One of Scotland’s most senior Catholics has launched an attack on the “gay lobby” in Scotland, claiming there is a “huge and well-orchestrated conspiracy” against Christian values.
The Rt Rev Joseph Devine, Bishop of Motherwell and president of the Catholic Education Commission, said gay rights organisations aligned themselves with minority groups, such as Holocaust survivors, to project an “image of a group of people under persecution”.
He warned that the gay lobby – which he labelled “the opposition” – had mounted “a giant conspiracy” to shape public policy.
The bishop said he would “not tolerate” the “behaviour” of a child struggling to come to terms with his or her homosexuality. Last night his views were attacked by gay rights groups, which branded them “unChristian” and “deeply out of step” with the views of ordinary Scots.
In the fourth of the Gonzaga Lectures held at St Aloysius’ College in Glasgow on Tuesday, Bishop Devine said: “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.
“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.”
He went on: “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.”
Calum Irving, the director of Stonewall Scotland, said the bishop was “deluded”, pointing out that the Catholic Church had much greater wealth and political influence than the gay rights lobby.
He said: “I’m flattered that the bishop thinks we could mount a ‘huge and well-orchestrated’ conspiracy, but he is much deluded. After all, which ‘lobby’ really has the greater resources and political access?
“Such a continued attack on gay people is distinctly unChristian and deeply out of step with the views of most Scots today. There is no war on Christianity – just the bishop’s own fevered paranoia.
“I would defend the bishop’s right to practise his faith and yet he would deny me basic dignity and respect. Worse, he appears to hanker after an age when Oscar Wilde was put in jail for being gay. Worse still, he seems to infer that gay people have no right to be remembered as victims of the Holocaust.”
A Holocaust Memorial Day Trust spokeswoman said: “Holocaust Memorial Day is about remembering all victims: be they Jewish, gypsy, gay or lesbian.
“The day is also about learning the lessons from the past, encouraging society to tackle all forms of prejudice, such as antisemitism, racism and homophobia.”
Full story at The Scotsman.