A Spanish academic has come under fire for allegedly saying homosexuality is “curable” and that abortion following rape was “intolerable”.

ThinkSpain.com reports Professor Gloria Casanova allegedly told journalism students during a class on religious ethics at Valencia’s Cardenal Herrera University, that gay people could be ‘cured’ of their sexuality.

It is claimed she denounced the right of women to seek abortions; suggested women had a duty before God to stay with unfaithful or violent husbands, and that pregnancy through rape was effectively God’s way of compensating the victim for the ordeal.

“Even if your husband is unfaithful, the proof of your love is to carry on loving him with tears in your eyes, just as Jesus wept on the cross,” Professor Casanova reportedly told students.

When quizzed by reporters, she said: “To say it was a controversial class is exaggerated. There was lots of lively debate. Let’s not take things out of context.”

It is not clear if the professor was playing devil’s advocate, in order to encourage her students to debate the comments, or whether she actually holds these views.

However, Cardenal Herrera University defended her actions and said: “Listening, debating ideas and forming own opinions [are] a priority for us, as is cultivating a spirit of discussing and analysing”.

Meanwhile, Valencian MP Esther López Barceló denounced the professor’s comments as being mediaeval, offensive, homophobic, sexist as well as “very dangerous”.