Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, said yesterday: "This is dismal news indeed. Why Britain should seek to laud such a nasty extremist is beyond me.Amen, Brother.
"We should not forget that his 'teachings' have resulted in the banning of condoms in countries where HIV is decimating the populations.
"He encourages population growth in places where starvation is common. He persecutes homosexuals, treats women as second-class citizens, has colluded in the large-scale cover-up of child abuse and his church interferes illegitimately in politics and undermines democracy.
"It siphons huge amounts of money out of poverty-stricken economies - what is there to celebrate about such a bigot?
"We will be joining other groups in protesting against the celebration of this ghastly man's presence here."