The Vatican’s semi-official newspaper has taken a swipe at French President Francois Hollande, claiming that he ignored the “many voices” of French people who opposed equal marriage.

The Osservatore Romano on Wednesday published a piece which accused the French President of ignoring the wishes of French citizens, and causing divisions in French society.

“The government of President Hollande, who has strongly supported the bill, did not pay attention to the many voices in recent months from many sectors of French society. And not only by Catholics,” the newspaper said.

The ruling Socialist party and their allies in the lower house of the National Assembly passed the bill 331 in favour – 225 against, giving same-sex couples the legal right to marry and adopt children.

France’s former Catholic leader, André Vingt-Trois, who last week stepped down as Archbishop of Paris, also accused Hollande’s government of “refusing all differences between the sexes”.

In a continuation of what some critics have said is inciting violence, he said that the refusal would “frustrate personal expression … That is how you prepare a society of violence.”

Tensions caused by the bill were so high “legions” of police officers gathered outside the National Assembly with water cannons while the vote took place.

Following the vote, riot police charged several times to attempt to clear protesters from Les Invalides, however they were forced to move down to the banks of the river Seine, where more violent clashes took place.

President Hollande today expressed his wish for French residents to put the division of the debate behind them. and asked to move on to tackling economic issues.

“Today more than ever the country must rally behind what is expected by many of our countrymen: jobs, recovery and confidence,” he said.

The final remaining step before the bill becomes law is for it to be signed by President Hollande, who gave his formal approval to the bill last November.