After delivering a sermon full of anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric during mass on Sunday, October 30, Kerry priest Fr Seán Sheehy has spoken out again against the queer community, saying that he was merely preaching “the word of God”.
Fr Sheehy’s anti-LGBTQ+ remarks first gained national attention after a video of his sermon was published on social media, forcing Bishop of Kerry Ray Browne to issue an apology, claiming that the views expressed by the priest were not representative of Christianity and that he was aware of “the deep upset and hurt” caused.
Following these events, Fr Sheehy appeared on several radio shows on Wednesday, November 2, doubling down on his remarks against the queer community. During his appearance on Radio Kerry, host Jerry O’Sullivan asked him if he thought the nation’s politicians who legislate for things like same-sex marriage, including Leo Varadkar who is openly gay, are going to hell.
“Absolutely, if they don’t repent on sin and seek forgiveness.” the priest responded. “Because what they’re doing is contrary to the law of nature and secondly, and more importantly, it’s contrary to the law of God. When you go against God, who is the author of life, you actually go against life itself.”
On the same day, the cleric also appeared on two RTÉ radio programmes, first on Bryan Dobson’s RTÉ ‘s News at One and then on Joe Duffy’s Liveline. In both shows, he once again condemned same-sex couples, abortion and “transgenderism”, saying that “sin is enshrined in legislation”.
She has called on the priest to apologise.
— Louise Burne (@louiseburne_) November 2, 2022
Host Joe Duffy asked him: “So the referendums that took place in this country over the last 10 years on contraception, divorce, abortion and gay marriage, they were all fixed?”
Fr Sheehy replied: “Absolutely, guaranteed there was an agenda, even the way the ballots were written. The groups were stacked with people who are pro those things and had their own agenda; they didn’t really bring in the people on the opposite side at all to give their opinions.”
The Kerry priest and his anti-LGBTQ+ remarks have sparked outrage all over Ireland, with many condemning his views and calling on the priest to apologise. Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys urged the priest to withdraw his remarks, saying: “Those are absolutely unacceptable comments and I’m disappointed to hear that a priest would make comments like that.”
The Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland has also spoken up against Fr Sheehy and urged the Bishop of Kerry to ban him from celebrating mass and other sacraments. According to Cork parish priest Fr Tim Hazelwood, “the majority of priests are absolutely appalled” by Fr Sheeny’s sermon and his other remarks against the LGBTQ+ community.
Fr Hazelwood explained that if Bishop Browne were to remove Fr Sheehy’s celebret, or letter of permission, he wouldn’t be able to say mass, hear confession and function in any diocese. “It is up to the Bishop of Kerry to do that,” Fr Hazelwood stated.
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