A leading Catholic Bishop has compared the Spanish Prime Minister to Roman Emperor Caligula over Spain’s legalisation of same sex marriage.

Bishop Antonio Algora attacked José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in Spanish newspapers, he said: “If Zapatero wants to become Caligula, it’s up to him, but without doubt people will have to learn who Caligula was and what customs he imposed on Rome, it’s as simple as that.”

Caligula ruled Rome in the first century and forced soldiers and nobles alike to have sex with him. He is reported to have engaged in sadism and bestiality and reportedly raped his sisters. He is considered the most depraved Emperor of all time.

Mr Zapatero and his government refused to give in under pressure from the previous Pope, John Paul II, who was set against the introduction of gay marriage in Spain. The Catholic Church organised mass protest rallies when Spain became the third country in the world to pass a gay marriage law last year.