Spanish gov’t to investigate Catholic diocese for counseling man away from gay lifestyle
MADRID, Spain, April 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A Spanish diocese is being investigated by a regional government after being accused by an undercover journalist of engaging in “conversion therapy” for a homosexual man.
Pedro Rollán, the vice president of Madrid’s regional government, has called upon the government’s Council on Social Policy for an investigation into the Diocese of Alcalá de Henares after a journalist posed as a homosexual man earnestly seeking help at a parish family counseling center. For an article published April 1 by El Diario, the journalist attended a session at the Regina Familiae family counseling center on March 21.
On April 7, citizens assembled outside the cathedral of Alcala de Henares to show support for their bishop and to demand an end to government “lynching” of the Catholic Church.
The journalist claimed that he was told during a counseling session that homosexuality may be caused by sexual abuse or other childhood trauma. A therapist at the counseling center told the journalist, according to the report in El Diario, that he must stop watching pornography and cease masturbating. The therapist recommended prayer, psychiatric counseling, and reading so that the journalist could learn to “govern his will.”
Rollán wants the government’s Council on Social Policy to determine whether there has been “any kind of infraction” of a law passed by the regional government of Madrid concerning supposed homophobic therapy. The law prescribes fines of as much as 45,000 euros for those convicting of disobeying laws on transgenderism and homosexual identity. However, only a court can levy fines in such cases.
A communique from the Catholic diocese attested that counseling is available there to provide “help and guidance” to inquirers.
“This integral, pastoral and spiritual accompaniment in this as in all matters is always done, from the standpoint of faith and reason, with love and truth, in the light of the Word of God and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church,” the statement declared.
The diocese also called on Catholics to pray for the freedom of the Church in Spain. By sending a journalist to the diocese under false pretenses, read the statement, is the “very sort of disinformation of which Pope Francis has spoken.” It said that “we are witnessing the fabrication of fake news.”
On April 2, protesters draped with the rainbow colors of gay liberation protested inside the cathedral at Alcala de Henares just before an evening Mass. Denouncing Bishop Juan Antonio Reig Pla, they shouted “Leave Alcala” and “Love doesn't have a cure, hate does." Police soon arrived and dispersed the protesters.
Bishop Reig Pla has frequently been targeted because of his outspoken opposition to the LGBTQ agenda. Leftists and LGBTQ campaigners, for instance, filed a lawsuit against him, claiming he incited hatred with a Good Friday sermon that touched upon the homosexual lifestyle. The lawsuit was ultimately dismissed by a local judge.