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Worldview Briefing – Priest’s Listowel LGBT Lecture!


Worldview Briefing – Priest’s Listowel LGBT Lecture!

Good morning! It’s 8am on Monday morning the 7th November 2022 and I want to begin with an apology and a personal update. At the end of July I closed season two of the podcast, promising that I’d be back with more Monday Morning Worldview episodes in September. Sadly that didn’t happen, due to a change of personal circumstances, and a period of sickness. (No! NOT Covid!) I don’t think I’ll be able to comment on worldview issues every week, as I was doing in the Springtime, because of other commitments, but I’d still like to do the occasional update as and when I’m able, and when events in the world require some analysis from a Christian standpoint. In a recent sermon at Templepatrick, I drew attention to that verse in 1st Peter, that tells us that we are to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” That’s 1st Peter 5:8

So be alert and cautious at all times.  Don’t be careless, be vigilant, knowing that there is a devil and that he is at his work.  Simple watchfulness can help us to fend off evil devilish attacks.  Christians are not to bury their heads in the sand, and pretend that everything in the world is as it should be. It is not.

So, events this week need some comment, and one event in particular gave me the push I needed to get behind the microphone and speak out, – an event that happened in the morally depraved Republic of Ireland. 


The Town of Listowel has been in the news through the week. A picturesque town in Co. Kerry, steeped in history and literature, one writer, John B Keane claimed, “Beautiful Listowel, serenaded night and day by the gentle waters of the River Feale. Listowel where it is easier to write than not to write…” I’ve never been there, but it sounds idyllic. The town boasts its own racetrack, and a heritage railway, a writer’s museum and several festivals, and of course, a Roman Catholic Church. And it was the Catholic Church that made the headlines recently. The local priest was away, apparently leading a pilgrimage to the Holy land, and a retired priest, Fr Seán Sheehy, was officiating at the morning mass, on Sunday 30th October 2022. During his homily, Mr Sheehy started to drop some moral truth bombs, to the extent that people began to walk out of the church. The ‘Independent’ Newspaper reported, 

Retired priest Fr Sean Sheehy told worshippers at St Mary’s Church in Listowel, County Kerry, over the weekend that sex between two men or two women was sinful, and said the handing out of free condoms was “promoting promiscuity”. “What is so sad today is you rarely hear about sin but it’s rampant. It’s rampant,” Fr Sheehy said during his homily.

Let’s listen to what he said…


The priest later made an appearance on local radio, to be grilled on his views on sexuality. The Irish Times records what he said, 

During an interview broadcast this morning on local radio, Fr Sheehy elaborated on his position, which saw some 30 people walk out of Sunday’s 11.30am mass at St Mary’s Church in Listowel. Sin was “embedded in modern culture and enshrined in legislation”, he said. “People think because there’s no law against it, it’s OK. But that’s not true,” Fr Sheehy told the Radio Kerry Today programme. Fr Sheehy insisted all he was doing was preaching scripture and Catholic doctrine. “Jesus came not to make us feel good, but to save us,” he said.” That last line is certainly true!

It’s pity some of the modern evangelical churches and pastors wouldn’t give it some consideration! Jesus most certainly did not come into this world to make sinners feel good about their sin, and it is not the job of the church to keep sinners feeling good and entertained on their road to hell.

Mr Sheehy concluded his remarks,  “It’s not fundamentalism, it’s the word of God.

He’s right too – The Bible has a lot to say about our present moral swamp, and it is the responsibility of the church and its pastors to declare God’s truth to the nations.

Well, predictably, outrage followed. People walked out of the church, – not as many as remained, but some. And it came to the notice of the politicians too. The present deputy prime minister of the Republic of Ireland, known as the Tanaiste, is one Leo Varadkar, – himself a homosexual. He gave his opinoion in the Irish Times article,

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said he “profoundly disagrees” with comments by a Kerry priest who said gay politicians are “absolutely” going to hell if they do not attend to their sin and seek forgiveness. A spokesman for the Tánaiste said he “respects his [Fr Sheehy’s] right to express his religious beliefs freely” but “does not believe that gay people will go to hell for being who they are, nor does he believe that any man or woman can make such a judgment. “As Pope Francis said, ‘who are we to judge’. As the Bible says, judge not lest you be judged. We are all God’s children.

Aye, that old canard, the deliberate distortion of a biblical text, taking it out if context and making it a pretext – in this case a pretext for sin.

The foreign minister joined in too. The Irish Times again:

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said that he believed the priest should apologise for the comments. “I think they’re disgraceful comments, and I think they are a reflection on the person that made those comments rather than anything else and they should be withdrawn and there should be an apology,” he said.

Worse still, the Catholic Bishop of Kerry, who you think should know better, – one Dr Browne on Tuesday apologised to the congregation and to the sexually deviant community for the “deep upset and hurt” caused to parishioners following the homily delivered by Fr Sheehy on Sunday. Sheehy has apparently been removed from the rota for stand-in preachers, so that his offensive Biblical morality can cause no further hurt. Not before he officiated at a service the following Tuesday though, when the people in the church gave him a standing ovation…

What are we to make of this? We have no desire to endorse Catholic teaching or doctrine, or to support the Catholic Church – after all, it has its own problems with sexual morality and sin. But we must be as firm as Sheehy was when it comes to these matters. The Biblical teaching on sexual ethics is clear and beyond doubt. Marriage is between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others, and marriage is the parameter within which sexual activity may be enjoyed. The Bible condemns any form of sex outside of marriage, denounces it as sinful, and like all sin which remains unconfessed before God, and repented of, it condemns the sinner to a lost eternity. We must turn away from our sin, and trust Christ, our Lord Jesus, who died for sinners, who bore all of my sin and yours on the cross, and trust in Him alone for our salvation.


That’s all for now! I can’t promise weekly worldview episodes, but if something comes up, I’ll try to make you aware of it. Meanwhile, join us for worship, if you are free, each Lord’s Day morning at Ballymacashon Church, 78 Saintfield Road, Killinchy, Co.Down, at 11.30am. 

One Comment
  1. dubblehd4afb8f29f permalink

    Excellent response Robert.We need to preach the word…Christ when preaching about being the bread of life, many of his disciples (followers) went away and walked no more with him…Then the questi

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