SION, Switzerland — Jean-Marie Lovey, one of Switzerland’s most prominent Catholic Bishops, said on Tuesday that he is persuaded that “homosexuality can be cured” by prayer or “psychological healing.”
Lovey, who is the Bishop of Sion, in southern Switzerland, told the Swiss daily Le Nouvelliste that gay people sometime feel their sexuality to be “like an injury or suffering. We must therefore, honor their desire for change.”
“Regarding the fundamental question – ‘can a homosexual person change?’ – there is a domain which you be sure of: prayer,” said Lovey.
“In nature, the human being is gendered, masculine-feminine. And is not fully human unless he lives this complementarity. It is a question of natural morality,” he said. “Homosexuality can be cured.”
The Bishop later clarified the he does not see homosexuality as a disease but “a weakness of nature.”
“The proof is that there is real suffering of a person who lives in this way. But this does not diminish the humanity or dignity of a homosexual person,” he said.
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Swiss LGBTI campaigners sharply condemned the Bishop.
Barbara Lantheman of the Swiss Lesbian Organization said she was “deeply shocked and appalled” by Lovey’s remaks, calling them “ignorant, condescending, and contemptuous of individuals’ nature.”