The Bishop of Portsmouth, Philip Egan, has accused MPs of acting in an Orwellian manner after a majority of MPs last night voted in favour of gay marriage.
"I am very disappointed that Parliament wishes, in an Orwellian manner, to redefine the concept of marriage for England and Wales," he wrote.
"It is now clear that the Catholic view of Matrimony will in future differ markedly from what society will call marriage," he said, restating his concern that the introduction of gay marriage could lead to the Catholic Church being forced to withdraw from the civil registration of marriages.
Meanwhile the vice-president of the bishops' conference, Archbishop Peter Smith, said yesterday's debate had shown that the Government "has not thought through a number of profound problems in the Bill" and expressed the hope that concerns raised by the Church and others would be considered during the next stages of the its passage through Parliament.
Above: CNS photo/Chris Helgren, Reuters