Worshippers in the Catholic church's 500 parishes in Scotland heard one of the strongest attacks yet on the government's plan to legalize same-sex marriage when priests read aloud a letter from the Bishops' Conference of Scotland during services on 26 August 2012 - writes Trevor Grundy.
The letter highlighted the church's "deep disappointment that the Scottish Government has decided to redefine marriage and legislate for same-sex marriage."
The church had declared 26 August National Marriage Sunday, and called on politicians throughout the United Kingdom to "sustain rather than subvert marriage."
The Scottish Government has pledged to bring forward a bill on gay marriage later this year and has indicated that wedding ceremonies could take place by the start of 2015. It also announced a National Commission for marriage and the Family to co-ordinate a campaign against gay marriage.
Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Scotland's most senior churchman, last week broke off further discussions on the issue with the First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmon.
"The Church's teaching on marriage is unequivocal. It is uniquely the union of a man and a woman and it is wrong that governments, politicians, or parliaments should seek to alter or destroy that reality," said O'Brien.
Tom French of The Equality Network, which is campaigning to support same sex marriage in Scotland, told ENInews: "It is increasingly clear that the Church has an anti-gay agenda that it wants to impose on the rest of society."
[With acknowledgements to ENInews. ENInews , formerly Ecumenical News International, is jointly sponsored by the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Communion of Reformed Churches, and the Conference of European Churches.]