Pride parade participants mock Pope in Rome

Rome LGBTQ+ Pride

The Rome LGBTQ+ Pride parade celebrated its 30th anniversary on Saturday with tens of thousands marching through the Italian capital, many waving banners poking fun at Pope Francis.

“Attention, from here on high levels of faggotry” read one sign on a motorcycle. A man dressed as Pope Francis held a sign stating “There is too much faggotry in this parade”.

“Today Rome is a river of faggotry, not only in its seminaries” read another of the many Francis-faggot-themed posters.

The signs were mocking the Pope’s recent use of the term “faggotness” during meetings, which led to his apology last month.

“I can’t believe he said that word” said one participant. “I think he knows what it means” he added. “It’s not the case he did not know.”

The Pope had also reaffirmed the Vatican’s ban on gay men entering seminaries and being ordained as priests.

Elly Schlein, leader of Italy’s main opposition party, joined the parade and danced on a float. Schlein is a vocal supporter of LGBTQ+ rights, contrasting sharply with the stance of Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni.

Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party opposes marriage equality, adoption by gay parents and surrogate pregnancies. Her government has also restricted recognition of parental rights to biological parents in same-sex families.

The Rome LGBTQ+ Pride parade featured various satirical signs, including one targeting Gen. Roberto Vannacci, a new parliament member for the right-wing League party. Vannacci was dismissed from his military position after writing a book deemed offensive to women, gays and Blacks.

“If according to Vannacci the LGBTQIA+ is a minority … he has never met the seminarians of Pope Francis” one sign read.

Just days before Rome’s Pride parade, US Jesuit Fr James Martin, who founded the Catholic LGBTQ “Outreach” ministry, met Pope Francis. Martin posted on social media that “the Holy Father said he has known many good, holy and celibate seminarians and priests with homosexual tendencies”.

“Once again, he confirmed my ministry with LGBTQ people and showed his openness and love for the LGBTQ community” Martin wrote on June 12.


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National Catholic Reporter


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