Tuesday, June 24, 2008

How to use Pride London as an opportunity for pastoral outreach

The latest from ther Soho Masses Pastoral Council:

We have no intention of engaging in a prolonged correspondence with you but, further to your ‘Update’, 23 June and in the interests of accuracy, this is the actual wording used by the SMPC:

“Pride London takes place on Saturday, 5 July 2008. If you would like to volunteer to staff a stall in the Community Groups’ Market Place in Trafalgar Square, or help in other ways, please e-mail us … Joining with other Catholic groups, as well as people from other Churches and faiths, this offers important t opportunities for pastoral contact, support, advice and education.”

The SMPC’s aim is pastoral, while a parade or march would usually be understood to have a campaigning element, which is NOT what we are about. This is why we do not participate in the parade.

Ok, so they are not promoting the event: just encouraging churchgoers to attend the event in the interests of 'pastoral contact, support, advice and education.' There seems to be an acknowledgement that the parade promotes something that they should not be promoting. But taking out an official stall is close material cooperation in it: if it is bad, then the close material cooperation will need a lot of justification. Or perhaps it is not actually bad, but something their group wasn't set up to do, 'campaigning'. In which case they are lending support to the campaign by being an official stall-holder, listed as a participating group on the website, and so on. (The list isn't up yet this year, but they were on it last year.)

We're not the only people who see this association with LondonPride as a form of endorsement. The liberal think-tank Ekklesia makes the same connection, and even link it to the special Mass for dissident gays which will take place in Our Lady of the Assumption, Warwick Stree, on 6th July.

Can a Catholic group use the Pride event to witness to the faith? Of course, This is how to do it: it is called a counter-demonstration. The Orthodox Jews did it in Jerusalem; Christians in Elmira, New York (and were arrested for praying); the same thing happened in Norway; a Catholic men's group did it in San Jose, California: here's a picture.
So, SMPC: if you want to witness to the fact that the usual gay subculture promotes and celebrates promiscuity, and that this will lead those involved in it to misery, not only will we correct our stories but we'll join you there.

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen