In not the first attack of its kind, the semi-official newspaper of the Vatican has likened global moves towards marriage equality to 20th century socialist promises which “deceived humanity”.

As the front page article of L’Osservatore Romano, historian Lucetta Scaraffia, a 64-year-old former feminist activist who later became a fervent Catholic, wrote on the issue, reports the State Journal Register. 

She wrote that the idea of marriage equality came from the same “egalitarian utopia that did so much damage during the 20th century … deceiving humanity as socialism did in the past.”

She went on to write that a marriage between two people of the same sex equated a “negation of truth,” which would undermine “one of the basic structures of human society, family.”

Just before Christmas, the paper 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.

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.

Prior to that, in what was seen as an effort to downplay the victory of equal marriage efforts in the US, Ms Scaraffia wrote that the Catholic Church had emerged in recent years as the only institution on the global stage that’s capable of resisting the forces that threaten to “break up … human society,” such as equal marriage.

Despite claims by the Vatican that it is winning Catholics, and non-Catholics alike on the issue of marriage equality, as well as three US states legalising marriage equality, Spain’s highest court also threw out an appeal by conservatives to overturn the country’s seven-year-long marriage equality law.

In France, President Francois Holland unveiled France’s proposed equal marriage bill, which is expected to pass, and in the UK, same-sex couples are set to be allowed to marry, under plans announced by Culture Secretary Maria Miller in the House of Commons in late December.

In December, gay rights campaigners held a protest near St Peter’s Square, during the Pope’s weekly prayers, after he said that legalising marriage equality “threatened the institute of marriage”.

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

He 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”.