He said that his lawyer later told him that Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz, a confidant of Francis, had raised the question of whether Mr. Cruz could even be considered a victim because, Mr. Cruz said, “I was gay and I might have liked it.”
“It was horrible,” he added. “This has always weighed on me.”
In his meeting with Francis on a Sunday at his Santa Marta residence, Mr. Cruz said he had told the pope that he was worried he would think less of him. Mr. Cruz acknowledged that he was gay and, jokingly, not the reincarnation of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, a model of the virtue of purity, but someone who tried to be “a good person.”
It was then that the pope reassured him, he said. The two went on to chat about Mr. Cruz’s personal life, his not having a partner, and his relationship with his family.
Mr. Cruz also told the pope of his “most wonderful friends, who are also Catholic and who struggle with this.”
In the interview, Mr. Cruz said that since the article in El País was published over the weekend, some of those gay Catholic friends had written to him saying of the pope, “Did he really tell you that? I feel so relieved.” Another wrote, “I’m in the gym and I feel like crying.”
Mr. Cruz said he wanted to reveal the pope’s remarks because “people have to know this man like he really is.”
“He is a loving man who really embraces everybody,” he said.