In its latest attempt to counter the government's desire to legalize same-sex marriage, the Scottish Roman Catholic Church staged a day of protest on Saturday, reading out loud a "strong-worded letter" in support of traditional marriage to over 500 churches.
"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," the letter stated, which was sent out and read from the pulpits to over 500 Catholic churches in the nation.
"Our faith teaches us that marriage is a great and holy mystery. The Bishops of Scotland will continue to promote and uphold the universally accepted definition of marriage as the union solely of a man and a woman," it added.
Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Scotland's most senior Catholic cleric, has noted that the relationship between the church and the government has broken down and is refusing to personally speak with officials over the issue. The Scottish government has made it clear that it wants to become the first nation in the U.K. to legalize same-sex marriage, and although officials have made attempts to try and smooth things over with the church, conservative Christians in Scotland remain firmly opposed to changing the definition of marriage.
Even after Saturday's protest, however, the government issued a statement reiterating its intentions, the Daily Mail shared. The government insisted that allowing same-sex couples marriage and religious ceremonies was "the right thing to do," although it also tried to assure churches that they will not be forced to carry out same-sex wedding ceremonies if they feel uncomfortable doing so.
"We are equally committed to protecting religious freedom and freedom of expression, and ensuring that religious celebrants opposed to same-sex marriage do not have to solemnize same-sex ceremonies," a government spokesman has said.
Despite the government's seemingly set plans, Cardinal O'Brien has promised that the Scottish Church leadership will continue doing everything it can to preserve marriage solely for monogamous heterosexual couples.
"While we pray that our elected leaders will sustain rather than subvert marriage, we promise to continue to do everything we can to convince them that redefining marriage would be wrong for society," O'Brien has said.