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The Vatican : Pope told me ‘God loves gay people’, says man sexually abused by notorious priest

May 20th, 2018 | by Richard Paul
The Vatican : Pope told me ‘God loves gay people’, says man sexually abused by notorious priest
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Pope told me ‘God loves gay people’, says man sexually abused by notorious priest

Speaking to the Vatican press corps, the Pope said gay people should not be marginalised but rather integrated into society

A woman lights candles in the cathedral of Osorno, where Archbishop Juan Barros, is accused of covering up sexual abuse, in Osorno, Chile, Friday, May 18, 2018. In the biggest shake-up yet in the Catholic Church’s long-running sex abuse scandal, every active Chilean bishop offered to resign Friday over what Pope Francis said was their “grave negligence” in investigating abuse and protecting children.FERNANDO LAVOZ / ASSOCIATED PRESS
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God loves gay people and it is fine to be homosexual, Pope Francis has reportedly said.Harvey-photo-in-Journal-de-Quebec-03-May-2018

The Pope is said to have made the remarks, which go significantly beyond his previous tolerance for homosexuality, during a meeting three weeks ago with a Chilean man who had been sexually abused by Catholic priests.

The Pope offered a heartfelt apology to Juan Carlos Cruz, a victim of Chile’s most notorious abusive priest, Fernando Karadima. Mr Cruz,

<> at Melbourne Magistrates' Court on May 1, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. Cardinal Pell was charged on summons by Victoria Police on 29 June 2017 over multiple allegations of sexual assault. Cardinal Pell is Australia's highest ranking Catholic and the third most senior Catholic at the Vatican, where he was responsible for the church's finances. Cardinal Pell has leave from his Vatican position while he defends the charges.

<> at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on May 1, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. Cardinal Pell was charged on summons by Victoria Police on 29 June 2017 over multiple allegations of sexual assault. Cardinal Pell is Australia’s highest ranking Catholic and the third most senior Catholic at the Vatican, where he was responsible for the church’s finances. Cardinal Pell has leave from his Vatican position while he defends the charges.

who is gay, said his conversation with the Pope moved on from the abuse crisis to the nature of homosexuality.

“He told me, ‘Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter. God made you like that, and he loves you like that — and I do not care.’20717765_pope-francis-tells-sex-abuse_d119ed8c_m

“The Pope loves you as you are. You have to be happy with who you are,” Mr Cruz told the Spanish newspaper El Pais.

The Pope’s words appeared to go further in terms of tolerance than remarks he made in 2013. Speaking to the Vatican press corps on his return to Rome from a trip to Brazil, he said gay people should not be marginalised but rather integrated into society.

Chilean sexual abuse victims Jose Andres Murillo (R), James Hamilton (C) and Juan Carlos Cruz (L) pose at the end of a press conference at the Foreign Press Association in Rome on May 2, 2018. The three victims of a Chilean paedophile priest have held private meetings with Pope Francis, as the Vatican tries to quell a sex abuse scandal that has rocked the Roman Catholic Church in Chile. TIZIANA FABITI / A

Responding to questions about claims of an alleged “gay lobby” of clerics working in the heart of the Vatican, the Pope replied: “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?”

The Roman Catholic Church insists that while homosexual orientation is not sinful, homosexual acts certainly are because they are “against natural law”. The Pope is not changing official Church teaching, but he is signalling a more inclusive approach, which will upset many conservative Catholics.

The Vatican neither confirmed nor denied the comments that Francis reportedly made to Mr Cruz.sample-355x225-3

“This is not a shift in theological teaching or dogma,” said Robert Mickens, a Vatican expert and the editor of La Croix International, a Roman Catholic publication.

“It was a pastoral response to an individual. The Pope always likes to deal with the individual.”

The Pope elaborated on his ‘who am I to judge’ comment in The Name of God is Mercy, a 2016 book by Andrea Tornielli, an expert on the Vatican.

Pope Francis leads a Pentecost mass, on May 20, 2018 at St Peter’s basilica in Vatican. VINCENZO PINTO /AFP

The pontiff told him: “I was paraphrasing by heart the catechism of the Catholic Church where it says that these people should be treated with delicacy and not be marginalised.”

He added: “Let us not forget that God loves all his creatures and we are destined to receive his infinite love.”

Mr Cruz was one of three former sex abuse victims from Chile who came to Rome to receive an apology from Pope Francis for the years of abuse that they endured.

The victims described clerical sexual abuse as “an epidemic that has destroyed thousands of lives.”4C45501E00000578-5731215-image-a-47_1526390546030

Pope Francis had been slow to realise the gravity of the crisis in Chile until Vatican investigators presented him with a 2,300-page dossier showing that sexual abuse of minors had been covered up in Chile for decades.

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