Pope over LGBTQ flag

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‘Based’: Pope Francis is back in conservatives’ good graces after using anti-gay slur

The Pope released a statement apologizing, but online conservatives loved it.


Marlon Ettinger


Online conservatives are coming out in support of Pope Francis after Italian media reported that he used a homophobic slur while discussing gay seminarians.

The Pope’s comments came at an Italian bishops’ conference during a closed-door meeting in the Vatican last week. The meeting was about whether gay people should be allowed to join seminaries and train to become priests in the Catholic Church as long as they respect the vow of celibacy required of priests.

“It seems that Pope Francis has a more radical vision: to avoid problems of this kind, homosexual persons should not be admitted to the seminary. Full stop!” reported Il Corriere della Sera.

According to La Repubblica, the Pope told the bishops that if a gay person tries to join a seminary, they should be barred, explaining that “there is too much frociaggine in seminaries.”

The word frociaggine means something roughly like “queerness,” but is derived from the same word as the slur “f****t,” and has a pejorative sense.

While a Vatican spokesman quickly released a statement apologizing for the Pope “express[ing] himself in homophobic terms,” online conservatives reacted to the initial news with glee.

The newfound support of Francis is a change from just last week, when the far-right compared him to Satan after he preached a message of love and tolerance for migrants.

“The Pope called someone a f****t?” posted Brenden Dilley happily on X on Tuesday in reaction to the news, over an edited GIF of the Hulk calling the “Based Department.”

Dilley is behind the Dilley Meme Team, a pro-former President Donald Trump meme-creating collective which claims close links to the president and his campaign circle. Dilley and his team of meme makers were also recently behind a video Trump posted on Truth Social with a graphic of a newspaper headline making reference to a “Unified Reich,” which prompted an intense outcry. 

“This news made my morning, I had to look it up, it was very wholesome. Thanks!” replied @The_Wireman to Dilley.

Others echoed the sentiment that the Pope had gone based.

Some said that the Pope using a homophobic term made them like him more, given his public reputation as a church leader who’s been unusually accepting of gay people.

“First time I’m in agreement with him,” posted @Radtech_63.

After news came out that the Pope had apologized for causing offense though, some posters complained that he didn’t have his priorities in order.

“Of course he apologizes, because rather than doing the will of God, he prefers pandering to the woke,” wrote @Eye_C_U_Smith.

“The Pope just apologized for one of the most based things he’s said,” wrote @EvangelicalDW.

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