A Roman Catholic newspaper in the US has retracted a column in which it was suggested that the devil is behind same-sex attraction.

The article, “Some fundamental questions on same-sex attraction”, was published last week in the Archdiocese of Boston’s newspaper, The Pilot.

“The scientific evidence of how same-sex attraction most likely may be created provides a credible basis for a spiritual explanation that indicts the devil,” wrote Daniel Avila, an associate director for policy and research for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

He also wrote that “the ultimate responsibility, on a theological level” for same-sex attraction “is and should be imputed to the evil one, not God”.

The column has since been removed from the newspaper’s website and the next edition will include an apology from Avila.

“I deeply apologise for the hurt and confusion that this column caused,” he said in a statement.

Terrence Donilon, spokesman for the archdiocese, told that no action would be taken against Avila because he was prepared to apologise.

“This one clearly just got away from him. He’s passionate about his faith and passionate about his church,” said Donilon.

The Roman Catholic Church is vociferously opposed to the recognition of same-sex marriage.

Pope Benedict XVI has previously stated that homosexuality and same-sex unions are a threat to the survival of humanity. In December 2008 he warned that a “blurring” of genders could lead to the end of the human race.

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