Conservative Anglicans welcome, gay Catholics not so much
Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster has ended London’s Soho masses for gay and lesbian Catholics because he didn’t think they should have a “special” service. So he gave the church over to the new conservative Anglican ordinariate for their special services. Go figure:
[Nichols] said after six years of the masses, it was “time for a new phase”.
Nichols said the original aim of this pastoral provision was to enable people with same-sex attraction to enter more fully into the life of the church, within the existing parish structures.
But, he said, it was important to recognise a distinction must be made between the pastoral care of a particular group and the regular celebration of the mass as the “highest prayer of the whole church”.
“I am, therefore, asking the group, which has, in recent years, helped to organise the celebration of mass on two Sundays of each month at Warwick Street now to focus their effort on the provision of pastoral care,” the archbishop said, adding it would not include “the organisation of a regular mass”.
Critics of the special services included the former Catholic Herald editor Dr William Oddie, who accused church leaders of supporting a “homosexual lifestyle”. He said it was clear “beyond peradventure that those who attend the masses are nearly all what the archdiocese calls ‘non-celibate gay people’ who intend to continue to defy Catholic teaching”.
Oddie wrote in the Catholic Herald in November that the masses were “the most potentially inflammatory source of division between Rome and Westminster”.
Meanwhile, writing in his blog, the Daily Telegraph’s religious affairs commentator, Damian Thompson, described the services as “an embarrassment; a relic of old-style gay rights campaigning that scandalised large numbers of Catholics”.
The “new evangelization”?