POLITICS

Watch The Moment Ian Paisley Called Pope John Paul II 'The Antichrist'

12/09/2014 13:08 | Updated 12 September 2014

Former Democratic Unionist Party leader Dr Ian Paisley, who passed away today, was renowned as a political firebrand.

When he was member of the European Parliament for Northern Ireland, he was beaten and hauled out by fellow parliamentarians after heckling Pope John Paul II when he came to deliver a speech back in October 1988.

Holding up a series of posters reading "Pope John Paul II ANTICHRIST", the then DUP leader shouted: "I refuse you as Christ's enemy and Antichrist with all your false doctrine."

Recalling the incident in a sermon later that month, he said: "I have some little experience of protests. I know if you go to protest with one poster it is not any good, because if they tear it down your protest is over. So I filled my pockets with posters.

"The woman reporter in the R.T.E. said I was like a conjurer, from every pocket I was bringing out posters! When one disappeared a second one took its place. When the second one disappeared, a third one took its place. With some exaggeration she said I had posters in every pocket. Well, I did not have them in every pocket, I had them in one pocket. I knew if I had them in the outside pockets they would tear them, so I had them buttoned here inside. I had folded them in such a way that they opened up almost simultaneously when I got them out of the pocket and held them up.

"Eventually I was hauled out. The Security men had allowed a vicious attack on a Member of the House, a violation of all the laws of the Parliament. Yet the President never once rebuked anybody who did the throwing of books or the vicious attack upon me physically. All he did was attack me for what I said. I sustained injuries to my legs and spine and have lodged a claim against the Parliament."

Speaking later on in a 2001 documentary on his life, The Unquiet Man, Dr Paisley expressed his pride at being "the only person to have the courage to denounce the Pope".

Dr Ian Paisley death

See also: Ian Paisley Dead: Former Democratic Unionist Party Leader Dies Aged 86

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