Cardinal Fernando Sebastian Aguilar
Spain’s new Cardinal, Fernando Sebastian Aguilar, has outraged LGBT Spaniards with his claim that homosexuality is an ailment that can be cured.
“A lot of people complain and don’t tolerate it but with all respect I say that homosexuality is a defective way of manifesting sexuality, because that has a structure and a purpose, which is procreation,” Aguilar told the Diario Sur newspaper.
“We have a lot of defects in our bodies. I have high blood pressure. Am I going to get angry because they tell me that? It is a defect I have that I have to correct as far as I can,” he said.
“Pointing out a defect to a homosexual is not an offence, it is a help because many cases of homosexuality can be recovered and normalised with adequate treatment. It is not an offence, it is esteem. When someone has a defect, the good friend is the one who tells him.”
The 84-year-old was appointed earlier this month by Pope Francis as one of three Archbishops emeriti “distinguished for their service to the Holy See and to the Church”.
Aguilar went on to tell the newspaper that the Pope Francis’ recent more welcoming approach towards gays and lesbians did not mean that the church condoned their homosexuality.
“It is one thing to show welcome and affection to a homosexual person and another to morally justify the exercise of homosexuality,” he explained.
Last year, Francis said that he was not in a position to judge gay people. He also stated that the church should not be obsessed by minor “dogmatic and moral teachings”. In October, it was reported that he blessed a group of Italian gays. The Catholic Church is the world’s largest Christian church, with 1.2 billion members around the world.