The Vatican has been quick to issue a statement denying that the recently elected Catholic Pope Francis telephoned a French student to tell him his homosexuality is OK.
On Friday, Gay Star News said that Pope Francis had “stunned Catholics and gay people around the world alike” after it was reported that the pontiff had telephoned a French student, in response to a letter he’d received from him.
Christophe Trutino – who lives in the Toulouse district of France – had written to Pope Francis, because he was “terrified he was going to hell for being gay.”
According to reports, the 25-year-old Catholic man was now struggling to stay a believer in the Catholic faith following the uproar over gay marriage in his country.
Trutino relayed that in the telephone call, Francis said, “I received the letter that you sent me. You need to remain courageous and continue to believe and pray and stay good. Your homosexuality. It doesn’t matter.”
This wouldn’t be the first time that the new pope has telephoned one of his followers. In August, he called Italian teenager Stefano Cabizza, after the lad had written to him describing his life and expressing his hope for the future.
As reported in the Daily Telegraph, after sending the letter to the Vatican, Cabizza thought noting more of it; until, that is, the Pope called him for a chat. “I couldn’t believe it,” the 19-year-old said of the call. “We laughed and joked for about eight minutes.”
As reported in the Irish Mirror, Pope Francis also spoke on the phone to Anna Romano, an Italian shop worker who found out she was pregnant to a man who, unknown to her previously, was already married. Romano had written to Francis “to describe her turmoil at discovering she was pregnant [the man having] demanded she have a termination”. On that occasion, the report says, Pope Francis had agreed to baptise the child.
However, following the widespread reporting of the latest reported telephone exchange between the pontiff and one of his flock, the Vatican has denied it ever happened.
In a piece in Pink News, it says, “Deputy Vatican Spokeman Father Ciro Benedettini has released a brief statement to say that the Vatican ‘absolutely denies’ the report.”
Whatever, the truth, Pope Francis is known to have somewhat different views to his immediate predecessor, the ultra-conservative Pope Benedict XVI.
In July, as reported by Digital Journal, on his way back to the Vatican after his official visit to Brazil, he told reporters, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”