By Hilary White
LONDON, August 11, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Two prominent British homosexual actors have lashed out at a Catholic bishop for warning Catholic parents against the advance of the homosexualist movement. Sir Ian McKellen and Simon Callow denounced as "arrogant" and "unchristian" the efforts of Bishop Joseph Devine to warn a group of parents against the secularising aims of the homosexual movement.
McKellan, the actor who has used his fame, derived in part from his role as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings films, to promote the homosexualist cause, said in a speech at a dinner for Stonewall, "From the pulpit, homophobia is preached by some arrogant religious leaders who think their beliefs are superior to our inborn and, some would say, God-given nature."
McKellan, a founding member of Stonewall, Britain’s most successful homosexualist lobby group, referred to a lecture by Bishop Devine of the Motherwell diocese who infuriated homosexualist activists last March by openly acknowledging the existence of and danger to the Christian community of the "gay lobby."
Bishop Devine had particularly criticised the decision to make McKellan a Companion of Honour (CH) specifically for his work in "equality", promoting the normalisation of homosexuality, as well as for his services to the dramatic arts. McKellan was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1979, and knighted in the 1991 New Year Honours for his outstanding work and contributions to the theatre.
McKellan’s first public effort on behalf of the movement was his lobbying in 1988 against Section 28 of the Local Government Bill, which proposed to prohibit local authorities from "promoting homosexuality" "as a kind of pretended family relationship." Since then he has campaigned internationally, appearing in South Africa, the US and Singapore.
"The Bishop of Motherwell," he told listeners at the Stonewall dinner, "addressed his flock and told them how appalled he was that I had received an honour and that 100 years ago I would have been imprisoned like Oscar Wilde. He feels that the Roman Catholic Church is beleaguered in some way."
Simon Callow is one of the most prominent gay actors in Britain and is listed 28th in the Independent’s 2007 listing of the most influential gay men and women in the UK. He told the Sunday Times, "The bishop is in my view a profoundly ignorant and stupid man in his views. If he finds it offensive that gay people want to celebrate those gay people who died in the Holocaust - which was a large number of people - then he’s also profoundly unchristian."
Speaking in Glasgow at a lecture titled "Sectarianism and Secularism: Bugbears for the Catholic Church in Scotland", Bishop Devine had 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."
Bishop Devine emphasised the danger to the Christian community of failing to recognise the power and organisation of the gay movement. "I take it you’re beginning to see that there is a huge and well-orchestrated conspiracy taking place which the Catholic community completely missed," he said. "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."
Callow continued, "I think they [the Catholic Church] are really shocked at how quickly the world has moved on, especially as it isn’t the world they would like it to be, so they cite biblical incidents as being the word of God."