Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Vatican: Pope Francis Does Not View Homosexuality as 'Psychiatric Disease'

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Vatican: Pope Francis Does Not View Homosexuality as 'Psychiatric Disease'

Article excerpt

ROME - The Vatican on Tuesday clarified comments Pope Francis made about homosexuality after criticism from some advocacy groups.

The head of the Catholic Church does not see same-sex love as a "psychiatric disease," the Vatican's press department said.

Speaking on the flight back to Italy from a visit to Ireland, Francis had said that the parents of homosexual children should pray and possibly also see psychiatric help for their child.

"At what age does the trouble show itself? That's important. It's one thing if it comes up in a child, when there are so many things you can do, with psychiatry or . to see how things are," Francis said.

A spokeswoman said the word "psychiatry" had not been "precise" and was therefore removed from the official Vatican transcript of the papal news conference so as not to misrepresent the pope's meaning.

The pope had wanted to express more clearly that people had to pay attention to how the children were doing "on a psychological level."

Francis often speaks frankly and has put his foot in it several times. This time, LGBTQ groups said his comments could have implied that homosexuality is a disease that can be cured by psychiatry.

"Homosexuality is not a disease but a natural variant of human behavior, and as such it should be accepted and respected," Fabrizio Marrazzo from the support group Gay Hotline said Monday, according to the Ansa news agency.

The clarification came after the release of a letter from the former Vatican ambassador to the U.S. that blamed church leaders for protecting a "homosexual current" in the Vatican and that said Francis must resign over complicity in covering up an ex-cardinal's sexual misconduct starting in 2013. …

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