The Roman Catholic Church in France is being criticized for leading the opposition against a proposed gay marriage law.

At the church's annual plenary held in the town of Lourdes on Saturday, Paris Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois called on Catholics to oppose the measure, Reuters reported.

“The presidential and legislative elections did not give them carte blanche, especially not for reforms that very profoundly affect the equilibrium of our society,” said Vingt-Trois.

“It will not be 'marriage for all,' it will be the marriage of a few imposed on all,” he added, calling the proposed reform “a fraud.”

The bill is expected to be introduced to the French cabinet on Wednesday. The Socialist government has said they expect to pass the reform by mid-2013.

“I'm shocked by this attitude which I think is a kind of return to a fundamentalism that I find problematic,” Jean-Marie Le Guen, a Socialist senator from Paris, is quoted as saying by Reuters.

Party spokesman David Assouline also chided the church, saying it was not its role “to oppose the will of the legislature, especially concerning civil marriage in a secular republic.”

If approve, France would become the 12th nation to legalize gay nuptials.