Kerry Bishop apologises for Listowel priest’s anti-LGBTQ+ sermon

As well as condemning abortion, contraception and Transgenderism, Fr Seán Sheehy labelled same-sex activity as "mortal sin".

Kerry church officials who serve the Listowel area.
Image: Twitter: @MagsGargan

The Bishop of Kerry has issued an apology after a priest in Listowel delivered an anti-LGBTQ+ sermon on Sunday, October 30. Bishop Ray Browne said that he is aware of “the deep upset and hurt” caused by the homily, adding that the views expressed were not representative of Christianity.

Fr Seán Sheehy was deputising for Listowel Parish Priest Fr Declan O’Connor when he delivered his controversial sermon. He said that sin nowadays is “rampant”, referencing LGBTQ+ themes as an example.

 “We see it in the promotion of abortion. We see it in the example of this lunatic approach of transgenderism. We see it for example in the promotion of sex between two men and two women. That is sinful. That is mortal sin,” the priest stated. He added that promiscuous behaviour is being promoted by the HSE, as condoms are being supplied to teenagers.


Continuing his rant, Fr Sheehy called on church-goers “to seek out those who are lost” and make others aware that sin is “destructive” and “detrimental” and will ultimately lead people to hell. His comments caused over 30 parishioners to walk out of St Mary’s Church in Listowel, some of whom voiced their condemnation of his teaching.

Responding to the objections, the priest said: “There are people who won’t like what I’m saying, but the day you die you’ll find out what I’m saying is what God is saying… Those of you who happen to be leaving today, God help you. That’s all I have to say to you. And God bless you who are here and worshiping God.”

In a statement published on Tuesday, November 1, Kerry’s Bishop deemed the Mass “not appropriate”, adding that “The Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is a Gospel of love and ever proclaims the dignity of every human person.

“It calls on us all to ever have total respect for one another,” Bishop Browne continued.

This is not the first time that Fr Sheehy has been at the centre of a controversy, previously making the news for providing a character reference for convicted sex offender Danny Foley in the Tralee Circuit Court in 2009.

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