The Bishop of Shrewsbury is expected to use his Christmas sermon to attack plans to introduce marriage equality in the UK early next year.
In a text of the speech seen by the Daily Mail newspaper, Bishop Mark Davies compares the push for marriage equality to efforts to undermine religion under Nazism and Communism.
‘Past generations have gathered in this cathedral on Christmas night amid many shadows which seemed to obscure the future for them,’ the speech reads, ‘We think of the ideologies of the past century – Communism and Nazism – which in living memory threatened to shape and distort the whole future of humanity.
‘These inhuman ideologies would each challenge in the name of progress the received Christian understanding of the sanctity of human life and the family.
‘This Christmas we are also conscious of new shadows cast by a Government that was pledged at its election to support the institution of marriage.
‘The Prime Minister has decided without mandate, without any serious consideration, to redefine the identity of marriage itself, the foundation of the family for all generations to come.
‘This is again done in the name of progress. The British people have reason to ask on this night where is such progress leading?’
Ruth Hunt, a spokesperson for LGBT rights group Stonewall, told The Daily Mail that, as a group targeted for persecution by the Nazis, they were well aware of that regime’s atrocities.
‘Bishop Davies’s comments are both deeply offensive to gay people and their families,’ Hunt said.
‘Gay people are all too aware of the horrific results of Nazi ideology due to the countless casualties of the Holocaust.’