Pope Francis has reportedly told a gay man that "God made you that way and loves you as you are," pushing the Pope's acceptance of homosexuality to a new level.
Francis made the comments to Juan Carlos Cruz, a Chilean victim of priestly sexual abuse who recently spent days with the pope at the Vatican to discuss his ordeal as the pontiff moves to tackle decades of coverups and ostracism of victims in the Chilean church.
After his sexuality came up in conversation, 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.”
"This is a big deal, I cannot remember the pope making a comment about gay people being born that way," said Father James Martin, an American Jesuit priest, whose 2017 book "Building a Bridge" urged greater ties between the church and the LGBTQ community.