Pope Francis has reportedly told a gay man that “God made you that way and loves you as you are,” a message that would amount to a significant departure from the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, which considers homosexuality “objectively disordered” and contrary to God’s law, reports CNN.
The pontiff made the comments to Juan Carlos Cruz, a Chilean victim of priestly sexual abuse who recently spent three days with the pope at the Vatican to discuss his sexuality and the abuse he suffered at the hands of a Chilean priest, according to the Spanish newspaper El Pais.
Describing his encounter with the Pope Francis to CNN, Cruz said: “You know Juan Carlos, that does not matter. God made you like this. God loves you like this. The Pope loves you like this and you should love yourself and not worry about what people say.”
“You know Juan Carlos, that does not matter,” Cruz said, paraphrasing what the pope told him. “God made you like this. God loves you like this. The Pope loves you like this and you should love yourself and not worry about what people say.”
Vatican spokesman Greg Burke declined to comment on the conversation.
In 2013, Francis famously said, “If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with goodwill, who am I to judge?” when asked for his views on homosexuality.
That same year he also told an interviewer, “A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality,” adding, “I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: When God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ ”