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Bishop apologises for priest's sermon on 'sinful' gay and transgender people

by Kelly Valencia
Father Sean Sheehy.PNG - Banner image

An Irish bishop has apologised after a sermon labelling gay and transgender people as "sinful" went viral on social media. 

Bishop of Kerry, Fr Ray Browne, apologised to "all who were offended" and distanced the church from the priest's stance. 

"The views expressed do not represent the Christian position. The homily at a regular weekend parish Mass is not appropriate for such issues to be spoken of in such terms. I regret that this has occurred while a parish pilgrimage to the Holy Land is taking place."

The sermon, delivered by Father Sean Sheehy on Sunday at St Mary's Church in Listowel, came under fire after he singled out gay and transgender individuals, abortion and widespread availability of condoms as examples of "rampant" sin in society. 

He told congregants: "What is so sad today is you rarely hear about sin, but it's rampant," said Father Sheehy as he addressed those in attendance. "It's rampant and we see it, for example, in the legislation, in our Government. We see it in the promotion of abortion.

"We see it, for example, in this lunatic approach of transgenderism," Sheehy continued. "We see it, for example, in the promotion of sex between two men or two women. That is sinful. That is mortal sin and people don't seem to realise it, but it's a fact. It's a reality."

Fr Sheehy, who was standing in for another priest, continued by urging people to "to listen to God about it because if we don't, then there's no hope for those people."

People listening to the sermon left the service. Fr Sheehy acknowledged there might be people who "won't like to hear" his remarks but said he was only sharing "the truth."

"The day you die, you will find out that what I am saying is not what I invented, it's not what I came up with, it's what God is saying, and the day you die you will find out that is the truth."

Speaking to Radio Kerry on Tuesday, Fr Sheehy said he had been told he will be "to be taken off all Masses" and added he believed the bishop was "muzzling the truth in order to appease people."

"I know myself that what I said cannot be disproven by any honest-to-God Catholic, Christian or Catholic teaching, and that's the bottom line."

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