It’s a new year and new bigotry from the Catholic church: The Archbishop of Westminster has ended the long-running gay-inclusive Mass held twice a month at Our Lady of the Assumption Church in London’s Soho neighborhood.
Archbishop Vincent Nichols, who oversees Catholics in England and Wales, explained in a statement:
“The moral teaching of the church is that proper use of our sexual faculty is within a marriage, between a man and a woman, open to the procreation and nurturing of new human life. As I stated in March 2012, this means that many types of sexual activity, including same-sex sexual activity, are not consistent with the teaching of the church.
For many years now the diocese of Westminster has sought to extend the pastoral care of the church to those who experience same-sex attraction. This care as been motivated by an awareness of the difficulties and isolation they can experience and by the imperative of Christ’s love for all.
In recent years, this pastoral care has focused on the celebration of mass at Our Lady of the Assumption church in Warwick Street. Over these years, the situation of people with same-sex attraction has changed both socially and in civil law. However, the principles of the pastoral care to be offered by the church and the church’s teaching on matters of sexual morality have not.”
Oddly enough, Nichols originally refused to criticize the Soho Masses, saying “anybody who is trying to cast a judgement on the people who come forward for communion really ought to learn to hold their tongue.” But after Catholic conservatives attacked the services in the press, he’s apparently changed his tune.
The Masses will be phased out in time for Lent.