The media in the Vatican has likened moves towards equal marriage to a communist-like “utopia”, and said that the Catholic Church will not accept “fashionable” changes in favour of equality.

The Vatican’s semi-official newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, said that gay couples were living in “a different reality” to straight couples, and equated efforts for marriage equality to an “unattainable utopia”, reported the Hindu Business Line.

“It is upsetting because in taking this position, the most banal politically correct arguments were used,” the Osservatore Romano said, adding: “Being Catholic is about much more than embracing fashionable cultural standpoints.”

“We cannot base a society on these foundations without then paying a very high price as happened in the past when there was an attempt to achieve total economic and social equality,” the paper said.

“Why repeat the same mistake and chase after an unattainable utopia?”

On Friday, in a message for World Day of Peace 2013, Pope Benedict XVI described same-sex marriage as a threat to justice and peace, adding that it will spark harm for society.

Then on Sunday, as the Pope said his weekly prayer, a dozen peaceful protesters were stopped by police from demonstrating outside St Peter’s Square, had their placards confiscated and were detained for questioning.

Pope Benedict XVI was also pictured giving a blessing to Rebecca Kadaga, the Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament, who promised to pass the country’s notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill as a “Christmas gift”.

On 14 November, following marriage equality victories in the US, the Vatican, in what appeared to be an effort to brush off the moves towards equality, launched a new wave of efforts to strenghthen its opposition to LGBT rights, using newspapers and radio broadcasts to describe equal marriage as ”intrinsically disordered”, and to compare it to polygamy and polyandry.