By Hilary White
LONDON, February 19, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Catholic Archbishop’s Council of the Diocese of Westminster, England has approved a regular Mass to be offered on behalf of homosexuals who are attempting to live up to the moral law of chastity. The Mass is to be celebrated twice a month at Our Lady of the Assumption parish at which the diocese’ says it wants to provide “pastoral care for homosexual Catholics living in London.”
A statement from the Westminster diocese, home of the Catholic primate of England and Wales, Cormac Cardinal Murphy O’Connor, says, “The Church’s pastoral outreach recognises that baptized persons with a homosexual inclination continue to look to the Church for a place where they might live in authentic human integrity and holiness of life.”
Although such pastoral outreach by dioceses in the US and Canada typically have been little more than fronts for gay political activism, some UK Catholics are cautiously optimistic that the Westminster Masses will be in support of Catholic doctrine.
Local news source, Catholic Action UK (CAUK), reports that the Masses will be celebrated by priests selected by the diocese, not by gay activist groups and that the final draft of the document authorizing the events has been approved by the Vatican, albeit with some wrangling over the wording of the text.
CAUK reports, “It should be noted that the new arrangements represent a victory for faithful Catholics who have been voicing their concerns about the previous arrangements for many years. Specifically, the Archdiocese seems to be seeking to take control of the Masses, to prevent their being hijacked by groups explicitly or implicitly opposed to Church teaching.”
CAUK is still cautious, however, asking whether the intention of the Mass will be to provide a spiritual home to dissenters and their clerical supporters, and whether those who are “giving public scandal” by their publicly acknowledged and unrepented homosexual activity will be given Holy Communion.
The group cautions, “What…is the point of drawing Catholics of a particular sexual orientation away from their parishes, for worship as a group?”
By Hilary White