Father Ray Blake at St Mary Magdalen Church in Brighton
- Father Ray Blake from St. Magdalen’s in Brighton said those living on the streets were sent by God to test his faith
- The outspoken Catholic cleric called one who pleaded for change an 'irritating little b*****d'
- He claimed the destitute 'ring the door bell every hour day and night' and 'tell lies' to get cash.
As reported by the UK The Daily Mail, "'Beggar is an irritating little b******': Controversial priest launches scathing attack on 'messy' homeless people who plead for money in his church," by Wills Robinson, on 5 September 2013 -- A priest has launched an attack on the poor and homeless describing them as ‘lying and messy’ people sent by God to test his faith.
Outspoken Father Ray Blake even said one who regularly turned up at his church pleading for money was ‘an irritating little b******d’.
He accused the beggar of making a mess of his prayers as he passed his cap around his congregation looking for donations.
The controversial Catholic cleric said in a blog post: 'The trouble with the poor is that they are messy.
'There is a secluded area between the church and our hall, a passage, occasionally we find someone has got a few cardboard boxes together and has slept there, and if it has been raining leaves a sodden blanket, cardboard there to be cleaned up.
'Often it also smells of urine and there is often excrement there and sometimes a used needle or two.'
Father Blake, who is priest at St. Magdalen’s Church in Brighton, East Sussex, made his outburst in a lengthy blog post titled The Trouble With the Poor.
He describes how the destitute 'ring the door bell at every hour of the day and night' and 'tell lies' to get cash.
Father Blake also singles out one homeless man who interrupts his services by launching his own collection.
He wrote: 'During the silence of the Canon the man will pray aloud: ‘Jesus, I want you to bless Father Ray and God, can you persuade the good people here to give to the poor - I am poor’.
'Unchecked he will take his cap off and have a collection. It makes a mess of our prayers - it stops some coming to Mass here.'
Referring to other homeless people, he added: 'They tell you their Gran is dying in Southampton and they need the train fare.
'You give it to them and if you don’t find them drunk in the street they are back the next day and the other Gran is dying in Hastings this time.'
The priest ends his blog: 'My big difficulty with confession at the moment is that I have grown complacent in my lifestyle - I don’t want it changed.
'The message of the Gospels seems to be to let the poor into it to mess it up a little.'
Father Blake has caused controversy before in another of his blog pieces called Feeling Sorry for Jon Venables, one of the killers of toddler James Bulger.
He said it must be 'horrendous' for Venables to wake up each morning as a hate figure.
In the past he has also labelled gay people 'hedonistic' and complained local politicians pandered to the 'gay lobby' and are 'ignorant of our faith'.
Asked about his latest comments, Father Blake admitted he often found poor people 'quite a trial' to deal with.
He said: 'We have a duty to care for the poor because it teaches us to be human. It leads us to a greater understanding.
'However I sometimes think they are sent to test my holiness. The man who comes into my church and disturbs Mass, for instance, is an irritating little b*****d.'
'You can con yourself that you love them, but they do sometimes create difficulties.'
The comments come the day after Father George Gebauer, 87 from St Mary’s Church in Warsash, Hampshire said he felt sorry for gay people because they were medically ‘imbalanced’.
He refused to conduct a baptism ceremony when two women asked for their child to be christened claiming it could be ‘illegal’ to proceed in the way they wanted. (source: The Daily Mail)