Malta’s Auxiliary Bishop has said that any Catholic MPs in the country who vote for an upcoming civil unions bill will commit a “grave moral act” by doing so.

Bishop Charles Scicluna in his latest outburst has condemned the idea of any Catholic MP voting for the legislation which would allow civil unions for gay couples as well as gay adoption.

A bill to introduce civil unions for gay couples in Malta is currently at its second reading in Malta.

He last week said that Pope Francis was “shocked” by plans to introduce adoption laws for same-sex couples to the country, urging the bishop to do more to speak out against the legislation.

This revelation prompted calls for Time magazine’s Person of the Year Award to be revoked.

The equality commission in Malta also condemned such statements “against the recognition of same-sex families” and said that it is the human right of same-sex couples to be given the right to adopt.

Bishop Scicluna, however in February stepped in to condemn a provocative letter written by zealous Catholic churchgoer Joe Zammit who claimed there can only be lust and not love between gay people.

Malta’s Catholic bishops last month expressed concern over the country’s proposed civil partnership bill, stating “Children should preferably be brought up by their parents, a man and a woman.”

Malta’s Equality Minister Helena Dalli told a press conference last month that the Civil Unions Bill will recognise same-sex partnerships and give them the same rights and duties as married heterosexual couples – including the right to adopt children.

Bishop Scicluna, however in February stepped in to condemn a provocative letter written by zealous Catholic churchgoer Joe Zammit who claimed there can only be lust and not love between gay people.

Malta’s Catholic bishops last month expressed concern over the country’s proposed civil partnership bill, stating “Children should preferably be brought up by their parents, a man and a woman.”