The head of
Scotland's Roman Catholics says the U.K. government is
undermining marriage, TheTimes of London reported Tuesday.
In his New Year's Day homily at St. Mary's
Cathedral in Edinburgh, Cardinal Keith O'Brien was
especially critical of U.K. lawmakers for approving
civil partnerships for gay and lesbian couples. He says that
the U.K. government has "promoted alternative
lifestyles while undermining values which for
generations have been treasured," according to the newspaper.
The cardinal said that the family remains "the
basic social unit" and "sadly, we live at a time when
the truth of marriage and family is obscured and
distorted. Human societies throughout history and across
cultures have flourished only when they have built their
human relationships on the rock of marriage."
Gay rights groups were furious over the
comments, the newspaper reported. "These
Vatican-inspired attacks are reaching a level that could
lead to an escalation of violence against gay people.
The Catholic Church has used increasingly extreme
language in its attempts to hold back progress for the
gay community," George Broadhead of the Gay and Lesbian
Humanist Association told the Times.