Pope Benedict XVI’s gay stance is as bad as prejudices of “Hitler and Himmler” in Nazi Germany, according to an Irish Senator.

Senator David Norris criticise the pontiff over his constant condemnation of homosexuality and refused to take “moral instructions from a man with a swastika on his arms.”

He referred to the Pope’s former membership of the Hitler Youth Movement in Germany in the 1940s and labelled Vatican statements on homosexuality as “objectively evil” and “intrinsically disordered” and “in line with the prejudices that included Hitler and Himmler.”

The outspoken politician highlighted problems with homosexuality in all religions at a theological debate in Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, Ireland.

His comments sparked fierce debates at the meeting where he praised Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, who have acknowledged the need for social and legal rights for gays and others in committed but non-constitutional relationships

Mr Norris told the Irish Independent that he expected his remarks to cause offence, but he felt it was his duty to continue to criticise attitudes against gays which were against society’s common good.

Last year a Jewish Reform Rabbi, Eric Yoffie alluded the attitude of American ‘religious right’ leaders toward gays and lesbians akin to the anti-gay policies promoted by Adolf Hitler.