A gay group has launched an attack on the Pope days before his Good Friday speech where he is expected to condemn gay civil partnerships as “satanic.”

The Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association (GALHA) has branded the pontiff’s remarks as “verging on the unhinged.”

In his message, Pope Benedict XVI will say that “aggression against the family”

is a “diabolical project,” in what appears to be an allusion to another attack on the legal recognition of gay partnerships around Europe, including Britain.

The outcome of this tolerance, he will say, is “an absurd cult of Satan, a mad desire for transgression, a false liberty without conscience, that exalts caprice, vice and selfishness.”

GALHA’s secretary George Broadhead said: “We are well aware that the Pope is totally opposed to the rights of gay people, but these latest pronouncements verge on the unhinged. His inhumane arguments against the recognition of gay partnerships have been widely disregarded, even in traditionally Catholic countries, like Spain, and his frustration is beginning to show in the

increasingly extreme language he is employing.

“The Pope’s apparent psychotic hatred of gays may not be quite on the same level as that of the Grand Ayatollah of Iraq, who recently issued a fatwa saying that homosexual should be killed in the cruellest ways imaginable, but it springs from the same well of religious intolerance.”

Mr Broadhead added: “Gay Catholics should think long and hard before continuing to support their church with money and other resources, until these vile outbursts stop and the Church moderates its stance on gay rights.”