Roman Catholic priests have been banned from using 'heterosexist' language in their churches in case they offend gay worshippers. They have been told by their bishops not to assume that every churchgoer is a heterosexual and to reflect this 'in language and conversation'. 'Remember that homophobic jokes and asides can be cruel and hurtful - a careless word can mean another experience of rejection and pain,' say the bishops in a leaflet advising priests and worshippers how to be more welcoming to gay people. Priests are also encouraged to put up posters advertising 'support services' for homosexuals, a move bound to infuriate many Catholics who believe gay sexual activity to be sinful. The advice was welcomed by gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell as a 'positive initiative which will bring great comfort to gay Catholics and their families'.