Bishop of Kerry apologises for priest's sermon on "sinful" gay and transgender people
Video of the shocking sermon went viral.
The Bishop of Kerry, Ray Browne, has issued a formal apology following a shocking tirade delivered against gay and transgender people as part of a weekend mass that took place in Listowel.
The sermon in question was conducted in St Mary's Church by Father Sean Sheehy, who spoke of "rampant" sin in society, singling out gay and transgender individuals, abortion, and the widespread availability of condoms.
Video of the sermon, first broadcast via Church Media TV, was quickly shared online, resulting in heavy criticism and calls for Sheehy to step down from his post.
"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."
Sheehy then told his audience that "we need to listen to God about it because if we don't, then there's no hope for those people". Later, he railed against the availability of condoms, arguing that it is "promoting promiscuity".
According to The Kerryman, over 30 people left their seats and walked out of the church during the priest's remarks.
The Bishop of Kerry has apologised for these controversial comments made by Fr Sean Sheehy at Sunday mass at St Mary's Church, in Listowel pic.twitter.com/l7vH8pxB7H
— JOE.ie (@JOEdotie) November 1, 2022
Father Sheehy said that it is people's "responsibility", in line with God's will, to "seek out those who are lost" and to "call people to an awareness of the fact that sin is destructive, sin is detrimental and sin will lead us to Hell".
Sheehy went on to acknowledge that there are people who "won't like to hear" his thesis on sin "but 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".
In a statement issued to The Kerryman, Bishop Browne offered an apology and moved to distance the church from Sheehy's sentiment. Sheehy, incidentally, had been filling in for another priest at the time.
"I apologise to all who were offended," said Bishop Browne.
"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."