A row has emerged between senior bishops of Scotland’s Catholic Church over the denomination’s stance on homosexuality.

The debate centres around comments from outspoken Bishop of Motherwell Joseph Devine, who has accused the Church of a “policy of appeasement” after he claims it does not speak out enough against homosexuality.

Bishop Devine has been vocal recently in his opposition to allowing gay couples adoption rights, and in a letter to Church liaison officer, John Deighan, accused him of being bribed by the Scottish Executive, The Scotsman reports.

The letter said: “They feared there would be a serious risk of the Executive reneging on its intimation to exempt the two Scottish Catholic adoption agencies from the requirements of the Adoption bill, should the Church put the Executive on the rack in the media.

“But I was not prepared to be part of this policy of appeasement.”

However, Cardinal Keith O’Brien and Archbishop of Glasgow Mario Conti are reported to have had enough of the snappy bishop, they supported Mr Deighan in a public statement, “John Deighan enjoys the full support of the [Bishops'] Conference to whom he continues to provide an informed and valuable service.

“This work, together with the efforts of individual bishops, has ensured that relations with the Scottish Executive and the Scottish Parliament remain constructive and cordial.

The bishops said they are prepared to work constructively with politicians.

The statement is likely to leave Bishop Devine red faced as he has recently spoken out against the Scottish Executive labelling them a bunch of “politically correct zealots