Churchgoers to Our Lady of the Assumption, Warwick Street, at 5pm on Sunday 5th August, were handed hymn books with leaflets entitled 'Notes and News'. Just another parish newsletter, perhaps? Well, it comes from a group called the 'Soho Masses Pastoral Council', who organise these Masses on the first Sunday of every month, and it contained the following item:
Stop AIDS! Gay Men Fighting AIDS (GMFA) is holding a sports-day at Vauxhall, Bank Holiday Monday, 27 August. They’re inviting teams from those listed in their social groups directory to enter sponsored teams –
But the 'Gay Men Fighting AIDS' group, to which the 'Soho Masses Pastoral Council' is proudly affiliated, is not about promoting chastity. Rather, their website (warning: we like to give sources but that link will take you to indescribable filth, of which the quotation below is the most harmless sample) tells us:
Sex is great - we love it! So believe us when we say that we're not trying to piss on anyone's parade by saying there are risks involved. The more informed you are about the risks, the easier it will be for you to navigate them. In this section you will find information about different kinds of sex, and the related HIV and other STI risks of each of them. All STIs are preventable, treatable or curable, and some are all three, so it's worth taking care of your sexual health.
That is not enough for the Soho Masses Pastoral Council. Their own website informs us that they regularly have prayers for members of the congregation who have contracted Civil Partnerships; they invite dissident Catholic theologians - and non-Catholics - to preach, and they were a 'registered group' at the LondonPride march, an unashamed celebration of the hedonistic 'gay' lifestyle.
When it gave permission for these Masses, at the request of the Soho Masses Pastoral Council, the Archdiocese noted that
Information about the Mass will be sensitive to the reality that the celebration of Mass is not to be used for campaigning for any change to, or ambiguity about, the Church’s teaching.
This is not the 'reality' for those attending these Masses. It is worth repeating once more the pertinent section from Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's document, 'The Pastoral Care of the Homosexual Person', 1986: (See here for the full text.)
17: 'All support should be withdrawn from any organisations which seek to undermine the teaching of the Church, which are ambiguous about it, or which neglect it entirely. Such support, or even the semblance of such support, can be gravely misinterpreted. Special attention should be given to the practice of scheduling religious services and to the use of Church buildings by these groups, including the facilities of Catholic schools and colleges. To some, such permission to use Church property may seem only just and charitable; but in reality it is contradictory to the purpose for which these institutions were founded, it is misleading and often scandalous...'
These Masses must stop. Please protest to the Cardinal and to the CDF.
Cormac, Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor,
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
11 Palazzo di S. Uffizio
Vatican City State,