A SCOTTISH bishop has caused outrage after comparing abortions to Auschwitz death camps.
The Rt Rev Joseph Devine, the Bishop of Motherwell, also likened abortion to the deaths of British soldiers in Japanese POW camps and accused the Green Party of following an anti-religious and pro-gay agenda.
Campaigners have hit out at the remarks of Rev Devine saying that his words are “deeply insulting” and similar to that of the BNP.
Rev Devine’s comments were made in a statement related to two Christian campaigners who were arrested for hanging 7ft banners of aborted foetuses outside a clinic in Brighton.
Protestors Andrew Stephenson, 37, and Kathryne Sloan, 21, were cleared of public order offences after the judge dismissed the case.
But in the wake of the incident Rev Devine wrote: “As other commentators have observed, such images should not be suppressed from the public consciousness any more than pictures of famine or the reality of war.
“If we cannot face the pictures how can we conceive of endorsing the reality?
“I have no doubt that the publication of the photographs of the victims of Auschwitz and the Burma railway brought home the horrors of such evil catastrophes far more effectively than a million pleading words.
“Two hundred thousand abortions take place in Britain each year. Why is the pro-choice lobby so desperate t hide the truth about abortion from the public?”
Auschwitz was a Nazi concentration camp in Poland where more than one million people were killed – 90% of those lost were Jewish.
Clare Murphy, spokeswoman for the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said: “I think most people would find it utterly despicable to compare abortion to the Holocaust.
“It is deeply insulting to the millions of Jewish people who died during the Second World War.
“It is hugely inflammatory. I can’t imagine anyone would feel that comparing abortion to the Holocaust is a useful or pertinent analogy.”
Ann Henderson, chair of campaign group Abortion Rights, said: “It is completely inappropriate for a member of the Catholic community to be making statements which appear to condone harassing behaviour.”
Rev Devine also blasted Green Party councillor Christina Summers who was expelled after voting against same sex marriage – defying party policy.
He said: “At last the mask has been torn away from the duplicitous Green Party that masquerades as an environmental organisation.
“For years it has operated under the cover of ‘saving the planet’ while publicly playing down its anti-religious faith, anti-democratic agenda.
‘To seek to coerce loyalty to the party above loyalty to individual conscience calls to mind the worst kind of totalitarian politics.”
Patrick Harvie, head of the Green Party inScotland, said: “People like Bishop Devine need to catch up with the fact that society has moved on from the days of homophobia in politics.
“The only parties that espouse the kind of views about LGBT rights that Bishop Devine has are the BNP and UKIP.
“I find the comments slightly absurd. To suggest that because we support gay rights we are not promoting green economics or green politics is nonsense.”
A spokesman for the British Humanist Association said: “To compare abortion with genocide in particular betrays a twisted lack of moral perspective and the inflammatory language degrades political debate.”
This row follows a dispute earlier this year when Philip Tartaglia, Catholic Archbishop ofGlasgow, seemed to suggest that Labour MP David Cairns died from pancreatitis because he was gay.