A nun in Spain has apologised for suggesting the Virgin Mary might not have been a virgin after receiving death threats over her comments.
Sister Lucía Caram, a well-known Dominican nun with a healthy social media following appeared to contradict church teaching when she appeared on Spanish TV on Sunday to discuss sex and faith.
“I think Mary was in love with Joseph and that they were a normal couple – and having sex is a normal thing,” she told the Chester in Love show, adding: “It’s hard to believe and hard to take in. We’ve ended up with the rules we’ve invented without getting to the true message.”
Caram, who was born in Argentina but lives in a Catalan convent, said sexuality was a God-given, basic part of every individual and a means of self-expression. However, she said it was something the church had long struggled with.
"I think the church has had a poor attitude to it for a long time and has swept it a bit under the carpet,” she said. “It wasn’t a taboo subject; it was more something that was considered dirty or hidden. It was the denial of what I believe to be a blessing."
Her remarks were met with anger across Spain, including an online petition for her to be suspended from her order.
On Wednesday, Caram issued a statement in which she said she had received death threats after her appearance on national television.
“When asked about the Virgin Mary, I said that, as I see it, Mary obviously loved Joseph … I wanted to say that it wouldn’t shock me if she had had a normal couple’s relationship with Joseph, her husband.
“This shocked a lot of people, perhaps because there was no opportunity for clarification. But I think that my fidelity to, and love for, the church, the gospel and Jesus’s project are clear – as it the certainty that sex is neither dirty nor something to be condemned, and that marriage and sex are a blessing.”
She added that while she apologised to anyone who felt offended, she was worried by the “fragmented, ideological and perverse” way in which her remarks had been interpreted. The nun said that “some heretic-bashers, thirsting for vengeance and driven by hatred” had lied about her and made “serious threats, including to my life”.