Homophobic ‘tattoo’ vicar claims he was attacking “promoters of gay culture”

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A Church of England priest has apologised for a blog posting in which he called for gay people to be tattooed with health warnings.

Rev Peter Mullen, who is chaplain to the London Stock Exchange, admitted he had caused offence and apologised, calling his comments “injudicious.”

“I did not intend to cause offence when I made some joking remarks about homosexuals. I was not actually meaning to criticise individual homosexual persons, but the promoters of gay culture,” he said.

“However, my remarks have caused offence and for this I am sorry and make a full and complete apology.”

The 66-year-old, rector of St Michael’s Cornhill and St Sepulchre without Newgate in the City, is a leading traditionalist who is hostile to women priests.

“Let us make it obligatory for homosexuals to have their backsides tattooed with the slogan SODOMY CAN SERIOUSLY DAMAGE YOUR HEALTH and their chins with FELLATIO KILLS,” he wrote.

His blog entries have now been deleted.

In others he called gay people an unnatural perversion and wrote a poem about the blessing of the civil partnership of two gay priests in which he used derogatory language.

Mullen was summoned for a meeting with London dioecesean officials last week to explain himself.

Ben Summerskill, chief executive of gay equality organisation Stonewall, said:

“If I were a vicar at the heart of the City of London, I might be praying about other things at the moment rather than getting hot under the collar about gay sex,” a reference to the turmoil in the financial markets.

A spokesman for the Bishop of London said:

“While clergy are entitled to their own personal views, we recognise that the content of this text is highly offensive and is in no way reflective of the views of the Diocese of London.”

A London Stock Exchange spokesman has pointed out that the chaplaincy is an historic title and Rev Mullen was not appointed by them and has no formal links with them.