“I think Mary was in love with Joseph and that they were a normal couple – and having sex is a normal thing,” Caram told the Chester in Love Show, according to the Guardian. “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 lives in a convent in Catalonia, said the church has long held a “poor attitude” on the subject and has “swept it under the carpet,” according to the Guardian.
“It wasn’t a taboo subject; it was more something that was considered dirty or hidden,” Caram said. “It was the denial of what I believe to be a blessing.”
The remarks were denounced by the Bishop of Vic in Spain, who issued a reminder that Mary’s virginity was not in question and that statements to the contrary “do not conform” to the faith of the Catholic church. The statement also apologized for any confusion Caram’s statements may have caused.
Caram’s comments also prompted an online petition demanding that she be suspended from her order, the Guardian reports.
Caram said Wednesday in a statement that she’s gotten death threats after the controversial television appearance.
“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,” Caram said, according to a translation by the Guardian. “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 the certainty that sex is neither dirty nor something to be condemned, and that marriage and sex are a blessing.”
Caram seemingly alluded to the controversy on Monday, one day after her television appearance, with a post on Twitter.
“If anyone is offended or hurt by my attitudes or thoughts, I apologize,” Caram wrote. “I am not indifferent to suffering of any kind.”