A victim of clerical sex abuse has said Pope Francis told him God loves me no matter what my sexuality is.
Juan Carlos Cruz suffered abuse at the hands of a prominent Chilean priest, Fernando Karadima, but while speaking with the Pope, Cruz – who is openly gay – revealed the leader of the Catholic church doesn’t care if he is gay or not.
Pope Francis reportedly told him: “Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter.
“God made you like that 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.”
Cruz told El Pais that his sexuality came up in conversation because some of Chile’s bishops had sought to portray him as a pervert and was lying about the abuse.
Cruz added: “I was thrilled that he took what we talked about so seriously.
“I felt the visit was not just a matter of protocol, of public relations.”
Karadima, 87, was found guilty by the Vatican of sexually assaulting children in 2011 and was barred from clerical duties and sentenced to a lifetime of penance and prayer.
This isn’t the first time Pope Francis has been more welcoming to the LGBT community than previous Popes.
Back in 2013, he told reporters: 'If someone is gay and is looking for the Lord, who am I to judge him?
“You should not discriminate against or marginalise these people.'