The Church has rejected a support of gay, single and cohabiting parents in the UK by a body it partly funds, saying children need the stability that can only be offered by having parents of opposite genders.
Terry Prendergast of Marriage Care, which is partly funded by donations from Catholic dioceses, said there was no evidence children were harmed by having same sex parents, BBC reported.
He said in a speech at a gay Catholics conference last week that there was no evidence to show that children of same sex parents suffered in any way, and that the elements that made for successful child rearing were stable relationships.
He said families "other than the married man, woman and added child" find themselves "discriminated against and denigrated," the Catholic News Agency reports. Those in non-traditional families "attempt to live out good, Catholic lives whilst being judged and bracketed by those in authority, or those who appear to have reached the Kingdom already."
The Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales has insisted that the views expressed by Terry Prendergast about the definition of family and marriage are clearly not a reflection of the Church's teaching, nor those of the Bishops' Conference.
In a statement, the organisation acknowledged that although it was difficult to define what a family was, the Church still believed that stability for children came from having parents of opposite genders who could provide different role models, the BBC report adds.
Marriage Care, which grew from the Church's pastoral response to couples facing marriage problems, provides counselling and support for family relationships and marriage preparation through a network of volunteers and a telephone helpline.
The Catholic News Agency report also quoted a UK Centre for Social Justice report "Every Family Matters", on the family in Britain, which reportedly shows that children brought up by married parents are uniformly more successful.
The report says British children in a "lone parent" family are 75 percent more likely to fail at school, 70 percent more likely to become a drug addict, 50 percent more likely to develop an alcohol problem and 35 percent more likely to experience unemployment and welfare dependency, the news agency reported.
Some 70 percent of young criminal offenders come from single parent families, it added.
Church rejects gay parents claims (BBC)
Married man and woman 'gold standard' in childrearing, critics of British official say (Catholic News Agency)