British bishop suspended over royal wedding slur
A British bishop has been suspended after admitting making "deeply offensive" comments on Twitter and Facebook about the forthcoming marriage of Prince William, the Church of England said Tuesday.
Peter Broadbent, the bishop of Willesden in north London, predicted the prince's marriage next April to Kate Middleton would only last seven years and branded the royal family "shallow celebrities" in a series of online rants.
In a statement, the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, said he was "appalled" at the remarks and had asked Broadbent to withdraw from public work.
"I have now had an opportunity to discuss with Bishop Peter how his comments came to be made and I have noted his unreserved apology," he said.
"Nevertheless, I have asked him to withdraw from public ministry until further notice."
Chartres said he had greeted last week's news about the royal engagement with joy and had been in contact with William's office to "express my own dismay on behalf of the Church" about the bishop's comments.
William and Kate announced their engagement last week and said Tuesday they would marry on April 29 next year at Westminster Abbey.
Broadbent was forced to apologise on Monday after his remarks appeared in a British newspaper over the weekend.
As the engagement was announced, he remarked on microblogging site Twitter: "Need to work out what date in the spring or summer I should be booking my republican day trip to France..."
In comments reported by the Daily Mail newspaper, he made follow-up postings on the Facebook social networking site, saying the royal family cost the public too much to support and branding them "shallow celebrities."
Another post said: "I give the marriage seven years."
He also referred to William's parents, Prince Charles and the late Diana, princess of Wales, who divorced in 1996, as "Big Ears and the Porcelain Doll."
In a statement Monday, he offered Charles, William and his fiancee his "sincere regrets for the distress caused by my remarks", adding that the comments "were deeply offensive, and I apologise unreservedly for the hurt caused".
© 2010 AFP