According to a victim of the Chilean clergy abuse scandal who privately met with Pope Francis in April, Pope Francis said that he should “accept himself and his same-sex attraction” because God made him that way.
Juan Carlos Cruz, a victim of sexual abuse by Fr. Fernando Karadima, who is at the center of the Chilean sexual abuse scandal, was invited to the Vatican along with other victims of abuse to speak with Pope Francis.
In a subsequent interview with El País, a Spanish newspaper, Cruz stated that, in addition to receiving an apology and comfort for the abuse he suffered, he and the Pope had also spoken about his identification as a gay man.
“He told me “Juan Carlos, I don’t care about you being gay. God made you that way and loves you as you are and I don’t mind. The pope loves you as you are, you have to be happy with who you are.”
Jesuit Priest Father James Martin told the Los Angeles Times, in response to this recent statement by the Pope: “This is a big deal, I cannot remember the pope making a comment about gay people being born that way”.
While this statement, if it was actually made, would not affect or constitute a decree to change in Church teaching, it would appear to be a departure from the language of the Catechism which says that the psychological genesis of homosexual orientation “remains largely unexplained”.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church #2357 states:
“Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. [emphasis added] Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” 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 Vatican has neither confirmed or clarified on the purported comments by Pope Francis.