The Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis has claimed that Satan is the source of sodomy and marriage equality.

Archbishop John Nienstedt, who has held the position since 2008, claimed that Satan, the “Father of Lies,” was responsible for the redefinition of marriage in his home state of Minnesota, which began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on August 1st.

Having previously campaigned against marriage equality in the state, Archbishop Nienstadt wrote in Legatus Magazine that traditional values were now under attack:

“Today many evil forces have set their sights on the dissolution of marriage and the debasing of family life. Sodomy, abortion, contraception, pornography, the redefinition of marriage, and the denial of objective truth are just some of the forces threatening the stability of our civilisation.

“The source of these machinations is none other than the Father of Lies. Satan knows all too well the value that the family contributes to the fabric of a good solid society, as well as the future of God’s work on earth.”

Bob Shine and Francis DeBernardo of New Ways Ministry, a forum for building bridges between the Catholic Church and LGBT community, responded that Archbishop Nienstedt’s “shrill rhetoric on marriage has not only been largely ineffective in preventing marriage equality laws, but it can also be seen as pastorally harmful.

“What bishops don’t seem to realise is that many of their church members sincerely and consciously support marriage equality.”

Minnesota became the twelfth US state to allow marriage in May, after Governor Mark Daynton signed the bill into law.

Archbishop Nienstedt had been a vocal opponent of the bill, and last year wrote an open letter to Catholics in Minnesota urging them to vote in favour of a constitutional ban on equal marriage.

Recently, a church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was vandalised for a third time, leading police to believe the church was being targeted due to its support of equal marriage.