The leader of Scotland's Catholics, Cardinal Thomas Winning, gave his backing on Sunday to a Vatican warning that Catholic legislators must not give gay relationships equal status with marriage.
   The warning came in a Vatican communique published on Friday which followed a resolution of the European Parliament in favour of giving homosexual partnerships the same rights as married couples. On Sunday Cardinal Thomas Winning gave his backing to the Vatican document, which came after an influential MP gave her support to so-called gay marriages.
   Liberal Democrat MP for Gordon, Nora Radcliffe, expressed her sympathy for the idea of civil ceremonies to recognise gay relationships, although she said they were not on the Parliament's agenda at the moment.
   In the church document, the Vatican said that recognising same sex unions would be "a serious error". The document said: "Legislators and especially Catholic parliamentarians must not favour with their vote this type of legislation since it runs contrary to the common good."
   Cardinal Winning said: "We know attempts are being made to re-define the family to include same sex relationships and that the ultimate aim is to have these arrangements recognised by law. This alarms all families in Scotland. The marriage-based family is the foundation stone on which this nation has been built."


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