"Psst...Looking for a Gay Night? Try..."
|...or, alternatively, go to Our Lady and St Gregory|
How could this be, I hear you cry, when the English Hierarchy are renowned globally for stamping out liberalism, modernism and liturgical arts and crafts of any kind?
Well, this is old news, since the Catholic community has been aware of these Masses for a long time now, so it is strange for the mass media to suddenly point the spotlight on the Church of Our Lady and St Gregory, but, hey, the Pope is coming and we know he would not like this so lets rub his nose in it, right? That's the media reaction, by the way, not our Lordships, obviously!
The hope is that the Holy Father does somehow hear the programme because the Soho Masses are a pretty good indicator of how dreadfully awry things have gone in England and Wales. As Fr Ray Blake and Mulier Fortis have blogged, the BBC have produced a Radio Four programme called The Pope's British Divisions.
The interesting facet of the programme is that Archbishop Vincent Nichols, who, as Archbishop of Westminster both presides over these Masses taking place and has the power to stop them has come out publicly in favour of them. His comments, taken from the programme are as follows:
I have to take issue with this. So why does it have to be a Mass for gays? If you go to this Mass, I have to ask; why is it different to any other Mass? Isn't Our Lord Jesus Christ enough for you?! While He is present, what does the sexuality of the others sitting around you exactly, add to your love for Jesus?
"It is a parish mass to which everybody is invited, but it has a particular appeal to people of a same sex orientation - not to distinguish them from the rest of the congregation, but to say you can be at home here.
"And I think that's the right thing to do because it offers slowly, and it is slow, a chance for those who as it were feel they live under a great pressure of an identity to perhaps shake that a bit looser and to say no, first of all I'm a Catholic and as a Catholic I want to come to Mass."
Anyway, I digress. In what the BBC's Mark Dowd calls 'a hard hitting riposte to critics of the mass' the Archbishop says,
"Anybody who is trying to cast a judgement on the people who come forward for communion really ought to learn to hold their tongue".
This Mass is being sold to the Diocese as an answer to addressing the pastoral needs of the LGBT community within the Church. Now, this is undoubtedly a sensitive area, for the pastoral needs of homosexuals are important, as they are for us all, but pastoral needs are not met en masse, if you excuse the pun. Pastoral needs are actually an individual thing. Nobody, or indeed any group of Catholics, aside from dangerous Tabletics, should be scapegoated, or bullied or persecuted and the Catechism states quite clearly the need for homosexuals to be treated with dignity, compassion and respect, since both the Cross of the homosexual is not a light one.
In other words, a compassionate, merciful Confessor is spiritually and pastorally beneficial to a homosexual person accompanied by spiritual direction which challenges him and encourages him to get it on with Lady Chastity. A Priest who spends his days despising homosexuals and runs gays out of the Confessional with a garden rake may not be suitable. However, a Mass for a particular group of people (excluding the Deaf community whose very practical needs are catered for at Westminster Cathedral) is quite unprecedented and a Mass explicitly for the homosexual contingent of the parish of Soho really is an insult to The Mass itself, since, quite plainly, the meaning of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is being presented as something else - something about man, rather than, the Man. It is 'ecce homos', rather than 'Ecce Homo'.
|The retired Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor|
His latest comments suggest that he is firmly behind these Masses, which, for an Archbishop who is about to welcome Pope Benedict XVI, who has described the homosexual culture as a 'danger to the human ecology', to the UK, is not so clever a move because if there is one person, just one person an Archbishop of Westminster should be in communion with, it is the Pope.
As we all know, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI and his crew of faithful security guards at the Congregations for the Doctrine of the Faith and for Divine Worship are seriously intimidating people to cross. If you are a Bishop or an Archbishop or a Cardinal and you step out of line you might just get a letter or two. Unfortunately, for the Church in England and Wales, they are not even nearly so intimidating as the very aggressive, potentially very angry, very vocal and very well connected to the media gay lobby, from whom I shall no doubt be reading ugly comments soon.
|Tatchell: An impartial documentary maker|
Perhaps, at the end of the day, that is the reason why the Archbishop is telling those individuals and groups who have concerns that the 'Gay Masses' might just, you know, tacitly approve of, or fail periodically, to condemn the homosexual lifestyle, to 'hold our tongue' as often as he does, when we see the One True Faith being hijacked by liberal scallywags who have seemingly little appreciation for what and namely Who, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is really about! Perhaps he believes it is better for one Mass to be subverted, or 'sacrificed' even 'for the people'?! Who knows? All I know is going by his public statement at least, he is batting for the wrong team. This is Team Benedict, whether the English Hierarchy like it or not. Why? Because he's the bleedin' Pope!
Anyway, the worst thing, you know, about the gay lobby in the UK and, quite unsurprisingly, the gay lobby within the Church is that they arrogantly think, believe and assume that they think and speak for every gay man in the UK and every gay man in the Church. Believe me! They don't! If only the World could realise that and, actually, if only Cardinals, Bishops and Priests understood that. One day...Oh yes...One day...