A CATHOLIC Bishop has said marriage could be “destroyed” if David Cameron pushes ahead with allowing same-sex weddings.

The Rt Rev Philip Egan, Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth, has said the plans to extend the right to marry would have “catastrophic consequences”.

The Diocese of Portsmouth covers Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, the Channel Isles but also parts of Berkshire, Dorset and Oxfordshire.

He writes in response to the Prime Minister and Witney MP’s backing for a role for churches in performing same-sex marriage ceremonies.

The Bishop wrote: “Such a change is of immense significance. By this change, he is luring the people of England away from their common Christian values and Christian patrimony, and forcing upon us a brave new world, artificially engineered.

“If the Prime Minister proceeds with his intentions, he will pervert authentic family values, with catastrophic consequences for the well-being and behaviour of future generations.”

His office declined to comment on the Bishop’s comments, but last week David Cameron said: “I'm a massive supporter of marriage and I don't want gay people to be excluded from a great institution.”