As a Nigerian gay man, forced to flee my homeland after standing up for the human rights of LGBTI people there, I have been following the “Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family” taking place in Rome, with great interest.

I am appalled but not surprised that it was African Roman Catholic Bishops who fought hardest against paragraphs in the Relation Synodi which extended a loving hand to gay people.

In Nigeria, gay people now face beatings, torture and exile, as a consequence of absurd and farcical laws forbidding two men from even holding hands.

Gay Marriage

When African church leaders should be standing up for human rights, and protecting gay people, they have become modern Pharisees, using idiotic and outdated interpretations of scripture to support crass prejudice.

I am thoroughly ashamed of them. Instead of basing their ministry on love, they are stoking the fires of destruction, for others and ultimately for themselves. Jesus said “Love thy neighbour as thyself”.

What part of this don’t you understand your Graces? Listen to your master. Listen to your Holy Father. Listen and learn.

Davis Mac-Iyalla