Redefining marriage so that couples of the same sex can get married could have a “massive impact” on society, the Scottish Government has been warned.
The Government, led by the Scottish National Party (SNP), is currently holding a consultation on whether to rewrite the definition of marriage.
The Roman Catholic Bishop of Paisley met the SNP’s deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon to discuss the controversial plans last week.
John Deighan, the Roman Catholic bishop’s parliamentary officer, described the meeting, saying: “The bishop said the Church is against this because it will be fundamentally damaging to society and the government.
“If you look at the number of civil partnerships taking place it’s tiny, yet this change could have massive impact on the society far beyond those numbers.
“Marriage is a fundamental human institution based on the socialising of children and that needs to be respected.”
During the meeting the SNP’s deputy leader said that the Government had looked at the timetable for bringing forward legislation to change the definition of marriage.
However, she also took pains to stress that no decision has yet been taken on the proposed legislation.
Last month Sir Tom Farmer, the millionaire founder of Kwik-Fit and a SNP donor, criticised the party’s plans to redefine marriage.
The 71-year-old also suggested that the Scottish Government had “alienated” itself from “large parts of the population”.
In September Cardinal Keith O’Brien, head of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, warned that redefining marriage would lead to homosexual behaviour being normalised in the nation’s schools.
He said: “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”.