Germany: Catholic priest muzzled for speaking at anti-Islam protest as further rallies planned

A Catholic priest in Germany has been banned from preaching after speaking at an anti-Islam protest.

Father Paul Spaetling had taken part in a rally in the western city of Duisburg on Monday. It was organized by a group that associates itself with the organization Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West, or PEGIDA, which has staged large weekly rallies in Dresden for about three months.

The diocese of Muenster said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press on Wednesday that it rejected Spaetling's comments about Islam.

The bishop of Muenster, Felix Genn, says he's withdrawing Spaetling's right to preach or speak on behalf of the church.

Another PEGIDA-related group is planning to hold a protest in Leipzig late Wednesday, saying it expects tens of thousands to attend.