Pope Francis's newly appointed cardinal from Spain, Fernando Sebastian Aguilar, has called homosexuality a "defect" that is unnatural for procreation, but can be cured from the body. Comparing it to health defects such as his own high blood pressure, Aguilar emphasized that homosexuality is not normal for the human being.
His comments came from an interview with the Spanish publication, Diario Sur which has since enraged many Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) groups. "Homosexuality is a defective manner of expressing sexuality, because this has a structure and a purpose, which is procreation," said Aguilar.
The 85-year-old cardinal has different views on homosexuality and same-sex marriage from Pope Francis. Since elected with the title of the new pope of the Catholic Church March of last year, Pope Francis has voiced his opinion in favor of homosexuality. "If a person is gay and seeks God, who am I to judge?" were his remarks on the subject.
Pope Francis's favor of homosexuality has brought praise from the gay community. However, Aguilar believes that the pope's remarks were taken out of context. "The pope is very respectful and holds all people in high esteem, but he doesn't betray or change the traditional teaching of the church," clarified Aguilar in the same interview. "It is one thing to be compassionate towards homosexuals, and another thing to morally justify the practice of that homosexuality."
Many within the gay community are expecting the new cardinal to apologize for his remarks. The Spanish gay activist group, Colegas (translated to "Colleagues" in English), has issued an official statement on their website condemning the cardinal's "homophobic" comments and demand an apology. "[Colegas] expect Fernando Sebastian rectify his words, and remind you that homosexuality is not a curable disease, but homophobia is," the group retaliated on their website.
Despite many LGBT groups outrage, Aguilar specified that his comments of curing homosexuality should not be seen as an insult, rather as a way to "become normal with the right treatment." The Catechism of the Catholic Church seemingly adheres to Aguilar's reflection by labeling homosexuality as a "psychological" issue in its doctrine.
The gay community, however remains offended. "The focus of the Church must [be to] face the poverty and injustice in the world, and leave the obsession with issues of sexual morality that has damaged people and has contributed to many believers away," added Colegas president Paco Ramirez to in their statement against Aguilar.
Cardinal Fernando Sebastian Aguilar was one of the new 19 cardinals that were chosen by Pope Francis and will officially ordained on February 22. Aguilar has yet to respond or apologize for his remarks.