The Pope's message to a young man named Juan Carlos Cruz-a Chilean victim of priestly sexual abuse was short but important.
"He told me, 'Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter, '" Cruz said.
In comments to the press May 2, Cruz said that the Pope was "sincere, attentive and deeply apologetic for the situation [of sexual abuse]". The implication of Cruz's claim is Francis said God made him with sinful impulses, given the Catholic church's teaching on the matter.
He added: "Let us not forget that God loves all his creatures and we are destined to receive his infinite love". "You have to be happy with who you are", Cruz reportedly told El País, a Spanish newspaper.
The first edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the dense summary of Catholic teaching published by St. John Paul II in 1992, said gay individuals "do not choose their homosexual condition; for a lot of them it is a trial".
Cruz is one of three victims of Father Fernando Karadima who were in Rome in late April for three days of meetings with Francis. Due to a statute of limitations, he avoided civil legal action. The summit relates back to the Church's infamous scandal relating to the abuse of young people by Catholic leaders that spanned the globe and went on for decades without much exposure, until the Boston Globe began reporting on the widespread misconduct in 2002.
Reviewing the facts of Blessed Paul's life, Cardinal Amato highlighted how, as a high-level official in the Vatican Secretariat of State during World War II, the future pope "organized charitable assistance and hospitality for those persecuted by Nazism and Fascism, particularly the Jews". Given this situation, the archdiocese is not able to offer further comment on these reports.
"God loves all his children, however they are; you are a son of God, who accepts you exactly as you are".
The Church's teachings consider homosexuality as "objectively disordered", which makes Pope Francis's comments a stark departure from its teachings. According to The Guardian, Juan Carlos said the topic came up because some Chilean bishops reportedly accused him of lying about his abuse, and attempted to paint him as a pervert.
He famously said in 2013 that there is no problem with gay priests.
And in 2016, he officially suggested a softening of the Catholic Church's reception of LGBTQ+ people in a letter titled, "The Joy of Love", writing, "We would like before all else to reaffirm that every person, regardless of sexual orientation, ought to be respected in his or her dignity and treated with consideration".
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