A Chilean survivor of clerical sex abuse has said that Pope Francis told him in a private meeting this month that God had made him gay and that both God and the pontiff loved him that way, a remarkable expression of inclusion for the leader of the Roman Catholic Church.
“He said to me, ‘Juan Carlos that’s not a problem,’ ” said Juan Carlos Cruz, the abuse survivor, describing having told the pope he was gay in a long meeting in the Vatican. “You have to be happy with who you are. God made you this way and loves you this way, and the pope loves you this way.”
The Vatican declined to comment on the pope’s private remarks.
Mr. Cruz had already said that Francis had apologized in the meeting for the large-scale sexual abuse scandal involving Chilean clergy members, but over the weekend, he also told the Spanish newspaper El País about the pope’s remarks about his homosexuality. In a separate interview Sunday night, Mr. Cruz, through tears, explained that he had told Francis in their nearly three-hour private meeting that he had maintained his Catholic faith even though Chilean bishops had apparently told the pope that he had left the church “for a life of perversion.”