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Chris SpeightChristopher Lamb/Twitter screenshot

VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis reportedly told a self-professed divorced and “gay man” to “take Communion,” as part of a private meeting at the Vatican.

In a private meeting held in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace June 13, Pope Francis met with a group of sex abuse victims from Ireland and the U.K. The group of eight men attended a junior seminary, St. Peter Claver College in West Yorkshire, during the 1960s and 1970s, which was run by the Comboni Order, and claim they were abused by members of the order while at the college.

As reported by The Tablet, one of the men, Chris Speight, gave Pope Francis a letter detailing his life story “explaining that he is a divorced gay man who was previously married to a woman.”

Speight added in a video after the meeting that he had been told by priests not to receive Holy Communion due to being divorced and a homosexual man, and as a result did not go to church for 26 years, according to The Tablet.

However, Pope Francis reportedly told Speight at the end of their meeting to “take Communion,” words which Speight said were “powerful.”

According to Speight: “As a divorced gay man, and having been told that I am no longer in full communion with the Church, because of the fact that I’m divorced and because I’m gay, the Pope’s instructions are extremely pertinent and emotional.”

Austin Ivereigh, a biographer and loyal defender of Pope Francis, wrote that “The Pope in pain releases an abuse survivor from his.”

LifeSiteNews contacted the Holy See to seek confirmation of the Pope’s words, asking if Francis did tell Speight to receive Communion, but has not received a response.

READ: Vatican press office orders silence about Pope’s same-sex union comments

In addition to being a self-professed homosexual, Speight recently also re-shared a tweet which appeared to show his support for abortion, with the tweet reading: “Forced birth in a country that refuses to protect children from being murdered at school.”

The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are “acts of grave depravity,” calling such acts “intrinsically disordered” and “contrary to the natural law” since they “close the sexual act to the gift of life.” The Church moreover teaches that God does not create any man or woman with attraction to the same sex, calling such an inclination “objectively disordered.”

The Church’s Canon Law stipulates that under no circumstances are those who persist in manifest grave sin to receive the Holy Eucharist. Canon 915 states: “Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.”

READ: Cardinal: Those who practice homosexuality, contraception, adultery cannot receive Communion

The meeting between the group from the Comboni Survivors Group was reportedly due to the influence of Archbishop Charles Scicluna – the pro-LGBT Archbishop of Malta who is tipped to become the new head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – who played a “crucial role” in the meeting taking place.

Westminster’s disgraced Cardinal Vincent Nichols also accompanied the group, along with Bishop Marcus Stock of Leeds, in whose diocese the Comboni college was situated.

While eleven of the men who attended the Comboni college shared a £120,000 settlement from the order in 2014 over the alleged instances of abuse, the Comboni Missionaries stated that the settlement did not equate to an admission of guilt. A police investigation into the alleged abuse was unable to proceed as two of the suspects had died and another suspect was residing in Italy and unable to travel due to his mental health.

Pope Francis apologized to the eight men for “himself and for the Church,” and told the small group at their meeting that he intended to call Father Tesfaye Tadesse Gebresilasie, the order’s Superior General, to discuss the matter further.