A GAY man who was abused by a Catholic priest has claimed that Pope Francis apologised for his part in the Catholic sexual abuse scandal and assured the Chilean victim that God had wants him to be gay.
Speaking to the Spanish newspaper El Pais, Juan Carlos Cruz said that the admission came during a conversation in the Pope's private apartments where he was staying with two other Chilean abuse victims during a visit to the Vatican earlier this month.
“He told me, ‘Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter. God made you like that and he loves you like that and I don’t care. The Pope wants you like that, you have to be happy with who you are,’” Cruz said.
The revelation is not against the Catholic Catechism (or doctrine) which states that gay people "must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity", but it is very rare for a pope to offer up his viewpoint on the gay question.
Fernando Karadima, the former priest who abused Cruz, was found guilty of the abuse by the Vatican in 2011 and ordered to a life of "prayer and penance". In 2015, a Chilean court ruled that the accusations were truthful but ruled the time limit that allowed him to be prosecuted had run out.
God made you like that and he loves you like that and I don’t care. The Pope wants you like that, you have to be happy with who you are
Chilean bishops at the heart of the sex abuse scandal threatened to resign en masse last week after being summoned to Rome to explain their part in a crisis that has rocked the predominantly Catholic country.
The last time a country's bishops have been hauled to the Vatican was the Irish bishops in 2009 for the same reason.
The meeting with the three Chilean victims in the Pope's private residence - Casa Santa Marta - is the first time a pope has invited sexual abuse victims to stay in his home.
In a press conference after the stay, Cruz said: "I spoke for more than two-and-a-half hours with Pope Francis.
“He listened to me with great respect, affection and closeness, like a father.”
The Vatican will not confirm or deny the story as it has a policy of not commenting on the private conversations of the Pope.