Bishop Richard Malone, the former Roman Catholic bishop of Maine, on Thursday spoke out against Question 1, the Maine referendum which seeks to legalize gay marriage in the state.

Malone, now the head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, New York, issued his statement through the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.

“A Catholic whose conscience has been properly formed by scripture and church teaching cannot justify a vote for a candidate or referendum question that opposes the teachings of the church,” he said. “[V]ote your faith on Nov. 6.”

“Any Catholic who supports a redefinition of marriage – or so-called 'same-sex marriage' – is unfaithful to Catholic doctrine.”

He added that the group Catholics for Marriage Equality “does not speak for the Catholic Church, any more than does 'Catholics for a Free Choice,' another dissident group that promotes so-called 'abortion rights.' Faithful Catholics will give no credence to either.”

The campaign working to approve the referendum, Mainers United for Marriage, disagreed with Malone.

“The polls show a majority of Catholics support the freedom to marry and still consider themselves to be faithful Catholics,” Matt McTighe, campaign manager for the group and a Roman Catholic, told the Bangor Daily News. “I was brought up, like most Catholics, to vote my conscience with my faith informing it.”

Opponents of marriage equality praised Malone for speaking out. Carroll Conley, co-chairman of Protect Marriage Maine, said Malone's statement “reflects the courage and character that has made Bishop Malone a stalwart, cultural warrior in the state for so many years.”

Also on Thursday, Protect Marriage Maine announced that it had received a $100,000 donation from the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization.