He said that no one was “smart enough” to create something so “ingenious.”

A Canadian Catholic priest, Jerome Lavigne, is coming under fire after telling children as young as six that the Pride flag was designed by Satan. He was speaking at a school in the publicly funded Calgary Catholic School District.

The Star Calgary reports that Lavinge told the children that the flag represents “lawlessness” and a “break from the natural order.” He also said that the idea for the flag couldn’t have come from Gilbert Baker, as it was “way too ingenious… No-one is that smart.”

He added: “There is only one who twists truth to this level. And his name, his name is Satan.”

Responding to his comments, Kristopher Wells, an associate professor at the MacEwan University said: “These kind of comments make it open season on LGBTQ youth, saying it’s OK to openly discriminate against them.

“It’s not fine to bring those beliefs into a public school environment … These are the kinds of comments that breed hatred, violence and discrimination.”

The church that Lavigne is associated with didn’t apologise for his comments, instead releasing a statement saying that it “advocates that we live together in an atmosphere of peace, safety and respect for the dignity of one another regardless of age, ancestry, body image, culture, sexual orientation and religion.”

Recent homophobic sermons given by Lavinge have since begun resurfacing following his comments. In a February sermon, he said: “Globally, that symbol [the Pride flag] serves to represent, to promote, to promulgate, to defend at all costs lawlessness.”

In a sermon titled, the Origins of Evil, given in September, Lavigne said there was “no such thing as ‘God made me this way,'” when it came to sexual identity and there was no justification for “depraved, intrinsically and gravely disordered actions.”