A PRIEST in Kerry has sparked outrage over his comments on transgender people, gay sex and the use of condoms, which he said "promotes promiscuity".
In a sermon delivered to parishioners in Listowel on Sunday, Fr Seán Sheehy told the 200 church-goers who were present that sexual sin between two men and two women was "rampant" and the government's legislative approach to transgenderism as "lunatic".
"That is sinful. That is mortal sin," he said.
He also said the promotion of abortion was sinful, and told the congregation a story of how a HSE van distributed a condom to a 17-year-old girl on a night out in Tralee, which he said said promoted promiscuity.
The homily was live streamed at 11.30am Mass on Sunday, with a similar but less forceful version also being delivered the previous evening.
Part 2 pic.twitter.com/VUmwOVaJVI
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People began to leave the mass as a result of the priest's remarks, to which he said:
“Those of you who happen to be leaving today, God help you is all I have to say."
Fr Sheehy came to prominence previously after an criticism when he shook hands with and gave character reference for convicted sex offender Danny Foley of Meen, Listowel, in Tralee Circuit Court in 2009.
The Bishop of Kerry Ray Browne apologised for the remarks, saying that "they do not represent the Christian position".
"I am 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," he wrote on the diocese's website.
"The homily at a regular weekend parish Mass is not appropriate for such issues to be spoken of in such terms. I regret that this has occurred while a parish pilgrimage to the Holy Land is taking place.
"The Gospel of our Lord and Savior 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. This fundamental Christian teaching was beautifully proclaimed in the Book of Wisdom at Mass last Sunday, and in the second reading, and the Gospel of the Beatitudes at Mass today, November 1st, the Feast of All Saints."