The Soho Mass effect

15 Responses

  1. John E Cunha says:

    Good editorial, I fully agree with it in its entirety.

    Here is a good point made by Fr Z on the matter of the Soho Mass and the issue overall:

    There can be Masses for homosexuals. I am sure that some readers will be shocked to learn that Fr. Z thinks there should be Masses for homosexuals. On occasion. For example, when (En)Courage has their meetings it would be entirely appropriate to have a Mass for those who attend.

    The problem arises when Masses are transformed into something else. When, for example, rainbow flags (which are political) are displayed, when bidding prayers express things at variance with Catholic teachings, then the Masses have been transformed into protests against the Churchs teaching and they are, therefore, no longer appropriate.

    Let there be Masses for different marginalized groups. Fine! Let there be Masses for, say, the divorced and remarried. Fine! But at the moment participants turn those Masses into a moment of dissent from the Churchs teachings, then the Masses must stop. If, for example, at such a Mass people who are divorced and remarried without any hint of a declaration of nullity are invited to come to Communion in spite of the Churchs law and doctrine, then those Masses are not longer ministry to the divorced and remarried. They are moments of dissent. They become liturgical abuse. They become a scandal.

    The Soho Masses were not stopped because they were Masses for gays. They did not keep the balance right.

    Lets be clear. Ministry to homosexuals in the Church is fine. It is necessary. There is no question that Rome (read: the bad guys in this story) would be okay with Masses for homosexual Catholics as a part of ministry.

    The Soho Masses, on the other hand, had become something else.

    Dont be distracted by interesting stories that the suppression of the Soho Masses was orchestrated above Archbishop Nichols head by Roman homophobes, blah blah blah.

    The elephant in the room is that these Masses in Soho had ceased to be true ministry. Regardless of how they were stopped, that is why they were stopped.

  2. John E Cunha says:

    I do have a suggestion to the Editor however. Though it may be true (I believe it is) that “Homosexuals remain among the worlds most vulnerable and stigmatised groups.”, the agenda of gay activists in legalising gay marriage is one of the greatest threats to religious liberty for the Church. This is truly a great battle as the many articles suggest, such as the following:

    Over 1,000 English priests write letter defending marriage

    Legislation for same-sex marriage, should it be enacted, will have many legal consequences, warned the letter, which was published Jan. 12.

    The move would severely restrict Catholics’ ability to teach the truth about marriage in their schools, charitable institutions or places of worship, the priests said.

    It is meaningless to argue that Catholics and others may still teach their beliefs about marriage in schools and other arenas if they are also expected to uphold the opposite view at the same time, they wrote.

    Commenting on the letter, one of its signatories, Father Timothy Finigan, wrote that the question of teaching something as true is at the heart of the debate over the freedom of the Church to teach.

    My suggestion is that perhaps emphasis of this threat to religious liberty by the pro gay “marriage” advocates should be be considered and addressed in perhaps another editorial?

    The reality is all these campaigns against the Church and Her teachings are making the real possibility that Catholic themselves will become “vulnerable and stigmatised”.

  3. John E Cunha says:

    A related article states: “Gay marriage could result in largest persecution of Catholics since Reformation”

    “Cameron’s “Equal Marriage Bill” will be published later this month. The Bishop of Portsmouth told the Telegraph, “I am very anxious that when we are preaching in Church or teaching in our Catholic schools or witnessing to the Christian faith of what marriage is that we are not going to be able to do it, that we could be arrested for being bigots or homophobes.”

  4. P.R.Margeot says:

    In France, on sunday 13th, there was a huge march FOR the normal familly and against the gay-marriage and it ghastly consequencves. 700,000 took part,

  5. Vincent Couling says:

    An excellent editorial … a masterpiece of measured synthesis of faith and reason.

    As a counterweight to JEC’s posts above, I would suggest that interested readers peruse for the article “Gay marriage debate: aggressive posturing by Church serves no one” by Fr Martin Boland, Dean of Brentwood Cathedral.

    Some pertinent excerpts …

    “Although I am opposed to the coalition Government’s plan to recognise same-sex marriage in law, I have, nevertheless, been left feeling uneasy about some aspects of the debate surrounding this subject, and in particular by the manner and terms in which the problem has been discussed.

    Although the polemical sound bite may capture the attention of the media, I wonder if it helps us address the complexity of the issues raised in a mature and informed way? Is an adversarial approach to those who disagree with us, the correct way to appeal to the reason and consciences of men and women? Whether this Government finally succeeds in introducing this legislation, what many people both within and outside the Church will remember is the language and demeanour which was used to present our arguments.

    Good teaching depends on a profound humility. None of us possesses a complete, final knowledge of all things. For example, our understanding, as many commentators have made clear, of the nature and meaning of the homosexual orientation is, at this point in time, incomplete. We may have a greater understanding of this sexual orientation than a century ago, but there is still more for us to know, to question and to understand. We should therefore hesitate to offer lapidary judgements about those who possess this orientation and humbly recognise that simplistic readings of natural law in this regard may not be entirely helpful.

    People may have a very clear idea of what the Church’s teachers do not find acceptable. But can those same teachers articulate any viable and life-giving ways by which people might live? For example, what, if any, social, legal or moral respect should those with an homosexual orientation be afforded?”

  6. P.R.Margeot says:

    All we know for sure, with gay-marriage that’s the end of everything. That’s why the French nation appears to have realized, a little, not much. Why do gay lobbies. organizations maintain such a high profile, attract so much attention to them, are so militant, and determined to overthrow the whole order of the world? Why is it at THIS juncture of History ?
    With the ‘gay-marriage’ there is a host of dangers, the one more frightening than the other. What about the genealogy of children? What about families, the true cell of human society, what about the identity of children ? Then we are reversing the order established by G-d , no less. What on earth is going on in this world gone mad?

    Then after the so-called marriage of gays, euthanasia is next, eugenic control is next, next on the line. Gays claim persecution by the world. Can’t they try to adopt a lower profile and see for themselves the results. They seem to be power-drunk….

    I will soon give the readers sites and information about that question of the ‘marriage’ of two men or two women. Readers, beware, beware, we are on a mortal slope. The Devil is rubbing his filthy hands in glee. He is leading souls to perdition.Catholics, beware, “that subject” is already too much here on this Catholic site. We want a clean, a cleaner S.C. Homosexuality is not a subject we want to debate ad nauseam. We’ve gone through this many times. A lower profile for homosexuality. That subject should not be allowed to dominate our life. Because with homosexuality, there is MUCH, MUCH more coming. Catholics, be aware, read more, understand what is being offered by that lobby world-wide, do not believe everything you read.

    The Prince of Darkness, the Liar, is working through that lobby of gays.

    May the Holy Church wake up in time and puts its weight behind the moral order of things. We ain’t got much time.

  7. Kyle says:

    People are so ignorant,ranking a gay relationship with masturbation,euthenasia and other things.A gay relationship should be about Love-NOT SEX.People need to just get their blinkers of and stop always accusing the devil about what goes on in the Holy Church.Thats the one thing which irritates me about the Church,that it says one thing is ‘unatural and wrong’,yet they must stand in solidarity with the ‘wrong doers’,And all this talk about the devil having a hand in gay marriage is also just rubbish.People should step into the shoes of gay people for one day and see the hell we go through,the judgement,and all the ignorance from the place we thought would support us.Being gay is NOT a light switch,you dont just turn on the gay switch when you feel like being a fairy,Its just the way one was born,made in God’s image and part of human nature.Any way I reall dont see what it has to do with anyone if two men and women commit their lives to eachother.I know longer gay relationships that have been faithful,committed and successful than some “straight marriages”.People need to get over their typical idealistic selves and face fact and logic.Sometimes I really feel isolated as a Catholic,So glad my parish accepts,and welcomes me and doesnt tell me Im on the same rank as masturbation and Euthanasia…Bleak for days!

  8. P.R.Margeot says:

    Kyle: you have not understood a thing. What you should realise is that the sin is always condemned,never the sinner. The Church loves the sinner ,never the sin. You’ve missed a lot on the S.C., we have discussed this at length over the years. Ad nauseam, in fact. May the S.C. be cleaner, purer in its contents, more traditional as well.

    As you know, order is being re-established in the Holy Church, albeit very slowly. Courage to you and to us all. We ain’t got much time now to find a good confessor, to confess our sins, live with humility, submit to G-d’s will always, imitate the Saints( I know, all ‘modern and progressive’ people have more important things to do). Keep the Faith , your rosary at all times, keep the Catholic Faith.

    Lord, have pity on us , sinners.

  9. Vincent Couling says:

    Perhaps the person who has “not understood a thing” lies a little closer to home, PRM. Have some humility!

    Dear Kyle, thank you for having the courage to share some of your painful experience with us. I think that the painful process of facing fact and logic is well underway in the Church. I, too, am a gay Catholic, and I, too, have found broad acceptance from the People of God … the only real negativity has come from a tiny handful of vile extremists who haunt Catholic sites in the name of preserving “orthodoxy”.

    Fr Richard Rohr OFM has recently given an interesting critique of this phenomenon …

    (from )

    [Interviewer] Orthodoxy is frequently invoked among more religiously conservative, particularly Roman Catholics. How do you understand the word?

    [Fr Rohr responds] Even though orthodoxy isnt found in the Bible, as a believer, I understand that there is mainline tradition of verbal orthodoxy. I respect it because Ive been trained in it. But Im unimpressed by it. Im not trying to be cynical or unfair, but those who are most insistent on orthodoxy to the tradition often seem to understand it the least. They call the last 500 years the tradition. They seem to know little about the fathers of the church or the intertestamental period, or the Jewish tradition, or the Desert Mother and Fathers, which is all part of the tradition, too.

    This is why it is so important to balance orthodoxy with orthopraxy. St. Thomas Aquinas said, Life itself is prior to doctrine. Its an idea that really speaks to what we call the Franciscan alternative orthodoxy, which says that lifestyle and practice are much more important than mere verbal orthodoxy.

  10. Vincent Couling says:

    Kyle, take heart in the highly-orthodox words of Fr Richard Rohr in his letter of endorsement to Soulforce:

    ( see )

    “Fr. Richard Rohrs Letter of Endorsement
    Posted on October 8, 2000 by soulforce
    October 8, 2000

    Brothers and Sisters of the Church:

    What is more important than to follow Jesus? Is that not our final and fundamental authority for everything that we do, either as leadership or membership in the church?

    Apart from understandable disagreements on specifics, details, how, when, and where, we all the know the WHAT. Jesus came to draw us all into union with God, whom he called his Father. How sad if the public image of our church continues to be a group of people that judge first, exclude easily, and use theological arguments to cover basic “political” stances of power, image, and management of constituency. These seem to be things that Jesus cared about very little, in fact, he flaunted them. This is clear in the Gospels which we all proclaim with joy.

    At last we have a group of dedicated Christians who are willing to use disciplined and Christian means of nonviolent protest against its churchs failure to live the Gospel. Christians outside the mainstream did this in the abolitionist movement against slavery, in the civil rights movement against racism, and in the antiwar movement. Eventually, in each case, the church, like Peter running late to the tomb, acknowledged that these were indeed Gospel positions.

    SOULFORCE must take the role of John the Beloved, who runs swiftly to the tomb, because that is what love always does. But both of us will find there the Risen Christ who always reigns and transforms human history, but never without our “let it be.” Our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered brothers and sisters have been left outside of his realm of grace for far too long. We can do so much better, and we will. I thank SOULFORCE for its courage, dedication, and proclamation of Christian nonviolence in the pursuit of justice and truth.

    Yours in Christ Jesus,

    Fr. Richard Rohr, O.F.M.”

  11. P.R.Margeot says:

    Kyle, stick to what the Church teaches. Do not allow yourself to be influenced by people who have a very powerful agenda: an agenda to revolutionize the Church. Their road is being blocked now, they realize that their time is up, they are desparate and will try anything, use any word, any weapon. They are at war with the Church.But under the pretence of liberalism and ‘progress’ and while supporting modernism to the hilt.

    They favour the ordination of women, among many other things. Now, as you know if you are a Catholic, that will not happen. Yet these people act as if the subject is on the cards. They cannot be trusted, I am sorry to say.

    The harm these people do to young readers and Catholics who may not be too aware of the magnitude of the struggle being waged between the forces of Destruction and the 2000 year old Catholic Church is enormous, frightening.

    These people pass for victims, and when society decides that the natural, G-dly order is threatened and act, these people shout ‘discrimination’, ‘victimization.

    With this gay-‘marriage’ laws being enforced throughout the world, next will come horrendous acts of Parliaments, no opposition to them all(Laws), persecution of Christians which has already started. Yet, the militant gays want us to accept their programme, their (now nearly open) agenda, that their life and life-style are normal. Have you heard of gender education ? That’s very much part of what we are talking.

    Kyle the hour is grave. We must pray. May the Pope do the consecration of Russia very soon.

  12. Rosemary Gravenor says:

    This editorial is very adroit.

    The response to the Tablet article is very much in line with your strongest point that the church may be seen as lacking in compassion and sensitivity. The one letter states categorically that this has caused views that we are bigoted, backwards and unrealistic to flourish again within secular society and amongst some believers.

    Another letter from an ex-priest which is not in anyway riddled with bitterness states plainly: we feel cherished and valued by our families, but not by our Church.

    A letter from a woman pleads for us to find a way: to show our pastors the truth of Jesus’ “seven woes” in Matthew’s gospel (ch. 23): “they tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders”.

    I remember a criticism that was levelled against those of us who ask the hard questions and struggle to find a better way forward is that we confuse the ordinary lay Catholic. This action by our Church is for me not only vastly confusing for everyone trying to follow Jesus but it smacks of more than sowing confusion. This is because the explanation given for underpinning this decision is the universality of the Mass. If this was strictly true, why is inculturation necessary? Also, why does the Church promote the Tridentine Mass which is obviously geared for a certain group of people?

    The Soho Church was not excluding anyone, it was simply, generously opening its arms, so to speak, to those who are marginalised primarily by fundamentalist believers.

    Another huge confusion is the fact that obviously gay men are ordained (and women religious have those labelled lesbians), we all know this. But it is a huge dont speak, dont tell, issue in the Catholic Church.

    I am in no way suggesting that these religious are sexually active, but this action (exclusion) of the gay community says loudly and clearly that the Church authorities judge them all to be sexually active.

  13. P.R.Margeot says:

    Whatever the above commenter writes should be taken with a pinch of salt.
    She writes : 1) ” Why does the Church promote the Tridentine Mass?

    The Church does not ‘promote’ the Tridentine Mass, the Church only in 2007 declared solemnly that that mass was never banned officially in the early 70’s, and therefore the Pope with great charity “gave it back” to the Church. Finish ‘n klaar. We remember that it is the Mass of all time(M.O.A.T.). A jewel, THE(in my eyes) jewel of the Church is back and it saves souls , sanctify the faithful, unites them, without it, frankly, I wonder how would the Church fight spiritually speaking.

    Ironically, that mass does not need to be artificially promoted. It is a mass which flows with the true spirit of the Church, of Catholics, which is holy, full of reverence, and yet it is a VERY SIMPLE mass: the Sacrifice of Calvary. That mass has been saved(in extremis) by a courageous prelate in the late 60’s who refused categorically to change the mass of his birth, first Holy Communion, ordination, and consecration as a Bishop, a successor of St Peter no less. Now that the mass has been saved, now that his opus is flourishing world-wide, many know that one day he will be elevated to the glory of Catholic altars.

    2) “That it is geared for a certain group of people “. What ignorance on her part. Is it even worth commenting on her utterances? Frankly, what a waste of time. Tell us who were the people for whom that masss was geared until 1969? Tell me on how many continents it was said, tell me if it was for a certain group only. And I am interested to know for which group was that mass said until 1969.

    More importantly, TODAY, does the commenter know that that mass is said in all continents ? In spite of the ruthless persecution of more than 40 years?

    The readers now know, or should know, that the commenter above is a dissident who clamours for the ORDINATION OF WOMEN, is against the Church in MANY respects, has a revolutionary spirit, and does not like submission( to the Pope ? or other Authorities?, or simple authority? )

    Her importance is limited here, but elsewhere she apparently is active in pushing for these wild ideas. She has been told countless times that she will not see her sisters ordained. You see, the power, or prowess of people like her, is that in no time they make themselves into martyrs, victims, they are discriminated against…and the ordinary Catholics feel sorry for them. Ot course, we must be charitable to all, but nobody has the right to attack/challenge the Catholic Church with impunity, first, then with the clear agenda to turn her upside down and make her into just another ‘denomination’. There will be a price to pay.


  14. Rosemary Gravenor says:

    Sing a song of sixpence
    Package full of air
    One lone voice a-dirging
    from his lonely lair.

    Oh for something different
    With an inclusive flair
    Rather give us something
    that will not birth despair!

    Waste of time a-dirging
    Who will lose a hair
    We have the Christ, our Saviour
    eminently fair.

  15. Rosemary Gravenor says:

    Interesting that Kyle picked up PRMs critical and exclusive attitude.

    Also of note is that PRMs promotional stance for the organisation that houses his seeming heroes warranted being slammed by the Vatican for their exclusive and somewhat racist views. Refer to page 4 of this issue. Vatican slams SPX leader over anti-Jewish slur.