The Right Reverend Mark Davies, Bishop of Shrewsbury, has once again preached an attack on the government’s equal marriage bill, less than a week after it was supported by MPs in the House of Commons.

Last year, Bishop Davies used his Christmas mass to liken equal marriage to other “inhuman ideologies” such as Nazism.

His mass followed the Christmas speech of Pope Benedict XVI, who issued another attack on marriage equality and said people were manipulating their sexual orientation to alter God-given nature.

Today the Pope announced that he would resign on 28 February due to ill health.

In a mass at Chester on Sunday, Bishop Davies told the crowd of 300 that Culture Secretary Maria Miller had shown “ignorance” when she warned the bill’s opposition that they were on “the wrong side of history”.

He said: “As Christians, we must never fear being on the wrong side of any moment of history but we do fear being on the wrong side of eternity. And our society should surely fear placing its trust in passing ideologies.”

Bishop Davies argued that same-sex marriage was a “false” equality that didn’t match up to Christian ideology.

He said: “Today the church must defend marriage again, in the face of a false understanding of equality. As Christians we believe in a radical equality: recognising that every human person without exception, is created in the image and likeness of God, redeemed and loved by Christ and called to eternal life”.

He also praised local Tory MPs who had voted against the bill, including Environment Secretary Owen Paterson and Mark Pritchard.

“I wish to pay public tribute to those members of parliament across the Shrewsbury Diocese who, in the face of many pressures, stood up for the meaning and identity of marriage and defended the religious freedom of future generations. Such politicians deserve our gratitude and our support for their courageous and principled stand.

“As our country drifts away from its Christian foundation, then surely our Christian witness to marriage becomes more not less important for generations to come,” Bishop Davies said.

In September last year, Bishop Davies called the bill “a gathering storm for believers.”