One of the victims of sexual abuse by the Catholic Church said that Pope Francis told him that God loves him and doesn’t care that he’s gay, according to CNN.
Juan Carlos Cruz said that in April he spent three days with the Pope and the two talked about his sexuality and how a Chilean priest abused him.
“‘You know Juan Carlos, that does not matter. God made you like this. God loves you like this,’” Cruz told CNN about what Pope Francis told him. “‘The Pope loves you like this and you should love yourself and not worry about what people say.’”
The Vatican’s spokesman, Greg Burke, told CNN that the Roman Catholic Church doesn’t “normally comment on the Pope’s private conversations.”
The Church’s teachings consider homosexuality as “objectively disordered,” which makes Pope Francis’s comments a stark departure from its teachings.
Chile has been rocked by a child sex-abuse scandal that saw all 31 of the Church’s bishops, alongside three retired bishops, to resign on Friday.
In a statement, the bishops said that they’re leaving the scandal “in the hands of the Holy Father so that he might freely decide for each one of us.”