Student warns Pope against using anti-LGBTQ language

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A Filipino Catholic university student has called on Pope Francis to “stop using offensive language” against LGBTQ people.

In an online video panel with other Catholic university students and the pope, Jack Lorenz Acebedo Rivero stated that slurs cause “immense pain.”

The comments stem from reports that the Pope used extremely offensive language against gay men during a closed-door meeting with bishops last month; the Vatican later apologised to those who were “hurt” and stated that it was not his intention to offend anyone.

The Pope reportedly stated that gay men should not be permitted to train to become priests, adding that there was already an “air of frociaggine,” which translates as a highly offensive slur.

The Pope has frequently stated in public that LGBT people should be treated with respect, thus many people are astonished by this.

He has often discussed LGBT people being welcome in the Church and recently caused controversy among Catholic traditionalists by stating that priests should be authorised to bless same-sex couples in certain situations.

The forum’s theme, “Building Bridges” in a region of many religions and cultures, was announced live on social media on Thursday.

It brought together students from various Catholic universities throughout the world.

The Ateneo de Manila University student informed the Pope that he has experienced bullying and outcasting because of his status as the son of a single father, his bisexuality, and his homosexuality.

“Stop using offensive language against the LGBTQIA+ community,” he then urged him to say. In addition, Mr. Rivera requested that the Pope “allow divorce in the Philippines.”

The student was dressed in a traditional Filipino robe with a ribbon of rainbow colours over it.

The Philippines is the only nation in the world (apart from the Vatican) where divorce is prohibited. This is because the Roman Catholic Church has been fighting it hard.

The Pope did not respond to any of the three students in Mr. Rivera’s group until they had all finished speaking. He did not directly respond to Mr. Rivera’s worries, but he did advise him to distinguish between genuine and fake love via a translator.

“Always choose genuine love,” he advised. In addition, the Pope informed the audience that although society considers women to be inferior to males, “women are the best people.”

He related anecdotes of a talk he had with a female European leader, stating that she had informed him that “maternal ability” sets women apart from 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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