A CHURCH of England clergyman was condemned by his own diocese today after he wrote that gay men should be forced to have sodomy warnings tattooed on their bodies.

The remarks by the Rev Peter Mullen, who ministers to parishes in the City of London and is also a columnist with The Northern Echo, were contained in a series of comments on his internet blog.

Mr Mullen, 66, wrote: "It is time that religious believers began to recommend ... discouragements of homosexual practices after the style of warnings on cigarette packets.

"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."

In the same blog, Mr Mullen called for all gay pride parades, which he branded obscene, to be outlawed.

He also condemned, in the form of a poem, the blessing of two gay priests at a wedding performed earlier this year in a City of London church, the London Evening Standard reported.

Mr Mullen told the Evening Standard that the remarks were written as a joke.

He said: "I wrote some satirical things on my blog and anybody with an ounce of sense of humour or any understanding of the tradition of English satire would immediately assume that they're light-hearted jokes.

"I certainly have nothing against homosexuals. Many of my dear friends have been and are of that persuasion.

"What I have got against them is the militant preaching of homosexuality."

But a spokeswoman for the Diocese of London said officials had met Mr Mullen and it had been agreed that the comments should be removed.

She said: "While clergy are entitled to their own personal views, we fully recognise that the content of this text is highly offensive and it is in no way reflective of the views of the Diocese of London."

Mr Mullen is listed as holding the title of chaplain to the London Stock Exchange.

But an LSE spokesman said the title was a complete misnomer.

He said: "It is a historical title which reflects the fact that the London Stock Exchange used to fall within his parish.

"There are no formal links between us and him in any way."