Pope Francis reportedly told a gay man that God made him gay.
Juan Carlos Cruz, a Chilean who was sexually abused by a Catholic priest, met with the Pope two weeks ago. He said that his sexual orientation came up in the conversation because some bishops in Chile said he was a pervert who was lying about the abuse.
“He told me, ‘Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter,'” Cruz said. “‘God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care. The pope loves you like this. You have to be happy with who you are.'”
The Catholic Church has no official stance on the origin of homosexuality, so the comments don’t represent a change in doctrine. The remarks show, though, that the Pope doesn’t believe that people choose to be gay.
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The Pope’s comments also show a shift of attitude within the church, said Christopher Lamb, Vatican correspondent for The Tablet.
In 2013, in response to a journalist’s question about the “gay lobby,” the Pope said, “Who am I to judge?”
Lamb said that the Pope’s remarks to Cruz go “beyond ‘who am I to judge?’ to ‘you are loved by God.'”
A spokesperson for the Vatican did not comment on the conversation Cruz had with the Pope.