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One RTÉ viewer was 'highly offended' about talk that Jesus had a wife

Would You Believe spoke to someone who believed he was married to Mary Magdalene.

Mary Magdalene sees Jesus
Mary Magdalene sees Jesus
Image: Flickr/WaitingForTheWord

A MAN WATCHING RTÉ’s Would You Believe programme complained after being ‘highly offended’ by the suggestion that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene.

Rev Raymond Hannon complained to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) but the authority found no problem with the content of the show.

The programme from September of last year was titled ‘Passion’ and focused on plays about Jesus’s death. It spoke to a woman who played Mary Magdelene in an amateur Limerick passion play.

The segment also featured contributions from Catholic scholar Dr. Jessie Rogers of Mary Immaculate College in the city.

The woman spoke about her personal take on the role and Hannon said he found a number of her opinions to be offensive.

In particular, remarks she made asserting that Mary Magdalene was married to Jesus.

The BAI sets out that the complainant took issue with the contributors speaking about a woman who is a prostitute – a sinner – who pours out her tears on the feet of Jesus and they link her to Mary Magdalene.

The complainant claimed that the contributors went the into “over-drive”, outlining further beliefs about Mary Magdalene.

During the course of the exchange, the woman who played Mary Magdalene said she “firmly believed that she was his (Jesus) wife”.

She spoke of her belief that “if society was different 2000 years as it is today, the woman could have been the first Pope”.

Rev Hannon said that he found the material to be “highly offensive” and was also unsatisfied with the response he received from RTÉ’s head of religious programming when he complained.

RTÉ said it was the only complaint they received about the show.

The broadcaster said in response to the BAI complaint that the documentary was clearly about the experiences of actors playing roles in the passion play. It added that the programme also received an overwhelmingly positive response, except from this single complainant.

The BAI agreed, saying that the programme was “not harmful or cause undue offence”.

It added that, having viewed the entire show, “it could not find any evidence of blasphemy”.

Read: Is there a ban on Irish broadcasters showing this cover? In short, no >

Read: Complaint about Brendan O’Carroll’s on-air gay marriage support rejected >

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Rónán Duffy

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