A Catholic bishop in a French speaking part of Switzerland says he regrets how comments he made about homosexuality have been ‘misunderstood’ after he said that sexual orientation could be ‘cured’ through prayer.
Last week Bishop of Sion Jean-Marie Lovely told La Nouvelliste newspaper that, ‘[some people are] like that in the beginning but that is not to say that it cannot be changed.’
‘Psychological cures exist … Homosexuality can be cured.’
He said that prayer could cure homosexuals like ‘sick’ people.
‘It has already healed the sick on repeated occasions.’ Bishop Lovely said.
However in an interview with Le Matin newspaper published this week the bishop said that his comments had been misunderstood and he regretted that.
‘I never wanted to hurt or stigmatize anyone,’ Bishop Lovely said.
‘I don’t consider homosexuality to be an illness. But I do know people whose homosexual tendencies were fleeting, without claiming this is the case for everyone. I used the term “cure” for a person who was homosexual and who talks in these terms about his personal experience.’
Bishop Lovely’s comments come just weeks before his city is due to host a LGBTI pride event and the Lesbian Organization of Switzerland had called him to ‘correct his slip up’ ahead of that.
‘Such remarks incite rejection, exclusion and cause profound grief to young people,’ the group said in a statement.