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A criminal complaint has been filed against a Catholic bishop who said homosexuality should be punished with death.
Vitus Huonder, the Catholic bishop of Chur, eastern Switzerland, made the controversial comments at the ‘Joy in Faith’ forum in the German city of Fulda. At the forum, Huonder quoted a bible passage which states that homosexuals should be killed.
He read out Leviticus 20:13, which is sometimes quoted in opposition to gay rights.
It reads: “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”
In the 50-minute address last Friday, he also took aim at gender theory, divorce, sex education and same-sex marriage.
The 73-year-old added: “Both of these passages alone suffice to clarify unambiguously the church’s position on homosexuality”.
He went on: “There is no diversity when it comes to marriage and family models, although a book has just come out in my bishopric called ‘Family Diversity’.”
“Even speaking of family diversity is an attack on the Creator.”
Swiss LGBT organisation the Pink Cross has since filed a criminal complaint about the comments, after saying it was “shocked” by them.
However Huonder was quick to distance himself from the comments, claiming on Monday that he was misunderstood.
“That wasn’t my intention,” he said.
However the bishop has made similar comments since his appointment in 2007. Earlier this year he called for a priest in Switzerland to be sacked after he blessed a lesbian couple.