By Hilary White

LONDON, September 8, 2008 ( – While an announcement was made in December 2007 that there would be no more “gay” Masses sponsored by the archdiocese of Westminster, has learned the Masses have continued with archdiocesan approval, and there are no signs that they will be stopped.

In December 2007, a statement and media release had confirmed that there would be no more Masses for “special groups” in the country’s leading archdiocese. But the Soho Masses Pastoral Council (SMPC), the organisation that negotiated the regular bi-monthly Masses for the “LGBTQ” (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgendered and queer) community in London, confirms that the Masses continue in the Soho district of the city in a Catholic parish. Indeed, eyewitnesses have reported that the Masses continue and, despite the public promise by the archdiocese, were never in abeyance even for one Sunday.

In February 2007 the archdiocese had formally authorised such Masses to continue indefinitely in Our Lady of the Assumption parish as part of the archdiocese’s “pastoral outreach to homosexual people.” The archdiocese itself, in negotiations with the homosexualist activist group SMPC, offered to move them from the Anglican Church of St Anne’s to Assumption. The archdiocese’s statement appointed the Vicar General, Mgr. Seamus O’Boyle and Dean, Canon Fr. Patrick Browne to draw up a rota of priests serving the archdiocese to say the Soho Masses on two Sundays a month at Assumption at five p.m. Msgr. O’Boyle was listed as the celebrant for one of the Masses scheduled for August.

The Archdiocese included a disclaimer that the Masses would be offered on the understanding that the “Mass is not to be used for campaigning for any change to, or ambiguity about, the Church’s teaching.” This statement, says SMPC, was offered not for the homosexuals and their friends and family attending the Masses, but was aimed at the faithful of the Church in England and Wales and elsewhere, “offering a rationale” for the Soho Masses.

Daphne McLeod, head of the Catholic organisation Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, confirmed that the Masses have continued unabated and are indeed specifically being used to undermine Catholic teaching and as a platform to promote the homosexual political agenda in the Church. Pro Ecclesia continues to hold prayer vigils for “reparation” outside the church while the Masses are being held.

McLeod wrote that she was “dismayed” one Sunday when same-sex couples at Assumption were congratulated in the course of the Mass for having recently contracted civil unions. The SMPC website includes a section of “bidding prayers”, or general intercessions for use at Mass that include one asking God for blessings “for all who have entered into civil partnerships during this past month, and for all who are keeping their first anniversaries around this time: that God will preserve them in love and faithfulness.”

On June 15, the SMPC newsletter carried advertisements urging supporters to take part in “Pride London”, one of the world’s largest pro-homosexual demonstrations at which Catholic teaching is regularly ridiculed.

An article appearing in the far left Catholic magazine The Tablet, said that support by the archdiocese for the Soho Mass group is a source of “confusion” and “scandal” for Catholics.

But, most damaging of all, John Haldane, writing last March in the Tablet, said that the archdiocese’s move to allow the Masses, is “undermining the efforts of those who, though of homosexual inclination, strive to live according to the Church’s teachings and seek no special privileges” and “exploiting” the gift of the Eucharist for political reasons.

Haldane adds that the archdiocese’s support for the Soho Masses, means that it has refused its explicit support for groups that do seek to live in accordance with Church teaching, groups such as Courage and Encourage that assist persons with homosexual temptations to live chastely.

“It must be saddening for members of [Courage and Encourage] to see groups hostile and unfaithful to the Church’s teachings given attention while they who strive to live in accord with the only teaching that has ever been promulgated by the Church go unacknowledged, let alone praised.”

The SMPC’s hostility to the Catholic teaching is clear in their complaint that, even though the Masses were authorised, the archdiocese used in their statement “narrowly defined, pseudo-clinical terminology to describe people of diverse sexualities,” and that the statement’s language was “closely reflecting Vatican usage.”

“Being proudly lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered, and proudly Catholic is at the heart of this community of faith,” the statement continued.

The archdiocese of Westminster did not return calls from by deadline.

Read related coverage:

Gay Masses Stopped in London’s Westminster Archdiocese

To contact the archdiocese:
Archbishop’s House
Ambrosden Avenue,
Westminster, London
SW1P 1QJ, England,
Phone: (44-020) 7798-9033
Fax: 7798-9077
[email protected]