First Minister banned from Pope visit

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FIRST Minister Alex Salmond has been banned from meeting the Pope as a result of his plans to legalise gay marriage.

It had been thought Mr Salmond would meet with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican ahead of the independence referendum. But the move has now been vetoed by Catholic leaders who said it would send out the ‘wrong message’ after the SNP gave it’s backing to same-sex weddings.

The snub is a blow to Mr Salmond as he launched the independence campaign today. Discussions about a trip to Rome had started shortly after the Pope’s visit to Scotland in 2010.

A senior church official said: “The Vatican was keen but same-sex marriage completely destroyed it.”