Lesbian nun thriller with X-rated scene sparks fury from Catholic groups as it launches on Good Friday

The film, titled Benedetta, is based upon a real-life story of a 17th century nun who is suffering from from disturbing religious and erotic visions

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A lesbian nun thriller that features an X-rated scene has been slammed by Catholic groups who have described it as “appalling” and “blasphemous”.

The film, titled Benedetta, is based upon a real-life story of a 17th century nun called Benedetta Carlini who is suffering from from disturbing religious and erotic visions.

The 2 hours 11 minutes film, directed by Paul Verhoeven has been hit with backlash from religious groups ahead of its release on Good Friday.

A scene which features a statue of Virgin Mary being used as a sex toy has been particularly slammed by Catholics.

Benedetta has been slammed by Catholic groups
Benedetta has been slammed by Catholic groups
The film's director, Paul Verhoeven has previously hit back at the critics
The film's director, Paul Verhoeven has previously hit back at the critics

A spokesman for the Irish Society for Christian Civilisation, Damien Murphy said: “This movie is a fraud and nothing more than a blatant attack on the Catholic faith.

“There is no way that a director would depict Mohammed acting in a sexual manner. There is not one director in Hollywood or Europe who would dare mock Mohammed or the Jewish faith – it just wouldn't happen.”

While objector John O'Donovan added: “There is an attack on Christians and Catholicism right around the world.”

The Irish Society for Christian Civilisation have launched a petition calling for the film not to be released, which has drawn more than 13,000 petitions.

The petition says: “I strongly oppose and condemn your distribution and promotion of Paul Verhoeven’s film Benedetta. It offends God, and countless Catholics all over the world.

”This immoral film blasphemously features several Jesus-on-nun intense ‘make outs’, a statuette of Mary Most Holy used as a sex-toy and voyeuristic lesbian nuns pornography.”

Last year, the film's director, Mr Verhoeven hit back at calls the film was blasphemous: "I don't really understand how you can really blaspheme about something that happened, even in 1625.

"You cannot change history, you cannot change things that happened, and I based it on the things that happened. So I think the word blasphemy in this case is stupid."