The leader of Rhode Island’s Roman Catholic Diocese has criticised the state’s decision to legalise equal marriage.

Bishop Thomas Tobin said he was “profoundly disappointed” Rhode Island had legalised the measure this week, while saying he prays for God’s blessings on those who have same-sex attractions.

The bishop warned Catholics to think hard about attending same-sex marriage ceremonies.

“Catholics should examine their consciences very carefully before deciding whether or not to endorse same-sex relationships or attend same-sex ceremonies, realising that to do so might harm their relationship with God and cause significant scandal to others,” he wrote in a pastoral letter.

Bishop Tobin said the Catholic Church teaches marriage rights for gay couples are a sin because it is “contrary to God’s plan for the human family.