Bishop Joseph Devine's Auschwitz abortion image link condemned
- 23 September 2012
- From the section Scotland
Pro-choice campaigners have condemned a Scottish Roman Catholic Bishop who made comparisons between images of Nazi death camps and abortion.
Bishop Joseph Devine was responding to the case of two Christian campaigners who held up banners of aborted foetuses at a Brighton clinic.
He said Holocaust images "brought home the horrors of such evil catastrophes" more effectively than words.
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service described his views as "very warped".
Earlier this week a judge dismissed the case of two protesters arrested by police for displaying graphic banners outside Wiston Clinic in Brighton.
In a statement responding to the decision to drop their case, the Bishop of Motherwell said British Christians had "something to celebrate".
"All who value freedom of speech and expression will welcome the dismissal of this case by the courts," he said.
He went on: "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. 200,000 abortions take place in Britain each year.
"Why is the pro-choice lobby so desperate to hide the truth about abortion from the public?"
Clare Murphy from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, which runs the clinic involved, said making a comparison between abortion and the Holocaust was "breathtakingly offensive and displays a very warped moral view of the world".
She added: "It is staggering that those who invoke morality are comfortable with waving large banners of dismembered foetuses in the faces of pregnant women outside clinics with a view to causing them as much distress as possible.
"Women of all faiths and none decide abortion is right for them not because they have no conscience, but because it is the right decision for them and their families at that time in their lives."
Bishop Devine also used his statement to launch an attack on the Green Party, accusing it of "masquerading" as an environmentalist organisation.
He condemned a decision to expel a Brighton councillor from her local Green Party Group over her opposition to same-sex marriage.
He then went on to criticise Scottish Green Party leader Patrick Harvie and said: "In Scotland there is a perception that its leader seems more determined to promote and champion the "gay" agenda rather than explain and contribute to the debate on environmental issues.
"To seek to coerce loyalty to the party above loyalty to individual conscience calls to mind the worst kind of totalitarian politics."
In response Mr Harvie said: "People like Bishop Devine need to catch up with the fact 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."
He added: "I find the comments slightly absurd. If you look at the track record of Green parties around the world, you see a very clear, consistent, strong, environmental, economic and social justice agenda.
"To suggest that because we support gay rights we are not promoting green economics or green politics is nonsense."