A gay man and victim of sexual abuse by a Chilean priest has said that Pope Francis told him that his sexuality “does not matter" and that "God loves you like this."
Juan Carlos Cruz, who recently spent three days with the pope, told CNNthat the pope made the comments to him in a private conversation.
Cruz said that the pope told him: "You know Juan Carlos, that does not matter. God made you like this. God loves you like this. The pope loves you like this and you should love yourself and not worry about what people say."
If true, the comment would mark an unprecedented shift from the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings, which say that homosexuality is a disorder and should be resisted.
A Vatican spokesman declined to comment, telling CNN that they do not “normally comment on the pope's private conversations."
Cruz visited the Vatican along with two other victims of Chilean priest Fernando Karadima, who was found guilty by the Vatican in 2011.
All 34 of Chile’s Roman Catholic bishops resigned this month over a years-long abuse scandal, after the pope accused them of covering up for Karadima and other abusive priests.