April 25, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Juan Antonio Reig Plà, the Catholic bishop of the Spanish diocese of Alcalá De Henares, has responded to recent attacks by homosexual groups by posting testimonies on his website of individuals who rejoice in their abandonment of the homosexual lifestyle.
“I want to thank especially those who feel, or have felt, Same-Sex Attraction (SSA), and have seen fit to send me your testimonies; more than one hundred of you have written your experiences up to now,” writes Reig Plà. “I must thank you because I have seen in them the hand of God and I have learned much from your suffering and your hopes.”
He adds that those who have written “are collaborating in this way to break the barrier of silence regarding the possibility of change for those who freely wish to do so, and that’s why it’s important to publish and spread them!”
The letters were published following a controversy created by a sermon given by Reig Plà on Good Friday, in which he compared the misery of those who are living the homosexual lifestyle to hell. He then generated outrage from homosexual and socialist groups by recommending therapy for homosexuals in a follow-up interview. The testimonies the bishop published speak of the suffering entailed in the homosexual lifestyle, as well as hope for overcoming homosexual tendencies.
“I was 18 years old when I became entangled in the first SSA relationship,” writes a 22-year-old woman whose name, like that of the other writers, is withheld. “It all began through curiosity, and to do something different, but it ended up in a sea of confusion.”
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The woman states that, following her first homosexual experience, she attempted to get help, but “sadly the psychologist at my university urged me to accept myself as I was because ‘I was born this way.’” She states that although she went to a priest for confession and did work with a group of nuns, she still felt “empty and alone.”
Following an abusive and obsessive relationship with another lesbian, the woman says that she finally found the help she needed in a Catholic organization called “Hope is Possible,” which supports homosexuals in their quest to overcome the gay lifestyle.
An 18-year-old anonymous man writes to confirm the bishop’s statement comparing the homosexual lifestyle to an inferno. “Effectively, Same-Sex Attraction has been, for me, a hell. Because the homosexual tendency does not consist only of the attraction, but behind it are hidden a series of factors and wounds that have conditioned that tendency,” he writes.
“I suffered the rejection of my peers when I was little. I didn’t have friends. In high school they would bully me, I was bad at sports…this made me develop feelings of inferiority, loneliness, self-pity, sadness, anxiety, confusion, and to feel different from the other kids. In addition, I developed a strong addiction to masturbation and pornography, with which I evaded reality. I had low self-esteem and I didn’t respect myself. That is a hell.
“However, since beginning to work to escape that attraction towards the same sex, my life has changed dramatically,” he writes. “I began to struggle against those feelings of self-pity, negativity, and the victim mentality.” He says he began to participate in sports and to force himself out of his social isolation, making friends and learning to see other males in a realistic way, “without idealizing,” which has often caused his attraction to “disappear,” he writes.
The teen congratulates Bishop Reig Pla for his fight against the “gay lie.”
“We have to act and propagate this information,” he writes, so that people “know the ‘gay lie,’ so that they know that change is possible, so that they know that there is help for all people who do not want that life of suffering, that hell.”
As LifeSiteNews reported last week, Bishop Reig Plà has had criminal complaints filed against him for his comments, which were made based on official Catholic teaching on the issue.
Reig Plà has also received the support of many individuals and organizations, according to his website, including the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations, the Spanish Family Forum, the Catholic Union of Reporters and Journalists of Spain, and the World Congress of Families.