Thursday, 13 March 2008

Ranting bishop claims Christianity under attack from "gay conspiracy"

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One of Scotland's leading Roman Catholics believes that the "gay lobby" has mounted a "huge and well-orchestrated conspiracy" to destroy Christianity.

The Rt Rev Joseph Devine, Bishop of Motherwell was delivering a lecture at a Glasgow Catholic school on Tuesday but reports suggest this quickly turned into something closer to a paranoid rant as he warned his audience that the gay rights movements had crept up on them unawares: "I want to ask you if you are able to see the giant conspiracy that's taking place before our eyes, even if we didn't see it at the time. I take it you're beginning to see that there is a huge and well-orchestrated conspiracy taking place, which the Catholic community missed."

Perhaps most shocking were his comments regarding Holocaust Memorial Day, suggesting that the presence of gay organisations at commemorations amounts to a clever publicity stunt: "The homosexual lobby has been extremely effective in aligning itself with minority groups. It is ever-present at the service each year for the Holocaust memorial, as if to create for themselves the image of a group of people under persecution. We neglect the gay movement at our peril."

Not that the bishop stopped at there. He also expressed his dismay at the recognition actor Ian McKellen receives for his gay rights work: "In this New Year's honours list, I saw actor Ian McKellen being honoured for his work on behalf of homosexuals, when a century ago Oscar Wilde was locked up and put in jail. It's a very small group of people, but very active and organised – and extremely indulgent. The opposition know exactly what they're doing. We don't."

It's not quite clear whether he was suggesting that McKellen should be locked up for being gay, but the implication certainly seems to be that jail would be preferable to a New Year's honour.

As if all this wasn't enough, Bishop Devine finished off by vowing to fight the "forces of secularism" and bizarrely comparing himself to that notorious star of Mad Max and director of The Passion of the Christ: "Like Mel Gibson, who said, 'I'm going to pick a fight', so am I."