May 22, 2018

Is even the Catholic Church evolving on this issue? It appears so.

In January, Pope Francis defended a Chilean Bishop who abuse survivors said ignored their complaints and kept sex abusers in the priesthood.

Now the Pope has apologized for his earlier defense of this bishop, and furthermore, has demanded the resignation of EVERY BISHOP in Chile, as a direct response to the abuse allegations. And there's much more. CNN reports:

A victim of clerical sexual abuse has said that Pope Francis told him that God made him gay and that his sexuality "does not matter."

Juan Carlos Cruz, a survivor of sexual abuse, spent three days with Pope Francis at the Vatican in April, in which he discussed his sexuality and the abuse he suffered at the hands of a Chilean priest.

Describing his encounter with the Pope to CNN, Cruz said: "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."

And speaking this morning to a visibly moved Chris Cuomo, Cruz spoke with great emotion about the meeting with Francis:

CHRIS CUOMO: What did it mean to you? When you saw the Pope look you in the eyes and we know what the position of the church is, right, that being gay is some kind of functional disorder. "We love the sinner but not the sin." That's what you expected I'm sure. When he looked you in the eyes.

JUAN CARLOS CRUZ: So I was sitting like I'm sitting with you. And just by ourselves. And it was a conversation that ended up being almost three hours, but it started with him saying, "I really apologize for the pain that the church has caused you and for what I caused you." "Holy Father, no." He said, "No, let me finish. Yes, I caused you pain by saying this in January. I want to apologize." It was sincere. And then I said, you know, that they had painted me in such a perverse that I was just this -- "Holy Father, I'm not a saint, but I certainly want to be a good person." He said, Juan Carlos, God made you like this. God loves you like this. The Pope loves you like this. And you should love yourself." And for me, of course, tears, you know -- so it's been incredible since. And, you know, more so for the survivors around the world because this hasn't -- doesn't have to be about me. It's survivors that are suffering right now that do not get heard, that are not heard, that are treated with disrespect. And so I feel by firing this whole bishop's conference, by us being there, by him listening to us, maybe this is the beginning of the end of this culture of abuse and coverup by bishops. And that this pope is not going to stand for it. And so, on this other subject, it's been incredible the amount of gay people that have written to me and said, "I'm crying as I hear this." And it's touching. So, I hope that by me doing these things... it helps survivors. It helps gay people. It helps all these people that are disenfranchised and that are suffering in some way and that I can contribute to bring them through this great man, the Holy Father, to bring them some kind of solace in their lives.

CHRIS CUOMO: There will be people who don't like it. There will be people who hate on you. People explain it away within the church and none of that matters. The Pope said something that the church and the world needed to hear. Being gay is not what you do, it's who you are. He said that for everyone to hear. Juan Carlos --

CRUZ: Thanks, Chris.

CUOMO: Don't thank me. Thank you for telling your story here. I appreciate it.

The Pope also commissioned what became a 2300 page report, confirming that Chilean bishops destroyed evidence of sex crimes and of failed to protect children from predator priests. It's amazing what can happen when someone in authority demands to know the truth... and then believes it when he sees it.


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