Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Sunday 29 January 2023 Dublin: 7°C
# Kerry
Bishop of Kerry apologises after priest tells mass that free condoms promote promiscuity
Fr Seán Sheehy also told the congregation in Listowel that sex between two men or two women was a sin, as was ‘transgenderism’.

A PRIEST IN Kerry has sparked backlash after telling a mass that sex between two men or two women is sinful and that free condom schemes from the HSE promote promiscuity.

Fr Seán Sheehy, a retired priest deputising for parish priest Fr Declan O’Connor, said during his homily at St Mary’s Church in Listowel that repentance would save people from Satan and his “wiles and ways”.

He also said that Irish legislation took a “lunatic approach” to “transgenderism”.

The Bishop of Kerry, Dr Ray Browne, has this morning apologised for the homily, saying the views expressed were not representative of Christianity.

Bishop Browne in a statement posted on the diocesan website this mid morning said he was aware of “the deep upset and hurt” caused by the contents of the homilies in question delivered over the weekend.

“I apologise to all who were offended. 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.

“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.

The statement included three passages from the Bible, including: “Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us, by letting us be called God’s children; and that is what we are,” from the Gospel of John

’1980s Ireland’
A number of people left the Sunday morning mass in protest. A member of the congregation can be heard shouting at the priest in a video circulating on social media.

The video sparked backlash on Facebook and Twitter. One person told The Journal that the sermon was “like stepping back to 1980s Ireland.”

Fr Sheehy told the congregation: “You rarely hear about sin but it’s rampant. It’s rampant. We see it for example in the legislation. We see it in the promotion of abortion we see it and in the example of this lunatic approach of transgenderism and in promotion of sex between two men and two women.

“That is sinful. That is mortal sin.”

The mass in question was an anniversary mass and there were children and families in the congregation.

Fr Sheehy also condemned the distribution of condoms to girls by the HSE, which he said promoted promiscuity.

As people apparently left the congregation, he said: “Those of you who happen to be leaving today, God help you is all I have to say. God bless you who are here and worshiping God. God bless all of you.”

Fr Sheehy, who returned to Kerry from Baton Rouge in Louisiana in the US in 2007, has previously made the news after outcry when he shook hands and gave a character reference for convicted sex offender Danny Foley of Listowel, in Tralee Circuit Court in 2009.

Then Bishop of Kerry Dr Bill Murphy distanced himself from his actions.

Additional reporting by Anne Lucey