A Church of England vicar who wrote a homophobic rant on his blog and then tried to claim he has “nothing against” gay people will not be sacked from his regular column in a local newspaper.

Peter Barron, editor of the Northern Echo, described Rev Peter Mullen’s blog entry as “ill-advised comments” but has decided to continue to employ him.

“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,” wrote Rev Mullen. His blog entries have now been deleted.

In others he called gay people an unnatural perversion and wrote a poem about the blessing of the civil partnership of two gay priests in which he used derogatory language.

His Northern Echo columns can be read here. His latest is entitled “Losing Sight of Reality.”

The 66-year-old, rector of St Michael’s Cornhill and St Sepulchre without Newgate in the City, is a leading traditionalist who is hostile to women priests.

After being summoned to a meeting with Diocese of London officials to explain his homophobic outbursts, Rev Mullen said:

“I did not intend to cause offence when I made some joking remarks about homosexuals. I was not actually meaning to criticise individual homosexual persons, but the promoters of gay culture.

“However, my remarks have caused offence and for this I am sorry and make a full and complete apology.”

Rev Mullen also claimed he was trying to be funny when he suggested gay people be permanently marked with warning signs.

“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,” he said, according to The Daily Telegraph.

“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.”

However, in an article for The Telegraph in March he showed his true colours.

“(The Church) has connived with the destructive sexual and social revolution begun in the 1960s,” he wrote.

“Back then, I voted for homosexuality to be decriminalised. But this meant “between consenting adults in private” – where “between” meant two, “adults” meant men over 21 and “private” meant behind locked doors.

“I did not foresee the obscene and coercive “Gay Pride” pantomimes that now disfigure our high streets.

“How long before I am carted from the pulpit to the nick for preaching that sodomy is not morally equivalent to Christian marriage?”