarding LGBT people and their participation in baptism and matrimony. (Int’l Monitoring Desk)

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