The head of the Catholic Church in Scotland, Cardinal Keith O'Brien has set up a new body to support marriage and the family.
The new Commission for Marriage and the Family will be led by a bishop and composed mostly of lay people. It will produce materials and organise events "which will support ordinary Catholic families in their daily lives".
In a letter to launch the new body, the Scottish bishops said that it will be charged with "engaging with those young men and women who will be future husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, and with those who already live out their vocation to marriage and parenthood in surroundings which often make it hard to sustain and develop the full Catholic family life we cherish".
The Commission, it added, would "promote the true nature of marriage as both a human institution and a union blessed by Jesus. The Commission will be asked to develop an online presence so that prayer, reflection, formation and practical information on matters to do with marriage and family life can be quickly accessible to all".
Cardinal O'Brien called on MPs to "sustain rather than subvert marriage".
The move came after he suspended face-to-face meetings with Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond over the Scottish Assembly’s determination to legalise gay marriage.
According to Church spokesman Peter Kearney, the step has been taken because key issues are being “completely ignored”.
Cardinal O’Brien says his officials can continue the meetings, but he himself has put face-to-face communication over the issue on hold.
Mr Kearney, said it was “difficult when you feel all the things you have to say, to date at least, have been completely ignored.”
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Kearney commented: “Cardinal O’Brien is really keen that the perspective and the position of the Catholic church is conveyed to the Scottish Government, but he isn’t convinced that he necessarily has to do that in person.”
He also said: “We really need the Government to address the substance of our concerns. The Government talks about protecting religious celebrants, but for us that is a complete red herring.
“We want to stop hearing it. Our concern is about the wider impact on society.
“For example, it will presumably become illegal for a teacher to tell a child that marriage is the relationship between a man and a woman.
“What will be done to protect their religious convictions or prevent them from using a same-sex storybook?”
Meanwhile, polls are showing that many of Britain five million weekly churchgoers will desert the Conservative Party over their plans to legalise same-sex marrige.
A new survey, conducted by polling company ComRes shows that nearly 60 per cent of churchgoers say they are less likely to vote for the Conservatives at the next General Election because of the party’s bid to redefine marriage.
Labour and the Liberal Democrats are also set to be abandoned by churchgoers at the ballot box over the issue, but the biggest impact is likely to be felt by the Conservatives.
The poll also found that 86 per cent of respondents believe attempts to exempt churches from carrying out homosexual weddings could not be relied upon.