Wednesday marked the Feast of the Assumption, where thousands of Catholics gathered in prayer across France. Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois penned a special prayer, to be recited that day in nearly all Catholic places of worship.
The prayer implored God to ensure that "those recently elected to legislate" put "the common good" before "individual demands" so that children may "fully benefit from the love of a father and mother."
Radio France Internationale reported the decision to take the debate into places of worship has drawn criticism from activists.
SOS-Homophobie accused the prayer of providing a "breeding ground for discrimination and homophobia" and the Left Radical Party said the church has "no democratic legitimacy to become involved in the political debate in France."
The church has publicly opposed President Francios Hollande's election promise to legalize same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples. Lyon Archbishop Cardinal Philippe Barbarin called the promises a "breach in civilization."