A large crowd outside St Mary Magdalen's Church, Brighton, led by campaigner Peter Tatchell demonstrated throughout the night over plans by the parish Priest not to have Benediction this week.
Tatchell, who has recently been involved in a controversial Channel 4 programme on the Papacy, was a surprise member of the demonstration, having campaigned for years for gay rights.
Tatchell, speaking yesterday, said, "It's about time Our Blessed Lord came out of the 'closet' and was exposed for the worship and adoration of the faithful Catholic community. The fact that this Priest wants, this week, to keep Him in the closet is a disgrace."
With chants of 'Our Blessed Lord: Out, Out, Out', and 'What do we want? Benediction. When do we want it? Now!' the crowd consisting of young and old men and women, united in their grief that there is to be no Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament this week, held a peaceful vigil outside the Church throughout the night.
The Priest was unavailable for comment but Fr Ray Blake, no stranger to controversy in Brighton, did issue a formal statement: 'Can you keep the noise down out there, I'm trying to get some sleep. Benediction will be back on next week, for goodness sake. I will hear your Confessions then and yes, Our Blessed Lord shall be placed on the Altar for adoration, I promise.'
Hit 1970s band, Village People, added their voices to the chorus of disapproval. Felipe Rose, the 'native american' said, "Where can a 'young man' find refuge in the stormy seas of Brighton, amid the choppy waters of vice, temptation and sin, if not in God's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church?! To those men I say, 'Young man, there's no need to feel down,' for the Lord Jesus Himself is waiting for you at Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, where you can pour out your heart to Him and find refuge in the shadow of His wings. Also, it is a truth of the Most Holy Faith to say that in the Sacrament of Penance you can 'get yourself clean'. I'm dedicating YMCA to these brave protesters at our next gig in Cologne."