Father Ray Kelly has revealed that he received anonymous abuse as a result of appearing on RTÉ show Dancing With the Stars.
Some trolls have accused him of putting celebrity ahead of his day-to day responsibilities to his parish.
The parish priest of Oldcastle, Co Meath first tasted fame when a video of him singing to a couple during their wedding went viral.
He has since released a Christmas album, appeared on Britain’s Got Talent and Dancing With the stars and even received praise from US legends REM after a performance of their hit Everybody Hurts.
However, it seems not everyone is a fan.
Fr Kelly told the Irish Sun: “Some people have said I shouldn’t be doing this. I’ve had a few nasty anonymous letters from people about being in DWTS saying things like, it’s not right for a priest to be up there dancing with girls.
“Stuff like that, it puts you down. But the fact that I’m doing DWTS and people are keeping me in the show and voting to keep me in outweighs all the negative stuff.
“One of the letters I got anonymously reminded me of John the Baptist, who was beheaded when somebody danced for him.
“You will always get that but that’s what being up there in the public view you will always get the negative criticism. but the positive outweighs the negative.”
Fr Kelly’s exploits on the show have had a mixed reaction from his local parishioners.
A member of Fr Kelly’s parish, Sheila O’Brien said he was neglecting his number one responsibility, which is to the Church.
She said: “He should be doing his duties. There is a lot of sick people out there, people losing their homes.
“He should concentrate on what he was ordained to do, which is be a priest. A lot of the locals don’t approve. He should leave the priesthood and become an entertainer.
“Because it’s all about him, it should be about other people. This is my town. I’d say it’s 50/50 split.”
However, Hannah Kellet disagrees and enjoys watching her priest on TV.
She said: “He’s putting the town on the map. We love watching him on Dancing With The Stars. He’s lovely.”
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