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A priest who was filmed having gay sex on a church altar has been suspended

Josh Jackman July 2, 2018

The priest has been placed on personal leave (Pexels)

A minister who was captured on video having gay sex on a church altar has been placed on “personal leave.”

The priest, who was filmed at North Cork’s St Bartholomew’s Church in the Republic of Ireland, has been temporarily removed from the ministry while on leave, according to the Irish Mirror.

After the footage emerged in May of a man wearing priest vestments performing sexual acts with another man, the Garda – the country’s state police – opened an investigation.

“People are devastated by it all” (Pexels)

A source told the Irish Mirror that the clergyman “has taken so-called personal leave to deal with his issues.

“It is understood he has been suffering from some mental difficulties and some addiction problems.

“When the video came to public attention he suffered a lot of adverse attention and in discussions with his bishop it was decided he would take time out,” they continued.

“This has been a major scandal in the area and people are devastated by it all.”

Some called for an exorcism (Pexels)

They added that the investigation into the incident was ongoing.

While the acts in the pictures appeared to be consensual, they were being considered sacrilegious because of what the priest was wearing and the location.

Catholicism defines sacrilege as the action of defiling any sacred objects, places or people and it applies to priests’ vestments. A physical depreciation – having sex on an altar, for instance – is called a desecration.

Catholicism defines sacrilege as the action of defiling any sacred objects, places or people (Pexels)

This led some to call for an exorcism after the pictures were made public.

The head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, has seemingly flip-flopped on his approach to LGBT issues this year.

It had been hoped in May that the Pope was in the process of softening the Catholic Church’s position on LGBT rights, particularly as it was just last month that he told Juan Carlos Cruz, a gay survivor of sexual abuse by a prominent Chilean priest: “God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care.”

However, during unscripted remarks at Forum delle Famiglie, an Italian group for Catholic families, he closed the door on the idea of same-sex couples forming a family within the Church.

Pope Francis greets the crowd before celebrating a mass during the ecumenical meeting at the World Council of Churches (WCC) at Palexpo hall in Geneva, on June 21, 2018. - Pope Francis visits the World Council of Churches on 21 June as centrepiece of the ecumenical commemoration of the WCC's 70th anniversary. (Photo by MARTIAL TREZZINI / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARTIAL TREZZINI/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis greets a crowd in Geneva (MARTIAL TREZZINI/AFP/Getty)

“It is painful to say this today: People speak of varied families, of various kinds of family,” but “the family [as] man and woman in the image of God is the only one,” he said at the June event.

The leader of the Catholic Church also compared abortion of seriously ill foetuses to the Holocaust, saying: “In the last century, the entire world was scandalised by what the Nazis did to ensure the purity of the race.

“Today we do the same, but with white gloves.”

Conspiracy theorist and alt-right host Alex Jones, whose InfoWars YouTube channel has 2.3 million subscribers, went on an alarming rant after the Pope’s comments to Cruz in May, in which he said that the pontiff was a “piranha,” “paedophile” and “creepazoid.”

More: Catholic Church, Christianity, Cork, Europe, Gay, gay sex, Ireland, priest, Religion, republic of ireland

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