Catholics defend Spanish bishop over gay lifestyle criticism

.- An international group of Catholic doctors voiced support for a Spanish bishop who has come under media fire for criticizing destructive behaviors within the local gay community.

“Catholic doctors profoundly respect persons with homosexual traits,” but “do not support the practice of homosexuality,” said the International Federation of Catholic Doctors Associations in an April 17 statement siding with the bishop.

Bishop Juan Antonio Reig Pla of Alcala de Henares has faced intense criticism after remarks given in a Good Friday sermon in which he condemned sexual practices he believes to be harmful.

As part of a larger cultural critique of sexual behavior in modern society, he lamented how some with same-sex attraction “corrupt and prostitute themselves or go to gay night clubs” in order to “validate” their struggle.

“I assure you what they encounter is pure hell,” he said on April 6.

Despite outcry from local politicians and some within Spain's gay community over the bishop's homily, the Catholic federation supported his remarks as a valid insight. They pointed out the broader issues Bishop Reig Pla brought up such as the scourge of sex trafficking in Europe and controversial sex-ed programs aimed at young children.

“Catholic doctors profoundly lament the failure of modern states and of public international institution to combat 'sexual tourism,' involving adults or children,” the association said in its statement.

They also joined the bishop in denouncing “the contents of some textbooks,” especially those used in Spain's recently axed Education for the Citizenry course, which encouraged children “to 'explore' all areas of sexuality.”

“We are right in every way to consider these lessons perverse,” the doctors said, “And Bishop Reig is right in every way to condemn these and other abuses of the human being.”

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