(French Archbishop of Paris Cardinal Andre Vingt-trois carries a cross in the gardens of the Montmartre’s Sacre Coeur Basilica during the annual Good Friday “Stations of the Cross” procession in Paris March 29, 2013.  REUTERS/Charles Platiau)

France’s top Catholic bishop warned the government on Tuesday that legalization of same-sex marriage risked inciting violence at a time the country had more pressing economic and social problems to tackle.

Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois told a meeting of French bishops the planned marriage reform, which the government has speeded up amid mounting pressure from opponents, was a sign that society had lost its capacity to integrate different views.

Protests against the law, led by lay groups mostly backed by the Catholic Church, have become more agitated in recent days as noisy opponents rally outside the Senate and National Assembly and harass politicians supporting the reform.

Vingt-Trois, the archbishop of Paris, said the difference between the sexes was a basic human trait and denying it by legalizing marriage and adoption for homosexuals would weaken society’s ability to manage its differences peacefully.