(CNSNews.com) – Archbishop Fernando Sebastian Aguilar, chosen by Pope Francis to be one of 19 new cardinals in the church, said that homosexuality is a “defect,” like high blood pressure, and that it can be “normalized with adequate treatment.”
In an interview published Sunday, reported the AFP, Archbishop Aguilar said, “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.”
“We have a lot of defects in our bodies,” said the archbishop. “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 continued, “Pointing out a defect to a homosexual is not an offense, it is a help because many cases of homosexuality can be recovered and normalized with adequate treatment. It is not an offense, it is esteem. When someone has a defect, the good friend is the one who tells him.”
When asked about Pope Francis’ remark last year about not judging a gay person who with good will seeks to follow Christ, Archbishop Aguilar said the Pope was not contradicting church teaching. “It is one thing to show welcome and affection to a homosexual person and another to morally justify the exercise of homosexuality,” said the archbishop.
Pope Francis announced last week that he was appointing 19 new cardinals; they will be officially recognized as such in a Vatican ceremony on Feb. 22.
Fernando Sebastian Aguilar is the only pending cardinal from Spain. He currently is the archbishop emeritus of the diocese of Pamplona and Tudela in Northern Spain.
He is 84, which makes him ineligible to vote in a papal conclave, which occurs when a new Pope is selected to head the 1.3-billion member Catholic Church.