Saturday, June 25, 2022

Irish woman claims priest performed sacrament of the sick on her "for being gay"

 Irish woman claims priest performed sacrament of the sick on her "for being  gay"

An Irish documentary has revealed that an Irish priest gave a young woman the last rites in a bid to "cure" her of her homosexuality.

The RTÉ documentary "Outitude" reveals how Irish woman Marina Forrestal was anointed with oil on various parts of her body by an Irish priest in the mid-1970s in a practice similar to last rites to the sick or dying. 

The Irish Mirror reports that Forrestal described the practice as "ritual abuse" in the hour-long documentary, adding that she was also subjected to recession therapy by a priest. 

She claimed that she had her hands anointed against masturbation during the sacrament and said gay men subsequently told her that they had their genitals anointed during the same religious practice. 

Forrestal, who now works as an artist and community organizer, told the documentary that she sought help from a support group after breaking up with her first girlfriend. 

"I met my first girlfriend in 1974. When we split, I was really lovesick, I couldn't get over it by myself. I needed help," she said. 

"Within my support group actually there was a priest who was supposed to have a gift of healing and he invited me to come and have a number of sessions with him.

"During one of the sessions, he told me that I shouldn't look at any women's magazines anymore because of the underwear ads.

"He did recession therapy with me which evolved me lying down and closing my eyes and going into some kind of, I don’t know, altered state, I suppose." 

She said the priest made her imagine that Jesus discovered her in bed with a lover, asking her how she thought Jesus would feel about it. 

She said the priest became angry and slammed his fist on a nearby table when she told him that she thought Jesus would be "fine" about it. 

Forrestal claims the priest told her: “If you're going to continue to romanticize this thing, I'm not going to be able to help you any further."

The priest carried out the sacrament of the sick in their very next session together, Forrestal said. 

"So he took out a bottle of oil and he asked me if I had any connection with the occult first so I said ‘no’ and so he did this anointing of the oil.

"He asked me did I masturbate, and he anointed my hands against masturbation.

"I had to say how sorry, I was, and stuff."

She said he also anointed other parts of her body and gave her a bottle of holy water so that she could anoint her genitals when she went home. 

"When he came to my genitals, he told me I was to take the bottle home, thank goodness.

"I have since spoken with men who have had their genitals anointed in rituals like this. I now consider that to be ritual abuse." 

She added: “I think he had his sexual fantasies, I don't think he thought he was putting them on me but I think he was putting them on me.

“And I think that thing of the sacrament of the sick for being gay is a perversion.

“It was a shaming of me. And it was a ritual shaming. And it did involve sexuality. And it was wrong, it was very wrong.”

"Outitude" also documents other forms of homophobia, stories of coming out, and activism within the Irish lesbian community from the 1970s to the present day. 

The documentary also explores cases of homophobia and discrimination in Irish universities and bars.