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Pope Francis quotes: What he's said about homosexuality, atheists and more

Pope Francis attends a meeting with faithful of the diocese of Rome at Saint John Lateran Basilica in Rome

The Catholic Church's catechism, which summarizes the church's doctrinal positions, states that homosexuality's "psychological genesis remains largely unexplained".

"Juan Carlos, that you are gay doesn't matter", Cruz said Francis told him, according to Catholic news site Crux. God made you this way and loves you this way, and it doesn't matter to me. Without this dimension, it sadly becomes a church of old bachelors, who live in this isolation, incapable of love, incapable of fecundity. "God made you this way and loves you this way, and the pope loves you this way'".

While the Pope's comments on homosexuality appear to be at odds the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church - which, in a 1986 letter claimed that gay acts are "objectively disordered" - the Vatican did not respond to the exchange, telling CNN, "We do not normally comment on the Pope's private conversations".

Cruz, who was abused as a child by the Rev. Fernando Karadima, Chile's most notorious pedophile priest, told the paper that his sexual orientation came up during the discussion because he has been targeted for being gay after speaking out about his abuse. The Catholic Church teaches that people with homosexual tendencies "must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity".

"If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" the pope said at the time.

Pope Francis reportedly told a gay victim of clerical sex abuse that God accepts him for who he is.

Juan Carlos Cruz, one of a number of Chilean abuse survivors who confronted the pontiff over his remarks defending a bishop who allegedly covered up abuse, told CNN of an exchange he had with Francis about his homosexuality.

"The pope is saying what every reputable biologist and psychologist will tell you, which is that people do not choose their sexual orientation", Martin said in a telephone interview. "If the church is ready to change and embrace love it would be a handsome thing". "When they say 'Oh, how great, how great, how great, ' that's not useful".

Some of the Vatican investigator's findings were included in the report, according to Chile's T13 television, which acquired a leaked copy.

Some are unconvinced that the Pope has said anything out of line. I explained that I was not St. Aloysius Gonzaga, but that I am not a bad person either. It must dismantle all teachings based in heteronormativity, and develop teachings based on the incredible variety of human identities as a reflection of God's infinite creativity.

It will be Francis's fifth consistory and he has used each occasion to show support for the Church where Catholics are in a tiny minority, in this case Iraq, Pakistan and Japan.

Francis's reported words can help to build bridges between the Catholic church and LGBT people who have felt rejected and excluded from it.