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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Louise Burne

Taoiseach blasts Kerry priest's controversial sermon as 'disturbing'

Taoiseach Micheal Martin has described comments made by a Kerry priest about homosexuality as “disturbing” and “hurtful”.

Fr Seán Sheehy was widely condemned this week after he suggested that Tánaiste Leo Varkadar would “go to hell” if he did not “repent” for being gay.

During a sermon last weekend in Listowel, Co Kerry, the priest said that sin was “rampant” and could be seen in the “promotion of abortion” the “lunatic approach of transgenderism and in the promotion of sex between two men and two women.”

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The Taoiseach condemned the comments on Friday, saying that many people were “taken aback” by the remarks.

“Those remarks were wrong, very disturbing, very hurtful to people generally in the LGBTI community,” Mr Martin said.

“In my view, the language used was not the language of Christianity.

“Certainly, what it seems to me to be a language of exclusion as opposed to inclusion.

“Many, many people that were taken aback by that, by the language used [and] the almost condemnatory approach adopted.”

The Tánaiste said that he “profoundly disagreed” with Fr Sheehy.

“The Tánaiste does not believe that gay people will go to hell for being who they are, nor does he believe that any man or woman can make such a judgment,” a spokesman said.

“As Pope Francis said, ‘who are we to judge’. As the Bible says, ‘judge not lest you be judged. We are all God’s children’.”

While the Bishop of Kerry Ray Browne apologised for the comments, Fr Sheehy appeared to double down during a number of media interviews this week.

During a head-to-head with Liveline’s Joe Duffy, the priest suggested that referendums on abortion and marriage equality had been fixed.

He also likened homosexuality to a disability.

Fr Sheehy has been taken off clerical duties in Listowel following his outbursts.


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