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Silent protest to take place at Listowel church where Fr Sean Sheehy offended parishioners

The event will take place at 11.35am and the public are urged to bring flowers and peaceful messages

Controversial priest Fr Sean Sheehy

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

A “silent” protests take place tomorrow at the church where controversial priest Fr Sean Sheehy was roundly condemned for his comments about condemned transgenderism, same-sex couples, and supplying condoms to teenagers.

Flowers are to be laid at the front of St Mary’s Church Listowel, as part of an event being organised by the LGBTQ+ community during the main Sunday mass.

Members of the Green Party in Kerry are supporting the gathering with one member saying they wanted to highlight how Kerry has a LGBTQ+ community and that they also belong to God.

"This event is in response to a sermon on October 30 made by Father Sean Sheehy that preached transphobia and homophobia,” Killarney Green Party representative Diarmaid Griffin sad.

“It will be a silent event that wishes to provide an opportunity to those who empathise with those mentioned in the sermon and wish to act in solidarity with the rainbow community in Kerry and throughout Ireland.

"It brings great sadness to my heart that someone 'so holy' can think that he can decide who are the children of God, and who is not," Dzana Raszewska, one of the organisers of the protest said.

"So this Sunday, as a support to LGBTQ+, bit also true Christians who never wanted to be part of this, we are bringing flowers in front of the church" said Dzana

"Everyone is welcome, but please note that no hate speech, anger or pointing fingers is allowed. No hate is ever healed by giving the hate back", she said.

The event will take place at 11.35am and the public are urged to bring flowers and peaceful messages.

More than 30 parishioners walked out of mass after shocked mass-goers were subjected to an outpouring of anger from the pulpit, which many deemed tactless, insensitive, and represented a throwback to the days of clerical authority.

Fr Sheehy, who is deputising for Listowel Parish Priest Canon Declan O’Connor, criticised Government legislation around what he said was the promotion of abortion and described the “lunatic approach of transgenderism”.

Fr Sheehy has since said he stands over his comments at the mass in Listowel last weekend, despite having since been taken off the local parish roster.

Fr Tim Hazelwood from the Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland said during the week that the biggest issue was with the way the homily was given.

“He had no regard for the families that were sitting the pews, for people who would have gay or transgender members and their families,” he told RTE’s Morning Ireland.

“It was, ‘I'm going to let you have it whether you like it or not’.

Asked whether Fr Sheehy, who is a retired priest, should be saying mass in Ireland in the future considering the fact that he believes he was right, Fr Hazelwood said that was up to the Bishop.

“He (Fr Sheehy) is not a priest of the Diocese of Kerry, he's a retired priest who worked in the United States where that kind of polarised way of thinking and engaging is very prominent.

“I think in Ireland, there's a different way we try and do things where we are bit more considerate.

“So, it's up to the Bishop of Kerry but I don't think many priests in Kerry will be inviting him to fill in for them.”

On Tuesday night, Fr Sheehy said he stood over his remarks.

"Bishop Browne said that he was going to take me off all mass and I said okay fine, I couldn’t care less really.

“I know myself what I said cannot be disproven by any honest to God Christian or Catholic teaching, and that’s the bottom line” he told Radio Kerry.

He added that Bishop of Kerry Ray Browne, who has apologised for the comments and said they do not reflect Christianity, is “muzzling the truth in order to appease people.”

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