A Catholic bishop in the Republic of Ireland has apologised for the “deep hurt and offence” caused by a homily delivered to Mass-goers in County Kerry.
Bishop Ray Browne’s comments follow a sermon given by retired priest Seán Sheehy, who was deputising for the parish priest in Listowel.
In his homily at St Mary’s Church on Sunday, Father Sheehy said people rarely heard about sin but “it is rampant” in Irish legislation.
He went on to make remarks about abortion, homosexuality and transgenderism.
A number of people are reported to have left the church in protest during the priest’s homily.
On Tuesday the Bishop of Kerry published a statement on the diocesan website, saying he was “aware of the deep upset and hurt caused”.
“I apologise to all who were offended,” said Bishop Browne.
“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.”
Speaking to Radio Kerry, Fr Sheehy said Bishop Browne had told him that he was “to be taken off all Masses”.
Fr Sheehy stood by his homily, saying: “I know myself that what I said cannot be disproven by any honest-to-God Catholic, Christian or Catholic teaching, and that’s the bottom line.”