[Ed. – Conveniently there were no witnesses.]
In a private dialogue, the Pontiff is understood to have told Juan Carlos Cruz, a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests, that God loves gay people and it is fine to be homosexual.
The comments are the most striking public acceptance about homosexuality ever made by a head of the Roman Catholic Church.
The remarks were made during a private meeting at the Vatican between the pair, in which the Pope offered a heartfelt apology.
Cruz was a victim of Chile’s most notorious paedophile priest Fernando Karadima.
Father Karadima, now aged 87, was found guilty of sexual abuse by the Vatican in 2011.
Cruz claims that his suffering was ignored by a number of Latin American bishops who used his homosexuality to brand him a liar when he spoke out.
Speaking to Spanish newspaper El País, Cruz said: “He [the Pope] told me, ‘Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter.
“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.”