Pope Francis tells a gay man that ‘God made you like this and loves you’
Pope Francis has told a gay man subject to clerical sexual abuse that God made him gay.
Juan Carlos Cruz, a survivor of sexual abuse by a prominent Chilean priest, spoke with the Pope last week about his experience.
The discussion of his sexuality arose with the 81-year-old pontiff as Cruz stated that it had been used to discredit his allegations by multiple Chilean bishops, many of whom have now been removed from their posts.
According to The Guardian Pope Francis then told Cruz: “Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter. 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.”
Many people have highlighted that this statement counteracts the ideas that people choose their sexual orientation or that God hates gay people.
Both of these ideas are often used to insult or discriminate against LGBT people, meaning that this could mark a highly progressive step for the pope.
However, many have also stated that this does not indicate a contradiction of the Catholic Church’s views on gay people, as there has currently been no consensus in the church on why some people are gay.
The Vatican has not yet confirmed the statement from Pope Francis.
Despite rising acceptance of LGBT rights in many parts of the world and early hopes that Pope Francis would be a more progressive pontiff, this has unfortunately not happened.
In 2016, the Vatican reaffirmed its ban on gay priests that has been in place since 2005, stating that if you “practice homosexuality” you will not be welcome as a priest.
The statement said: “The Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture.’
“Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women.
“One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies.”
Pope Francis previously appeared to roll back on the commitment, when he famously declared in 2013, “Who am I to judge?”
However numerous statements since have affirmed the Pope and the church’s opposition.
In 2017, Pope Francis addressed the recent attention that transgender people and rights have recently gained, claiming that accepting trans and non-binary people will make everyone infertile.
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In his speech to the Pontifical Academy for Life, the advisory committee that deals with issues of abortion and euthanasia, the Pope railed against all who promote what he saw as the “utopia of the neutral”.
He accused these people of wanting to eradicate gender-associated behaviours.
“Rather than contrast negative interpretations of sexual differences … they want to cancel these differences out altogether,” he said.
The leader of the Catholic Church added that progressive activists were “proposing techniques and practices that render them irrelevant for human development and relations.”