A victim of clerical sexual abuse has said that Pope Francis told him that God made him gay and that his homosexual orientation “does not matter.”
Juan Carlos Cruz, a survivor of sexual abuse from the hands of Chilean clergy, spent three days with Pope Francis at the Vatican in April, in which he also discussed his homosexual orientation with he Pope. Describing his encounter with the Pope to CNN last May 21, Cruz said the Pope told him: “You know Juan Carlos…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.”
The Pope’s words would amount to a significant departure from the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, which considers homosexuality “objectively disordered” and contrary to God’s law. Vatican spokesman Greg Burke told CNN: “We do not normally comment on the Pope’s private conversations.”
We recall here the words of the late Pope St. John Paul II, who once said:
“When homosexual unions have been legally recognised or have been given the legal statutes and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty.”
Fernando Karadima, the man who abused Cruz, was found guilty of abuse by the Vatican in 2011. Last May 18, all the bishops in Chile offered their resignation to Pope Francis after a three-day emergency summit at the Vatican to discuss Chile’s sex-abuse scandal.
In total, 31 active bishops and three retired bishops announced in a statement that they had offered to resign over the scandal and place the issue “in the hands of the Holy Father so that he might freely decide for each one of us.”
Greg Burke, the Vatican’s chief spokesman, did not respond to questions about whether Cruz’s statement accurately reflected his conversation with the pope.
It is not the first time it has been suggested Francis has an open and tolerant attitude toward homosexuality, despite the Catholic church’s teaching that gay sex – and all sex outside of heterosexual marriage – is a sin. In July 2013, in response to a reporter’s question about the existence of an alleged “gay lobby” within the Vatican, Francis said: “Who am I to judge?”∎
by Delia Gallagher and Hada Messia, CNN