A nun has incurred the wrath of the Catholic Church by suggesting on a daytime TV show that the Virgin Mary wasn’t really a virgin.
Sister Lucia Caram later revealed she had received death threats as a result of her comments.
The 51-year-old nun told the Spanish TV audience that the belief that the mother of Jesus never had sex is ‘hard to take in’.
She added that Mary and Joseph were a ‘normal couple’, and would therefore have had a sexual relationship.
She told the audience on the Cuatro show Chester in Love, The Local reports: ‘I think that Mary was in love with Joseph and that they were a normal couple, and the normal thing is to have sex.
‘It’s hard to believe and to take in. We’ve stuck with rules that we have invented without reaching the true message.’
The Argentine-born nun, who has been at a Catalan convent for the past 26 years has a cooking show and also has 180,000 followers on Twitter.
Local religious chiefs were far from happy at her remarks.
The Bishop of Vic – a diocese in the ecclesiastical province of Tarragona in Spain – issued a statement saying that Mary’s virginity was not in dispute.
The statement, released ‘in light of recent statements by a nun’, said: ‘The belief that Mary was a perpetual virgin forms part of the faith of Church from its beginnings and that this truth of faith was collected and proclaimed by the Second Council of Constantinople, being the primary Marian dogma observed by Catholic and Orthodox Christians.’
She also discussed her views on sex, describing it as ‘a blessing’, but saying the church has always treated it as ‘dirty and secret’.
Following the controversy, she released a statement apologising for offence caused by her views, in which she wrote: ‘I worry about the fragmented, ideological and perverse reading some (people)… thirsty for revenge and animated by hatred, have made, including threats on my life.’