Pope Francis' reported comments to a gay man that "God made you like this" have been embraced by the LGBT community as another sign of Francis' desire to make gay people feel welcomed and loved in the Catholic Church.
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.
Cruz was reportedly sexually abused by a priest and spoke with the pope about his past while visiting the Vatican, according to El Pais, a Spanish newspaper. The pope loves you like this. "I felt also that he was hurting, which for me was very solemn, because it's not often that the Pope says sorry to you".
The pope has upheld Catholic teaching on homosexuality, reiterating the church's opposition to same-sex relationships.
"I welcome any statement from Pope Francis which reminds people that gay people (like anyone) should love themselves", Robertson concluded.
Pope Francis said on Sunday that he will appoint Japanese Archbishop Manyo Maeda and 13 others as new cardinals. "Instead of the more passive 'Who am I to judge?' the pope is expressing a much stronger affirmation of gay and lesbian people than he, or any previous pope or Vatican official, has ever done". God made you like that and he loves you like that and I do not care. The Vatican has preferred to withhold comment on private conversations the Holy Father has had.
While some have hailed Francis' alleged comments as an open acceptance of homosexuality by the head of the Catholic church, it is possible, if Cruz's claim is true, Francis meant to distinguish between God's love for Cruz as a person and God's stance toward Cruz's homosexual acts.
"For me, the Pope was contrite, he was truly sorry", Cruz said.
The dramatic announcement followed the leaking of a 10-page letter, reportedly handed to the bishops at the start of the discussions, in which Francis said removing bishops may be needed but would not be sufficient to solve the abuse crisis in Chile.
Francis met with three Chilean survivors of sex abuse in the Chilean church - including Mr Cruz - in Rome after receiving a 2,300- page report into the country's sex abuse problems written by the Archbishop of Malta, Charles Scicluna.
"They had told him that I didn't believe, that I was an enemy of the Church", Cruz said, according to Crux.
It will also 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.