Pope Francis to gay man: 'God made you like this'

The progressive leader of the Roman Catholic Church is at it again.

In a private meeting two weeks ago, Pope Francis reportedly told a gay man who is a child sex abuse survivor that God created him and that his sexual orientation "does not matter."

Juan Carlos Cruz was victimized as a child by notorious Chilean pedophile Fernando Karadima — who was found guilty of abuse by the Vatican in 2011.

Some of the country's bishops attempted to silence and discredit Cruz’s accounts by using his sexuality against him. But Cruz said that the Pope offered him words of empathy and reception.

"He told me, 'Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter," Cruz recalled for El País, a Spanish newspaper. "God made you like this 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.'"

20 PHOTOS
President Donald Trump meets Pope Francis
See Gallery
President Donald Trump meets Pope Francis
Pope Francis meets U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife Melania during a private audience at the Vatican, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandra Tarantino/pool
Pope Francis exchange gifts with U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife Melania during a private audience at the Vatican, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandra Tarantino/pool
Pope Francis meets U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife Melania during a private audience at the Vatican, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandra Tarantino/pool
U.S. President Donald Trump, first lady Melania, and the U.S. delegation pose with Pope Francis during a private audience at the Vatican, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandra Tarantino/Pool
U.S. President Donald Trump stands next to Pope Francis during a private audience at the Vatican, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Evan Vucci/Pool
Pope Francis (C) walks past US First Lady Melania Trump (R) and the daughter of US President Donald Trump Ivanka Trump (L) at the end of a private audience at the Vatican on May 24, 2017. US President Donald Trump met Pope Francis at the Vatican today in a keenly-anticipated first face-to-face encounter between two world leaders who have clashed repeatedly on several issues. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Alessandra Tarantino (Photo credit should read ALESSANDRA TARANTINO/AFP/Getty Images)
A man raises a U.S. flag minutes before U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MAY 24: US President Donald Trump arrives to meet Pope Francis, on May 24, 2017 in Vatican City, Vatican. (Photo by Vatican Pool - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MAY 24 : U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and his wife Melania (R) arrive at the Vatican for their audience with Pope Francis, on May 24, 2017. (Photo by Riccardo De Luca/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MAY 24: US President Donald Trump is welcomed by the prefect of the papal household Georg Gaenswein as he arrives at the Apostolic Palace for an audience with Pope Francis on May 24, 2017 in Vatican City, Vatican. The president will return to Italy on Friday, attending the Group of 7 summit in Sicily. Trump will also visit American troops stationed in at a US air base in Sicily. (Photo by Vatican Pool/Getty Images)
Archibishop Georg Ganswein escorts U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump who arrive to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at the Vatican to meet Pope Francis, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
President Donald Trump arrives to meet Pope Francis for a private audience at the Vatican, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandra Tarantino/Pool
Pope Francis meets U.S. President Donald Trump during a private audience at the Vatican, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandra Tarantino/Pool
Pope Francis meets U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife Melania during a private audience at the Vatican, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandra Tarantino/Pool
Pope Francis meets U.S. President Donald Trump during a private audience at the Vatican, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Evan Vucci/Pool
U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin after a private audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandra Tarantino/Pool
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania talk with Pope Francis during a meeting at the Vatican, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Evan Vucci/Pool
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The church itself has not made any announcements or amendments to its traditional teaching that homosexual sex and any sex outside of marriage is a sin. But Francis has leaned in the direction of acceptance and understanding in the gay community before. His continued tolerant approach suggests that the Pope's own opinion on LGBTQ people may not be in line with the church's more conservative leaders and followers — that being gay is a choice.

The Pope was once a spiritual director in Buenos Aires, Argentina — where he was born — to gay people, when he "likely made similar comments in private," The Guardian reported. And in July 2013, four months after his election as the 266th Pope, Francis replied to a reporter's question about an alleged "gay lobby" inside the Vatican by saying, "Who am I to judge?"

But "(His recent comment) goes beyond 'who am I to judge?' to 'you are loved by God,'" The Tablet's Vatican reporter, Christopher Lamb, told The Guardian. "I don't think he has changed church teaching but he's demonstrating an affirmation of gay Catholics, something that has been missing over the years in Rome."

Read Full Story