Tuesday, December 25, 2012, 09:21 by PA
The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has described the Government's plans for gay marriage as undemocratic and a "shambles".
Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols made the comments in an interview with the BBC.
He said there was no mandate to enforce same-sex marriage laws.
He said: "There was no announcement in any party manifesto, no Green Paper, no statement in the Queen's Speech.
"And yet here we are on the verge of primary legislation.
"From a democratic point of view, it's a shambles.
"George Orwell would be proud of that manoeuvre. I think the process is shambolic."
The religious leader claimed that during a "period of listening", those who responded were "7-1 against same-sex marriage".