A top Vatican official on Tuesday said that he was saddened to see voters in Ireland approve a referendum allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry in the mostly Roman Catholic nation.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican's secretary of state, called the vote “a defeat for humanity.”

On Wednesday, Pope Francis reiterated the church's opposition to marriage equality.

The Holy Father described marriage as “the alliance of love between a man and a woman” during his weekly address in St. Peter's Square. He also called on couples to take their wedding vows seriously.

Cardinal Raymond Burke, an outspoken opponent of marriage equality, called the vote “a defiance of God.”

“[T]his is a defiance of God,” he told the Newman Society, Oxford University's Catholic Society, on Tuesday. “It's just incredible. Pagans may have tolerated homosexual behaviors, they never dared to say this was marriage.”

Last year, Burke, the former Archbishop of St. Louis, led a successful campaign to strike out language welcoming gays to the Catholic faith in a draft document about the family. He's previously called gay relationships “evil” and harmful to children.