Pope Francis apologizes for using an offensive homophobic term

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

Pope Francis has apologized after using an offensive word against homosexuals during a meeting with bishops. 

The 87-year-old reportedly made the speech in a closed-door meeting last week when he told bishops that gay men should not be allowed to train to become priests. 

"The Pope never intended to express or insult homosexuals and he apologizes to those who have felt offended by the term, as reported by others," the Vatican statement said.

The Pope's comments were made public on Monday after two Italian media outlets reported. The media reported that Francis used the Italian term "frociaggine", a very derogatory expression.

The Vatican ruled in 2005 that the church should not allow the ordination of gay men. Pope Francis upheld the ruling in 2016. Two years later, he told bishops not to allow gay candidates to train for the priesthood, CNN reported.

Throughout his papacy, the Pope has had a more accepting approach to the LGBTQ+ community saying "who am I to judge".