pope francis cover

Asteroid Sleuth: The Case of the Potty-Mouthed Pope

On May 20, 2024, Pope Francis was speaking in camera to a meeting of Italian bishops, following the creation of a new document outlining training for Italian seminarians, not yet released pending review by the Holy See.  The document is reported to include an attempt to soften the current ban on openly gay men entering the Catholic priesthood, by focusing instead on the need for celibacy by priests, whatever their private sexual inclinations.

But the Pontiff was having none of this, despite garnering a reputation for promoting openness and inclusivity for the gays in his flock, and, in what has been describe as a “joking” tone, His Holiness averred that “there is already an air of faggotness” in seminaries.  The Pope, speaking in Italian, used the term “frociaggine,” a slur against gay people that roughly equates to “faggot.”

pope francis2
Too cute by half? Pope Francis has a reputation for public inclusivity regarding gays, but offstage, he uses offensive language; asteroid Francis in a T-Square with Uranus (controversy, shock value) and asteroid Sappho (named for a lesbian poet) shows his personal involvement in a controversial statement about gays

Whether speaking in private or not, even an 87-year-old pope should understand that there’s no such thing as privacy anymore, and of course his words were leaked by some in the room who were offended or shocked by his use of the term.  The story first broke on an Italian gossip website, Dagospia, and was picked up by the BBC, going global and requiring an official response, issued on May 28th.

Papal spokesman (spokespriest?)  Matteo Bruni addressed the controversy, while adhering to a longstanding rule that the Vatican doesn’t comment on the Pope’s private communications, stating: “The Pope has never intended to offend or express himself in homophobic terms, and he apologizes to those who have felt offended by the use of a term, reported by others.” 

pope francis1
‘Why the f**k did I say that?’ seems to be the Pope’s response to Vatican Headache #673; with natal Mercury angular, squared Mars and trine Uranus, shocking language about sexual matters might have been expected

The lapse is regrettable, in light of this progressive Pope’s track record of saying (almost) the right thing on this topic.  He has ministered to transgender Catholics, allowed priests to bless same-sex couples and called for an end to anti-gay legislation, saying in a 2023 interview with The Associated Press that, “Being homosexual is not a crime.”

In his view, however, it remains a sin.  And Pope Francis also attempted to walk back the sanctioning of same-sex nuptial blessings given last December by parsing the sacrament, stating in a “60 Minutes” interview airing on May 19th, the day before his private comments, “What I allowed was not to bless the union. That cannot be done because that is not the sacrament. I cannot. The Lord made it that way. But to bless each person, yes. The blessing is for everyone. For everyone. To bless a homosexual-type union, however, goes against the given right, the law of the Church. But to bless each person, why not?”

pope francis vatican
St Peter’s Basilica, the beating heart of Catholicism; when the Pope uttered the gay slur, asteroid Vaticana (for the Vatican) was conjunct the Sun, along with asteroids Antinous and Dionysus, both gay markers

As ever, the skies reflect earthly realities, and Pope Francis’ slip of the lip is no exception.  On May 20th, when the utterance about faggot seminarians was made, the Sun at 0 Gemini was conjoined by asteroid Vaticana 416 (for the Vatican) at 27 Taurus, focusing attention on the Pope; Jupiter at 28 Taurus (ruling religion and the priesthood generally, as well as institutions of higher education, such as a seminary); Uranus at 23 Taurus (indicating something shocking or controversial); asteroid Roma 472 at 21 Taurus (the seat of the papacy, and where the conversation occurred); and asteroids Antinous 1863 and Dionysus 3671 at 28 Taurus and 6 Gemini respectively.  Both asteroids have gay connotations, with Antinous named for the male lover of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, and Dionysos a sort of Hellenistic patron saint of gays, a gender-fluid deity noted for his effeminacy. 

Moreover, this evocative cluster participates in a T-Square, opposed asteroid Sappho 80 at 27 Scorpio, with asteroid Francis 2050 on the fulcrum at 21 Aquarius.  Sappho is another “gay” asteroid, named for an ancient Greek lesbian poet, linking the Pope personally (Francis) to the issue.  A further underscoring of the theme is seen as asteroid Pappos 29448 at 27 Gemini (for Papa, “the Pope” in Italian), at the Apex of a Yod, or Finger of Destiny, with inconjunct aspects to asteroids Sappho at 27 Scorpio and Ganymed 1036 at 24 Capricorn, named for Zeus’ underage cupbearer and boy-toy lover.

pope francis bruno
Pope Francis with his spokesperson Matteo Bruni, called upon to clean up the linguistic mess created when the Pope met with the Italian Bishop’s Council; asteroid Bruna (for Bruni) conjoins Neptune (religious figures) and squares asteroid Pappos (the Pope), semisquare Mercury (speech) and trine Sappho (gays), with asteroid Mattei (for Matteo) squared a conjunction of asteroids Bishop and Mars (sexuality)

Mars at 15 Aries conjunct asteroid Bishop 2633 at 20 Aries suggests the in camera discussion of sexuality (Mars) with the Italian Bishop’s (Bishop) council (as specified by asteroid Italia 477 opposed Mars from 9 Libra), in the context of religious education (with Mars also semisquare Jupiter). Papal spokesman Matteo Bruni is seen as asteroid Bruna 290 at 25 Pisces, conjunct Neptune (ruling spirituality) and squared Pappos; and asteroid Mattei 11695 at 14 Cancer, semisquare Vaticana.

As a gay man myself, I’m not overly sensitive to the use of the term “faggot,” especially as a joke amongst well-meaning peers, said without malice.  And a quick look at Pope Francis’ birth chart suggests that this peer-to-peer dynamic may apply, and the Holy Father may, in fact, also be a sister.

pope francis4
Let’s face it – the man basically wears a dress; how straight can he be? Pope Francis’ birth chart highlights quite a few gay markers, including the Sun’s conjunction with Eros (Hellenistic patron of gay unions) and opposition to asteroid Dionysus (the most overtly gay Greek deity), and asteroid Sappho (lesbian poet) exactly squared Venus (romance, attraction)

Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on 17 December 1936 at 9 PM ADT in Buenos Aires, Argentina (Rodden Rating AA), Pope Francis has a number of astrologic markers common to gay men.  The 25 Sagittarius Sun is conjoined by asteroid Eros 433 at 27 Sagittarius, noted as the special patron of homosexual unions in Hellenistic Greece, and opposes asteroid Dionysus at 23 Gemini, making gayness somehow self-defining for the Pope.  Asteroid Ganymed at 18 Scorpio squares the Moon at 12 Aquarius, engaging him on a deep emotion level with gay men, while asteroid Sappho at 7 Scorpio exactly squares Venus at 7 Aquarius, suggesting romantic attachments for the same gender.  Sappho’s importance is heightened by its placement on the IC at 0 Scorpio.  Asteroid Antinous at 2 Cancer is also angular, conjunct the 10 Cancer Ascendant and opposed Jupiter at 3 Capricorn. 

That’s an awful lot of “faggotness” for a straight Pope, is all I’m sayin’.

pope francis flag
The Vatican City fag; sorry, I meant “flag.” But just perhaps … as Pope, Francis is also the Bishop of Rome, and a quadruple conjunction in the natal chart of asteroids Bishop, Roma and Pappos with Ganymed (gays) suggests he could be a sister as well as the Holy Father

If we’re to judge Pope Francis’ likely sexual preference by the applicability of other placements in the chart, then there’s a pretty good chance that the Pontiff doth protest too much.  As Pope, Francis is also the Bishop of Rome, and the potential for manifesting that connection is clearly seen in a triple conjunction of asteroids Roma and Bishop, both at 18 Scorpio, with asteroid Pappos at 19 Scorpio, all in square to the Moon, also signifying his residence.  Bishop and Pappos also trine natal Saturn at 16 Pisces, ruling career, and Francis was a Bishop and Cardinal before being elected to the Chair of St. Peter.  Asteroid George 3854, anglicized form of his birth name Jorge, appears at 12 Sagittarius, trine asteroid Cardinal 325973 at 8 Aries, and squared Saturn.

Asteroid Vaticana at 28 Cancer exactly conjoins Pluto at 28 Cancer, conveying the sense that Francis is destined for a powerful role (Pluto) in the Catholic Church hierarchy (Vaticana).  A sesquiquadrate to asteroid George at 12 Sagittarius makes this very personal.  And the name he took as pontiff, Francis, appears at 1 Taurus, squared Pluto/Vaticana and closely conjunct the 0 Taurus Midheaven, ruling career, status, and place in the world.  It’s also conjunct natal Uranus at 5 Taurus, making Pope Francis unconventional, controversial, and seemingly progressive.

pope francis3
He may not look so tough here, but as Pope, Francis is the most powerful man in the Catholic Church, shepherd of a flock of some one and a third billion souls; an exact natal conjunction of Pluto (raw power) with asteroid Vaticana, squared asteroid Francis, shows the innate potential for the job

But is he?  Even in jest, for a (presumably) heterosexual pope to use a coarse Italian slur for people he professes to embrace seems rather less than inclusive and accepting.  Or perhaps, with his peers, some of them likely homosexual themselves, he considered the remarks a la famiglia?

Alex Miller is a professional writer and astrologer, author of The Black Hole Book, detailing deep space points in astrological interpretation, and the forthcoming Heaven on Earth, a comprehensive study of asteroids, both mythic and personal. Alex is a frequent contributor to “The Mountain Astrologer”, “Daykeeper Journal”, and NCGR’s Journals and “Enews Commentary”; his work has also appeared in “Aspects” magazine, “Dell Horoscope”, “Planetwaves”, “Neptune Café” and “Sasstrology.” He is a past president of Philadelphia Astrological Society, and a former board member for the Philadelphia Chapter of NCGR.

One comment, add yours.


You crack me up, Alex! Thank you for always making a subject which can become overly technical and pedantic, entertaining and engaging instead. Jaw dropping as usual, thanks Alex!

Leave a comment