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Student Asks Pope Francis to Cease Using Anti-LGBTQ Words

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A Filipino Catholic university student has asked Pope Francis to “stop using offensive language” towards LGBTQ individuals.

Jack Lorenz Acebedo Rivero expressed during an online video panel with other Catholic university students and the Pope that slurs cause “immense pain.”

Rivero’s remarks follow reports that the Pope used highly offensive language against gay men during a private meeting with bishops last month.

The Pope later apologised to those “hurt,” and the Vatican clarified that he did not intend to offend anyone.

During the meeting, the Pope reportedly stated that gay men should not be allowed to train for the priesthood, using the term “frociaggine,” a highly offensive slur.

This has surprised many, as the Pope has often spoken publicly about being respectful towards gay people.

Recently, he also caused consternation among Catholic traditionalists by suggesting that priests should be allowed to bless same-sex couples in certain circumstances and has frequently emphasised that gay people are welcome in the Church.

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

He then urged the Pope to “stop using offensive language against the LGBTQIA+ community.”

Mr. Rivera, wearing a rainbow-colored sash over his traditional Filipino attire, also requested that the Pope “allow divorce in the Philippines.”

Apart from the Vatican, the Philippines is the only country where divorce is illegal, due to strong opposition from the Roman Catholic Church.

Before responding, the Pope waited for all three students in Mr. Rivera’s group to speak.

He did not address Mr. Rivera’s concerns directly but advised, through a translator, that Mr. Rivera differentiate between true love and 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.”


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