The Scottish Government does not deserve the support of Scotland’s 800,000 Catholics because of its proposal to permit same-sex marriage, a leading bishop has said.
The Bishop of Paisley, Philip Tartaglia (pictured), responding to a proposal of the Scottish Government to change the definition of marriage.
Bishop Tartaglia warned that “such a government does not deserve the trust which the nation – and including many in the Catholic community – has shown in it.”
In a written submission to the Scottish Government he said: “Marriage has always existed in order to bring men and women together so that the children born of those unions will have a mother and a father.”
He said: ““For that reason, same-sex unions cannot fulfill the nature and purpose of marriage. Marriage, therefore, should not be treated as an equality issue.
“A government which favours and allows for same sex ‘marriage’ does wrong. It fails in its duty to society.”
The leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, Cardinal Keith O'Brien also warned the Government that their move would have serious repercussions for Scottish schools and society.
Writing in the Scottish edition of the Mail on Sunday, he branded the proposal as a “grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right”, and warned that it would deprive some children of the opportunity to have a mother and father.
He added: “There is no question, that normalising gay marriage means normalising homosexual behaviour for public school children.
“In November 2003 after a court decision in Massachusetts to legalise gay marriage, school libraries were required to stock same-sex literature; primary school children were given homosexual fairy stories such as King & King; some high school students were even given an explicit manual of homosexual advocacy”.
He added: “Other dangers exist, if marriage can be redefined so that it no longer means a man and a woman but two men or two women, why stop there?
“Why not allow three men or a woman and two men to constitute a marriage, if they pledge their fidelity to one another? Canada has legalised homosexual marriage, and litigation is now underway in one Canadian Province to legalise polygamy.”
Previously, the Scottish Catholic Bishops' Conference issued a statement on the proposal in which they said that “no government can rewrite human nature; the family and marriage existed before the State and are built on the union between a man and woman”.
“Any attempt to redefine marriage is a direct attack on a foundational building block of society and will be strenuously opposed," they added.