By Hilary White

LONDON, December 20, 2007 ( – “Gay Masses” that had been authorized by the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster for a group of active homosexuals have been cancelled, says a local Catholic advocacy group. The Masses had been celebrated at the Church of the Assumption off Regent Street in Soho at the request of a homosexual activist group, “Quest” that describes itself as a “network” supporting the homosexual agenda within the Catholic Church.

The group had boasted that the Masses celebrated at their request at Westminster were only the beginning. A member of a Quest internet group went so far as to claim that Cormac Cardinal Murphy O’Connor had “imitated” the Mass.

Daphne McLeod, head of the faithful Catholic organisation, Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (“For Church and Pope”), told that the Archdiocese’s Vicar General, Monsignor Sheamus O’Boyle, had announced at Mass at the church this Sunday that everyone was welcome to attend Mass as individuals, there “would be no more Masses for special groups.”

Msgr. O’Boyle told the congregation that he would be appointed as the church’s pastor and intended to initiate catechesis and formation for parishioners in Catholic teaching “according to the mind of the Catholic Church”.

Martin Prendergast put out a statement saying they’re going to continue.

In March this year, at the time the pro-homosexual Mass events were inaugurated in England’s leading Catholic archdiocese, a member of Quest wrote on the group’s listserve, “I could hardly bring myself to believe that this event was the direct result of an initiative sponsored by our Bishops and Priests. The Dean, Canon Pat Browne, the informal diocesan ‘ambassador’ to the liturgy, made a moving speech of welcome to us all.”

After the Mass, Quest chairman Mark Dowd boasted to a member of Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice who was present to protest outside, “I can get these masses all over the country.” Quest categorically rejects Catholic teaching on sexuality, marriage and chastity.

Daphne McLeod told that the change has come after her group made complaints directly to the Vatican. “This is a great step because it will slow things down in other parts of the country,” she said. “They’re doing [‘gay’ Masses] in Sheffield, Liverpool and Birmingham we’re told by people who live locally.” But now that the Mass has been shut down in London, McLeod was confident that “Rome will intervene.”

McLeod told that Quest had branches all over the country and was particularly active in universities through the Catholic chaplaincies. At Liverpool University, Quest offered Liverpool’s Catholic students an opportunity to “find out” if they were “gay” at a meeting sponsored by the Catholic chaplaincy. At the request of Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, the Archdiocese of Liverpool stepped in and the meeting was halted.

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