Monday, March 05, 2007

Rome's gay-friendly masses

A recent statement has been issued by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster "concerning its outreach and ministry to homosexual persons" in parts of London's West End, and the desire of "a number of homosexual Catholics, together with their parents, families and friends, for pastoral care". These Masses have already been taking place and the diocese proposes as part of "its pastoral outreach to homosexual people" a bimonthly Mass to be held in Soho.

The Masses have been running since July 2005, arranged by the "Soho Masses Pastoral Council" (SMPC) for "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered [LGBT] Catholics, and their parents, families and friends". The diocese and the SMPC have been discussing how to take this forward SMPC has responded with satisfaction at "an agreement that [these Masses] will particularly welcome LGBT Catholics, their parents and their families". They state that "Being proudly lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered, and proudly Catholic is at the heart of this community of faith".

Apparently there are "bidding prayers" which are used in these Soho Masses to celebrate and seek blessing for same-sex unions following their civil partnerships on the third Sunday of each month. This is an example of a recent bidding prayer used at St Anne's: "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."

Rome's hypocrisy and ease at taking contradictory positions is quite astonishing. It seeks to present a public face that opposes homosexuality while condoning and encouraging it on the other in those that are happy to receive mass but still "proudly lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered". This brings the abmomination of the blasphemous mass together with the abomination of hoomsexuality. Rome is struggling every bit as much as the Church of England to cope with the diverse opinions on homosexuality that exist within its midst not to mention practice. The Anglican communion, without in any way commending its alarming confusion, is a lot more honest about these problems, however.