After Pope Uses Gay Slur, Pride Parade Celebrates It

Francis' image appears throughout Rome event
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2024 6:32 PM CDT
After Pope Uses Gay Slur, Pride Parade Celebrates It
Pope Francis, center, leaves along with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at the end of a group photo Friday at the G7 in Borgo Egnazia, near Bari in southern Italy.   (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Participants in Rome's Pride celebration decided not to fight Pope Francis over his use of a gay slur. Instead, they made him a star in absentia in their parade Saturday, the New York Times reports: The pope's image appeared on T-shirts, hats, and cardboard cutouts. So did the slur. It was "the slogan of the 2024 Pride," said an actress holding a banner with the word on it. "Let's make him feel how beautiful gayness is," someone in the crowd shouted. One man said that while Francis' language might imply "gay people are not welcome in the church, he is always welcome to Pride."

The pope reportedly used "frociaggine" in complaining in a meeting with priests on June 11 that there is too much "gayness" in the Catholic Church. He also was reported to have used it two weeks before in another setting. The Vatican issued an apology. Tens of thousands of people marched in the parade, per the AP. "If I take ownership of the word, I can use it as a marker of my identity," one participant said, adding, "It makes you immune from any insult." (More Pope Francis stories.)

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