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Hokey Cokey is ‘faith hate crime’

Senior Catholics in Scotland have warned that Protestants who sing the Hokey Cokey could fall foul of laws outlawing incitement of religious hatred, writes Jason Allardyce.

Supporters of the largely Protestant Glasgow Rangers club have been banned from the once common practice of singing antiCatholic songs at the club’s ground when it plays Celtic, which has Catholic roots. Now fans are discussing on websites the possibility of singing the Hokey Cokey to get around the rule.

Peter Kearney, a spokesman for Cardinal Keith O’Brien, leader of the Catholic church in Scotland, said: “This song, although apparently innocuous, was devised as an attack on and a parody of the Catholic mass.”

According to the church, the song’s title derives from “hocus pocus”. The phrase is said to be a Puritan satire on the Latin “hoc est enim corpus meum”, or “this is my body”, used by Catholic priests to accompany the transubstantiation during mass.

• Full story at the Sunday Times.

Subsequent letters debunking the story here.

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