English Bishops Must Reject Homosexualist Agenda or Lose Ground on Life Issues: John Smeaton
By Hilary White
LONDON, August 24, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – John Smeaton, the head of the UK’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children and one of the most prominent pro-life advocates in the world, has called for the Catholic bishops of Britain to cut their ties with Catholic groups that promote homosexuality as a legitimate lifestyle. But there is little hope of that, says one prominent Catholic campaigner, while the archdiocese of Westminster, Britain’s leading Catholic see, continues to host bi-monthly public celebrations of homosexuality.
“It’s high time,” Smeaton wrote, “the Catholic bishops of England and Wales defended the culture of life by cutting their ties with pro-homosexual ‘rights’ campaigning Catholics.” Smeaton said that there can be no separation of issues for Catholic leaders, that even tacit support for the homosexualist agenda creates moral confusion among the public.
He was referring to an article that appeared in the Guardian newspaper by homosexualist activist Martin Prendergast who said that the loss of Catholic adoption agencies to pro-homosexualist legislation is “a victory for vulnerable children.”
Prendergast is the force behind the infamous Soho Masses Pastoral Council that hosts Masses and other events promoting the homosexualist ideology within the Catholic Church. The group was publicly accepted by the archdiocese in 2007, under Cormac Murphy O’Connor, then Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster. They were allowed to hold their Masses at the Church of the Assumption & St Gregory, Warwick Street, London; this situation has continued under the new archbishop, Vincent Nichols.
Daphne McLeod, the head of the Catholic campaign group Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, told LifeSiteNews.com that the situation has not improved under Nichols. The Soho Mass group, she said, is “getting worse, more brazen. They’re spreading and have groups now to attract the young people.”
McLeod has organized prayer vigils outside the church where the homosexualist events are held. “I see these nice young people go in there and I’m sure they don’t know how wrong it is. They’re not being taught about it in Catholic schools.”
McLeod’s organization has written to and visited Vatican officials begging that the situation be addressed. “We write to Rome all the time, we went to Rome, with all those dossiers and nothing was done. We spoke to Cardinal [Francis] Arinze [then-head of the Vatican’s Congregation of Divine Worship and Sacraments] and he said, ‘I’m not going to do anything about the Soho Masses.’”
However, there can be little doubt that the ideological orientation of the Soho Masses is opposed to “the Vatican.” A homily from the most recent celebration, by the former head of the Dominican order and frequent celebrator, Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, openly criticized “the Vatican” for maintaining and promoting the Church’s perennial teaching on sexuality.
“[T]his is a tough time to be a Catholic,” Radcliffe said. “The Church … is largely ruled by old men, even older than me, who seem out of touch with the world. Every statement that comes from the Vatican seems to provoke more misunderstanding, more embarrassment, more frustration.”
McLeod said she has spoken several times to Archbishop Nichols who, she said, “is no help at all.” The archbishop maintains that the Masses are only for the pastoral help of homosexuals who adhere to the Church’s teaching on chastity.
“But these people don’t even pretend to be chaste. At least they’re honest,” McLeod said. “[Nichols] tries to pretend they are, but he really must know they’re not.”
In one conversation, McLeod said, Archbishop Nichols gave away what she believes to be the driving interest of the Catholic bishops in their tacit support of the homosexualist movement’s agenda. “They’ve been brainwashed into believing that is the only way to go. Nichols has said this to me, ‘We must have unity at all price. If I speak out against it, there’ll be disunity among the bishops, and we can’t have that’.”
But she said this is to place unity above the truth. “Unity is their great graven idol. I can’t judge their hearts, but I wonder what they’re thinking.”
She said that the only solution she sees now is prayer and support for a new generation of good young priests who support the Church’s teaching. “The Lord has a solution, and the good young priests are probably that. They’re beginning to get parishes.”
Smeaton, paraphrasing Pope John Paul II, said, “It is an illusion to think that we can build a true culture of human life if we do not offer adolescents and young adults an authentic education in sexuality, and in love, and the whole of life according to their true meaning and in their close interconnection.”
SPUC has campaigned heavily against the support of the Catholic Church, including by Archbishop Nichols, for the government’s strongly pro-abortion and pro-homosexual sex education programs.
To contact Archbishop Nichols
Phone: 020 7798 9033
Email: [email protected]
To contact the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops
Marc Ouellet, Cardinal, Prefect
Palazzo della Congregazioni,
Piazza Pio XII, 10
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