LONDON, England, January 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Vincent Nichols, archbishop of Westminster, again celebrated a Mass welcoming LGBT Catholics, parents, and families recently.
The Mass was held last Sunday, January 13, on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, according to an Independent Catholic News report, at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, on Farm Street in Mayfair, central London.
The Jesuit parish, also known as Farm Street Church, has an LGBT outreach program, LGBT Catholics Westminster, formed in 2012 at the cardinal's direction, which includes sub groups for LGBT young adults and individuals identifying as “trans.”
Several years ago, Nichols rescinded permission for homosexual activists to hold the notorious Soho Masses, where the homosexual lifestyle had been promoted as morally acceptable for Catholics at another central London Church, Our Lady of the Assumption church.
The group was moved at that time to Immaculate Conception for Sunday evening meetings to “focus their efforts” on receiving “pastoral care.”
He welcomed a different previously banned pro-LGBT group back to his archdiocese in 2017.
Nichols, archbishop of Birmingham from 2000 to 2009, is the most senior Catholic bishop in England and Wales. Pope Francis raised him to the cardinalate in 2014.
Nichols apologized last November amid criticism and a national inquiry into the Church's sex abuse scandal for his failing to disclose a 1968 abuse allegation while bishop of Birmingham.
In 2014, the cardinal was critical of the final document of the Vatican's Extraordinary Synod on the family, because it did not “go far enough” in expressing the need to “respect, welcome and value” homosexuality.
During the interim between that synod and its follow-up in October 2015, Nichols rebuked some 500 English priests who had signed a letter professing fidelity to Church teaching on marriage and human sexuality and urging the subsequent synod to issue a “clear and firm proclamation” upholding Church teaching on marriage.
The two synods on the family were contentious for efforts from certain quarters to advance acceptance of Holy Communion for Catholics who are divorced and civilly remarried or living in otherwise non-marital unions. Nichols said the priests should not conduct synod debate in the press.
He has been supportive of the pope's controversial exhortation from the synods, Amoris Laetitia, along with supporting the pontiff's decision to now answer the dubia presented by four cardinals requesting clarification on the document's position on Church teaching.
Last summer, Nichols contradicted Pope Francis and other Vatican officials, along with Catholics at all levels worldwide, in saying that Alder Hey Children's Hospital acted in Alfie Evans's best interests by ending his life.
In 2016, Nichols had directed priests to disregard the call from Cardinal Robert Sarah, head of the Congregation for Divine Worship, to return to the practice of celebrating Mass “ad orientem.”
Speaking after the January 13 LGBT Mass, the cardinal commended LGBT Catholics Westminster, the Independent Catholic News report said, as an important sign of welcome and inclusion within Westminster diocese, not only as individuals who are welcomed, but as an identifiable community that is at home within the Church.