London: Soho homosexual Masses to end, parish entrusted to Ordinariate

In the UK’s best Catholic Weekly, The Catholic Herald, we read some doubly-good news.

Archbishop Nichols ends ‘Soho Masses’ after six years
By MARK GREAVES

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster has announced that Masses in Soho organised for gay people are to end.

He also revealed that the church where the Masses took place will be entrusted to the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

[...]

That, my friends, is the news we have been waiting for and the news we have been waiting for. The solution was right before everyone’s noses for a long time, but it has finally happened.

The article goes on to say:

Archbishop Nichols said today that, while the Masses will stop, pastoral care of the community will continue at the Jesuit Farm Street church in Mayfair on Sunday evenings.

[...]

I suppose that will fit well.

The new arrangement begins with Lent 2013.

Let the countdown begin! The Tablet will have a grand-mall nutty, Oddie of the Catholic Herald will be blamed… the Holy See will be made the real bad guy….  Wait for it.  You won’t have to hold your breath for very long.

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52 Responses to London: Soho homosexual Masses to end, parish entrusted to Ordinariate

  1. pmullane says:

    God is Good.

  2. VexillaRegis says:

    Our Lady of Walsingham sure is happy now!

  3. Supertradmum says:

    Praise God..many of us have written against this…The Archbishop needed to do this before the gay marriage bill passes soon.

  4. onosurf says:

    6 years? And now, wait until lent?

    Can you imagine Christ waiting 6 years to kick out the money changers?

    I guess late is better than never, but this doddling on such an obvious issue is not a good sign of strong conviction. Moreover, how many more souls were lost in that time?

  5. AReluctantSinner says:

    Don’t hold your breath…

    This move is already being made to look like a victory by the Soho Masses lot.

    See the end of my post here: http://areluctantsinner.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/te-deum-laudamus-archbishop-nichols-put.html

    When the victory parade is over and the dust settles, we may find that the Soho Masses have merely become the Mayfair Masses… And what will Rome say then?

  6. disco says:

    This is like robbing Judas to pay Paul!

  7. VexillaRegis says:

    Sigh. And they hijacked the rainbow too, it’s not a sign of hope any longer, but of sin.

  8. pmullane says:

    Perhaps it’s worth us UK Catholics dropping Archbishop Nicholls a line to thank him for this move, it’s likely he’s going to get some flak for doing so, and it may be worth showing him some gratitude?

  9. Deacon Nathan Allen says:

    MSM to imply that that Abp Nichols did this because he wants a red hat in the next consistory in 3… 2… 1…

  10. Gail F says:

    To this US reader it sounds like he is taking the group from the main church and giving them to the Jesuits, who have apparently been in charge all along (?). This way it’s obvious who is doing what.

  11. PostCatholic says:

    When I’m in London, I stay on Carlos Place (unless Her Majesty offers me the use of one of the guest suites at the Palace. Which hasn’t happened yet, but I hold out hope.), and my room overlooks the “Jesuit Farm Street church in Mayfair.” A beautiful space.

    I do wonder why LGBTQ people would want to stay Catholic. I suppose that’s the vise of childhood indoctrination.

  12. jesusthroughmary says:

    His Grace should go in and exorcise the place, and then re-consecrate the altar.

  13. Supertradmum says:

    PostCatholic, just like the way they want the culture to normalize their lifestyle, so too they want the Church to do so…

    Reluctant, has Rome said much about the Jebbies?

  14. One thing occurs to me in particular. Wrong-headed attempts “to minister” to same-sex-attracted men and women have to be gotten out of the way in order for authentic ministry to flourish. This isn’t about “writing off” gays and lesbians, etc., but in doing them genuine spiritual good.

    It’s parallel to the problems of liturgical narcissism generally. As narcissism is cleared out of our worship together, we actually begin to worship.

    The thing is, we like narcissism. Please don’t take the mirror away!

  15. Jacob says:

    Perhaps I’ve read too much Damian Thompson, but I just can’t get excited about this. The action itself is worthy of praise, but I have to question the motive behind it.

  16. Leave questioning the motive to others.

    It might be an ugly win, but it is a win.

  17. benedetta says:

    PostCatholic, you are perpetuating a demeaning stereotype, and a swipe at our Faith. As a matter of fact, I know several persons who choose to happily stay Catholic and are not hostile or bitter about it. A shame you don’t personally know any. I think it would be good for you.

  18. PostCatholic says:

    benedetta, who says I don’t personally know people who “stay Catholic and aren’t hostile or bitter about it?” There’s my parents, for start. If you meant LGBTQ people with the same outlook, I know a few of them, too; though I do think they’re of the “Cafeteria Catholic” sort. I’m not sure what demeaning stereotype I’m perpetuating.

    I will say that when one cannot conform one’s bedrock beliefs to an external system at odds with them, one is setting oneself up for misery if one continues to be a part of it. I’d expect tectonic change in either that person or that system as a matter of intellectual honesty.

  19. benedetta says:

    PostCatholic, “an external system at odds with them” is your judgment. Not everyone takes this as fact.

  20. wmeyer says:

    I will say that when one cannot conform one’s bedrock beliefs to an external system at odds with them…

    However, one’s bedrock beliefs may certainly be in error, particularly if there has been no proper formation of conscience. The whole LGBTQ thing is very recent, and finds a harbor among modernists, but not elsewhere, that I have observed.

  21. PostCatholic says:

    I think I agree with you, wmeyer, but can I rise on a point of information? Are you saying that these “homosexual Masses” are in the realm of people who believe that the Catholic “deposit of faith” can evolve in tandem with secular forces? The Catholic church has been quite clear that it can’t and won’t. I view these sorts of fringe groups as quixotic at best, hence my statement, which might be more humorously stated as “If you can’t beat ‘em, for goodness sake don’t join ‘em.” (I think we probably differ on what constitutes “proper formation of conscience” so I’ll leave that alone.) Or were you saying that you view all those opposed to Catholic doctrine on homosexuality as “modernists”?

  22. PA mom says:

    Is this now the Ordinariate’s second church, or a different angle of a single one?
    This seems to make a lot of sense, either way. I am so delighted to see them making some concrete progress.

  23. Vecchio di Londra says:

    I know something of the local conditions at both these churches, and I find it very ominous that the Archbishop states that “the pastoral care of the community will continue at the Jesuit Farm Street church in Mayfair on Sunday evenings.” That only gives the Gay crowd the feeling that they’re a ‘community’ euqivalent to the ordinariate (who really are one), and moves the GLBetc etc Mass to another London church, a Jesuit church, so not within the direct jurisdiction or oversight of the Diocese of Westminster. Farm Street church also has a private, gated entrance, with a private chapel. There is no other public parish Mass or activity at Farm Street Church on any Sunday evening – apart from the twice-monthly Masses for Young Adults. There is nothing to prevent the Gay Masses from continuing at Farm Street, as enclosed ‘private Masses’ – as if for a sodality or confraternity.

    With or without Mass: a ‘pastoral care programme’ by gays, for gays: how on earth will this counteract the ‘ghettoisation’ of homosexuals that concerns Rome, the CDF and the Papal Nuncio? All this transfer would do is withdraw the gay congregation from the public and ecclesiastical view, and out of the personal responsibility of the Archbishop.

    Fr Blake perceptively wrote in his blog (Oct. 9th 2012) ‘some of my parishioners have been there, they found a lobby group for dissent against the Church’s teaching “and rather than spiritual help, a gay dating agency”, as one said.’
    http://marymagdalen.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/abp-muller-to-act-on-soho-masses.html

    The latest move reassurance looks rather like breaking news from Troy: ‘Smaller and Less Obvious Trojan Horse Needed, Says Ulysses. UN welcomes Greek démarche.’ Or the more recent one: ‘Hands needed washing, just coincidence’ says Judean Governor.

  24. wmeyer says:

    PC: You are trying to oversimplify, or to read into what I wrote. First, I am in complete accord with Church teaching. That said, it would be foolish for me to characterize “all” those who oppose anything as modernists. I do not know them, and can comment only on those I have known or observed. Within that realm, I would say that in general, the liberals among them are modernists, yes, specifically in the sense that modernism is the synthesis of all heresies. They are people who take to heart the quite absurd notion that “we are church” in some way places them above the Magisterium.

  25. acardnal says:

    “LGBTQ” This acronym just seems to keep getting longer. Pretty soon we’ll be using the whole alphabet!

  26. Vecchio di Londra says:

    PostCatholic – This particular fringe group is in no way quixotic: not in any sense Cervantes or the English language would recognize. It is very subversive, and determined to get its way.

  27. Gratias says:

    Wonderful news to learn this Church is given to the returning Anglicans. Benedict XVI is the truly ecumenical Pope.

    The problem with the LGBPQRST is that they will soon demand Catholic Marriages in our Churches, by our Priests, on pain of taxation and lawsuits. The Gays are just another vehicle to attack our Faith.

  28. frjim4321 says:

    In general I suspect that by further marginalizing gay Catholics Nichols will improve his stature in Rome and will receive accolades from a relatively small group in his London diocese.

  29. MichaelJ says:

    frjim4321, I am genuinely curious as to why you think what Archbishop Nichols did – that is, ending Masses specifically organized for homosexuals – is “marginalizing”.
    Do homosexuals truly have spiritual needs different from everyone else? Does any Catholic have needs based upon a group they happen to belong t instead of on their own individual person? Isn’t a Mass specifically organized for homosexuals a “separate but equal” issue that actually maginilizes them?

  30. frjim4321 says:

    “Do homosexuals truly have spiritual needs different from everyone else?” MJ

    Well this is an interesting question. My colleagues who argue for a “Life Teen” mass (or any special teen mass on a Sunday evening) or for a pre-Vatican II style mass suggests that these masses should be offered in order to meet the spiritual needs of a particular sub-group. [As if there is some sort of equivalence? ROFL!] I don’t know if I entirely agree with them, but if you can argue for things of that nature, I don’t see anything different in providing a sub-group mass for gay Catholics. We already have a sanctioned group (“Courage”) so we’ve clearly acknowledged that special pastoral needs exist for gay Catholics.

    I hear what you are saying, and in fact I can see that offering a “Teen Life” mass or a pre-V2 mass does have an effect of marginalizing a sub-group. I’ve often argued against such masses on that basis. So I’m not disagreeing with you, but I’m saying what’s good for one sub-group is good for another sub-group.

  31. Scott W. says:

    Life Teen Mass is pure novelty. The EF is legitimate patrimony. Apples and oranges.

  32. benedetta says:

    frjim4321 I don’t see how this will marginalize. Pastoral care will continue with the same priests. Perhaps someone even within the subgroup, as often happens, made the observation that it wasn’t the lack of a special Mass but the fact of it, that was marginalizing.

  33. frjim4321 says:

    Life Teen Mass is pure novelty. The EF is legitimate patrimony. Apples and oranges. – SW

    I see the technical distinction but there are both eccentricities catering to sub-groups so in the way that I meant the analogy it’s valid.

  34. benedetta says:

    frjim4321 if you and your colleagues see the EF as eccentricity catering to sub group then the pastoral answer is to incorporate chant, celebrate ad orientem, and make the ordinary form reverent.

  35. benedetta says:

    But of course Scott W. is correct. The ancient rite has been celebrated for a thousand years and is not “catering to a sub-group”, at all. The analogy is ridiculous. But I don’t see the likes of frjim4321 doing much pastoral to incorporate this subgroup in his own relativistic way, i.e., change up the ordinary form.

  36. Glen M says:

    Dear Fr Jim 4321, if by “pre-Vatican II Mass” you are referring to the Usus Antiquior (aka Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite) I can assure you it is very much post-Vatican II as I attended one two days ago.

  37. acardnal says:

    The Novus Ordo is the novelty, frjim. It’s only been around about 40 years whereas the TLM/EF has been the foundation of the Church for centuries! That is one reason why it is known as Usus Antiquior.

  38. frjim4321 says:

    As I understand “eccentric” it’s a deviation from the norm, so even though there’s a legalistic provision for it, it is still the deviation from the norm. Two out of 200 places is a deviation from the norm in my book.

  39. benedetta says:

    It’s neither “eccentric” nor “catering to the norm”. Provision for it doesn’t seem merely “legalistic” either. You can cut out your condescension any time now.

  40. benedetta says:

    “Catering to a subgroup”

  41. benedetta says:

    From the archdiocesan statement on the matter, excerpted on the First Things blog:

    “The first is to recall that the original aim of this pastoral provision at Warwick Street was to enable people with same-sex attraction ‘to enter more fully into the life of the Church’ ‘specifically within the existing parish structures’ (Diocese of Westminster press statement 2 Feb 2007). The second is the importance of recognising that there is a distinction to be made between the pastoral care of a particular group and the regular celebration of the Mass.

    The Mass is always to retain its essential character as the highest prayer of the whole Church. This ‘universal’ character of the Mass is to be nurtured and clearly expressed in the manner of every celebration. The purpose of all pastoral care, on the other hand, is to encourage and enable people, especially those who are in difficult circumstances, to come to participate fully and worthily in the celebration of the Mass in the midst of the whole Church, the people summoned by the Lord to give him, together, worthy service and praise.”

    These Masses were operating under the assumption that the attenedees could not or should not attend Masses with the whole church and should attend separately. Which is grossly dehumanizing in and of itself.

    Whereas when I attend the EF, no one and nothing stops me from also attending Masses in the ordinary form, and I do so quite frequently as well. There is no assumption that I am or need to be separated from the whole church for my sacraments. I also receive other sacraments in the context of the ordinary form, or not, as the case may be. I do parish work and volunteer as do many others without regard for whether one attends this or that Mass. I work in other ways which has no affiliation to the EF. And I am sure this is the case for most others. Once again, frjim4321′s constant maligning begs apology.

  42. wmeyer says:

    frjim, You apparently only consider norm in the sense of observed activity. The EF is a norm, however, with centuries of standing, and which, as Pope Benedict made plain in his motu proprio Summorum pontificum: “These two expressions of the Church’s Lex orandi will in no any way lead to a division in the Church’s ‘Lex credendi’ (Law of belief). They are, in fact two usages of the one Roman rite.”

    Having observed the great willingness of some priests to ad lib their own variations to the OF, I can only consider that there is greater security for the faithful in the long-standing traditions of the EF.

  43. John Nolan says:

    Since the mid-1970s the Catholic hierarchy in England has striven to become accepted as part of the establishment. Basil Hume, despite his monastic background, epitomised this trend, being elected to the Athenaeum Club and being referred to by the Queen as ‘my Cardinal’. Given that the Church of England seemed to be in terminal decline, this made some sense, but once the political establishment started moving the goalposts the essentially counter-cultural ethos of the Catholic Church was thrown into more sharp relief. So Vincent Nichols could not simply continue the cosy relationship enjoyed by his two predecessors.

    Just after the papal visit of 2010 Abp Nichols was ambushed on a BBCTV discussion programme by a gay professor (Diarmaid MacCulloch) and a heterodox Catholic feminist ‘theologian’ (Tina Beattie). He did not acquit himself well, despite having a reputation as being ‘media savvy’. Rather than answering their arguments he tried to change the subject. I hope and pray that his decisions at the beginning of this year are a portent of better things to come.

  44. MichaelJ says:

    frjim, you seem to have missed an important distinction. In one case (the Teen Mass or SoHo Mass) a particular “style” of Mass is offered to accommodate the perceived unique needs of a particular sub-group. An individual is thought to have these unique needs solely by virtue of the fact that they belong to that particular group. In the other, the “style” of Mass pre-existed any sub-group whose spiritual needs are met by it. Instead a sub-group (you know, the “Fly-In-The-Amber Throwback Curmudgeons”) formed about a pre-existing Mass on the basis of individual, rather than “group” needs.
    Again, do “group needs” even exist? Many people seem to think so, but I do not see how.

  45. frjim4321 says:

    frjim, You apparently only consider norm in the sense of observed activity. The EF is a norm, however, with centuries of standing, and which, as Pope Benedict made plain in his motu proprio Summorum pontificum: “These two expressions of the Church’s Lex orandi will in no any way lead to a division in the Church’s ‘Lex credendi’ (Law of belief). They are, in fact two usages of the one Roman rite.”

    Having observed the great willingness of some priests to ad lib their own variations to the OF, I can only consider that there is greater security for the faithful in the long-standing traditions of the EF. wm

    Well, as I’ve said before in these parts, saying that something is so does not necessarily make something so. For example declaring that something is not going to be devisive does not necessarily make that thing non-divisive.

    With respect to the subject at hand I’ve already stipulated that I’m not a big fan of any kind of special-group mass, whether it be polka-mass people, folk-mass people, teen-mass people or Mozart-mass people or unreformed-mass people. These all have the potential for being devisive.

    That being said, and the opinions expressed in SP notwithstanding, I don’t think it’s going to be helpful in the long run to provide special attention to one segment while withholding it from another.

  46. Glen M says:

    Fr Jim said, ” I don’t think it’s going to be helpful in the long run to provide special attention to one segment while withholding it from another.”

    I agree. This is precisely why every parish should have an Extra Ordinary Form Mass at least every Sunday. That way the two forms would be “side by side” just as SP (universal law) states.

  47. I see no problem, generally speaking, in having Mass for a defined group, provided there is nothing contrary to the Faith. So: a Mass for the youth group? Fine. A Mass for the Knights of Columbus? A Mass for the Courage group? What’s the problem?

    The problem–aside from practical considerations–is when the Mass is organized or promoted in such a way that it calls into question the Church’s teaching or liturgical discipline. All of the examples I cited could err in that way, but none of them need to.

  48. PostCatholic says:

    wmeyer, I apologize if I put words in your mouth. I really was only trying to understand your point of view, and thanks for the clarification.

  49. wmeyer says:

    I see no problem, generally speaking, in having Mass for a defined group, provided there is nothing contrary to the Faith.

    And also, presumably, so long as the Mass is not altered from its prescribed form?

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