An anti-gay Catholic group in France has snapped up a local gay bar at auction.

After the owners of ‘Texas bar’ in the city of Toulon filed for bankruptcy, the premises was auctioned off and sold to the highest bidder.

The Missionaries of Divine Mercy – a hardline Catholic group that owned the Church next door – snapped up the location in the auction.

They said in a statement: “The Missionaries of Divine Mercy are delighted to announce the purchase of Texas Bar, the famous bar of the Toulon gay community, which is located next door to our church, Saint-François de Paule.

“The bar had been placed into compulsory liquidation… the other potential buyers, who had intended to bid a more significant sum than ours, were kind enough to let us have the bar when thy saw us praying during the auction.

“A diocesan priest from Toulon, a friend of the community, has made a donation of €15,000 for this acquisition.

“The importance of this place for the evangelisation of the neighbourhood is clear. The bar of Sodom will now become the pub of Mercy.

Local gay rights activist Titi told the Local: “I would have preferred if someone else got it but they’ve wanted the place for years.

“To them, it’s like Satan is right next to their church.”

“They’ll need a whole bunch of exorcists to get rid of everything that’s happened in there.”

The group plans to use the bar as a meeting place – purportedly ending its status as a popular hangout for gay men… in favour of Catholic priests.

(Translation: Morgan Haxby)