Juan Carlos Cruz, who as a boy was sexually abused by the Chilean priest Fr. Fernando Karadima -- abuse that reportedly was covered up by the bishops of Chile -- said that in a recent meeting with Pope Francis, the Holy Father told him that God made made him gay and "loves you like this." The Pope apparently did not say that Cruz should seek to avoid homosexual behavior, which is "intrinsically disordered" and a serious sin, according to the 2,000-year-old teaching of the Catholic Church.
The Church also teaches that sodomy -- homosexual behavior, not the inclination -- is one of the four sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance.
Juan Carlos Cruz, along with two other sexual abuse victims, met with Pope Francis at the Vatican in early May. According to the Catholic News Agency (CNA), the Pope wanted to meet with the victims and express his sorrow for what they suffered and to apologize for the failure of the Chilean bishops. Pope Francis also reportedly apologized for his own errors -- he initially had strongly defended some of the abusers.
Cruz said that the Pope was "sincere, attentive, and deeply apologetic for the situation" [of abuse by homosexual priests], reported the CNA.
In another interview with the Spanish newspaper El Pais, Cruz was asked whether the Pope spoke to him about homosexuality. Cruz said yes, and added, "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. The Pope loves you as you are, you have to be happy with who you are.'"
Apparently, the Pope did not advise Cruz to try to avoid homosexual behavior and seek therapy that could help him to live a celibate life or be healed from his affliction.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, "The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.
"These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition." (2358)
Also, the Catechism states, "Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection."
"Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered,'" reads the Catechism. "They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved."
The Catholic Church runs a program to help homosexuals live a celibate life and, where possible, to marry and have a family. The program is called Courage.
In 2013, a gay activist in Argentina, Marcelo Marquez, revealed that Pope Francis, as Buenos Aires Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio, told him (in 2010) that he supported gay rights and homosexual civil unions.
Marquez said, "He told me. ... 'I'm in favor of gay rights and in any case, I also favor civil unions for homosexuals, but I believe that Argentina is not yet ready for a gay marriage law.'"
According to the CNA, the Vatican press office has neither confirmed nor clarified the comments made by Pope Francis to Juan Carlos Cruz.