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 SBS PRODUCTION
The film's director, Paul Verhoeven has previously hit back at the critics WikiCommons
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."