Pope Francis has reportedly told a gay man that “God made you that way and loves you as you are,” apparently pushing the pontiff’s acceptance of homosexuality to a new level.
Francis made the comments to Juan Carlos Cruz, a Chilean victim of priestly sexual abuse who recently spent days with the pope at the Vatican to discuss his ordeal as the pontiff moves to tackle decades of coverups and ostracism of victims in the Chilean church, according to the Spanish newspaper El Pais.
Cruz was quoted as having discussed his homosexuality with Francis. “He told me: ‘Juan Carlos, I don’t care about you being gay. God made you that way and loves you as you are and I don’t mind. The pope loves you as you are, you have to be happy with who you are.’ ”
A spokesman at the Vatican on Sunday declined to confirm or deny Francis’ comments, stating, “We don’t normally comment on the pope’s private conversations.”