Tuesday, 28 February 2012

More on the Soho Masses

The Soho Mass scandal has rumbled on and on.

Today the Catholic Herald runs a story under the headline Archbishop Vincent Nichols ‘reaffirms’ Soho Masses  However, the story actually says something rather different.

I visited the Westminster Diocese website, but could find no trace of the story there (though that may be simply because I got lost in its somewhat labyrinthine structure...) so I am reliant on the Herald's reporting.

It seems to me that the important paragraph of the Archbishop's quoted remarks is this one:
At the present time consideration is being given to the circumstances in which these Masses are celebrated to ensure that their purpose is respected and that they are not occasions for confusion or opposition concerning the positive teaching of the Church on the meaning of human sexuality or the moral imperatives that flow from that teaching, which we uphold and towards which we all strive.
This seems to me to suggest that he is looking seriously at doing something about this scandal.

As far as reaffirming goes, what he is actually quoted as saying is: 
As we approach the fifth anniversary of the establishment of a pastoral provision for Catholics of a same-sex orientation at the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, I would like reaffirm the intention and purpose of this outreach.
Reaffirming the intention and purpose is very different to reaffirming current practice and abuse.  Further, he referred to:
...three essential foundations: the dignity of all persons created by God, the moral principles concerning chastity and the Church’s teaching on sexual activity, and the pastoral care of Catholics who are of same-sex orientation. All who participate in the Mass are called to live the church’s teaching through an ongoing conversion of life.
So let us hope and pray that this is really what it looks like: the start of a process to put this scandal behind us.; and may God strengthen and protect him if he does so, because it will not be pretty...

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