Monday, May 04, 2009

Damian Thompson on 'Gay Masses'

Comment. Damian Thompson writes coyly that 'I know I should steer clear of this subject': it is characteristic of him to provoke and simultaneously dread (or claim to dread) the comments on his blog about his own orientation, domestic arrangements, etc.. 

Here's the locus classicus of this: 'Calling all lesbian and gay Roman Catholics! ... Having lit the fuse, I look forward to your responses. Hint to people who don't like me, or fancy a spot of outing: this is your opportunity to get in a few digs'. In that post he was actually promoting the Warwick Street contribution to the London Gay Pride march - or ironically pretending to.

However we've never criticised him for what is a matter for the internal forum (despite his hints); as far as we care to know he's not a public sinner; the rest we leave to his conscience and the Good Lord. We have other criticisms of his journalistic standards: see 'How not to blog'.

What he says about the 'Gay Masses' in the church or Our Lady of the Assumption, Warwick Street, however, is spot on:

The Warwick Street formula is deliberately ambiguous, however. The community "enables all who take part in the Masses various ways to grow in their faith and integrate this with their sexual orientation". Meaning what? Sounds like don't ask, don't tell on the part of the diocese. Critics would say it amounts to having your rainbow-coloured cake and eating it.

Speaking of which, doesn't that rainbow rhetoric make you cringe? It's as outdated as, well, Bungle and Zippy. I don't know if the Warwick Street LGBT caucus has noticed, but young gay people tend not to be into that Castro stuff. Some of them haven't even read Tales of the City.

And as for young homosexual Catholics, well, some of them are Lefty activists but many are traddies who wouldn't be seen dead in Warwick Street unless Mass was celebrated in the Extraordinary Form. And this is just a guess, but I reckon most of them are pretty impressively celibate. I don't judge them, or gay couple friends of mine whose intimate life is none of my bloody business.

This is exactly right. The Warwick Street Masses, as we have always pointed out, don't cater for Catholics of a homosexual orientation, but for people who dissent from Catholic teaching in a way characteristic of the 'ageing lefty' type. The whole idea of Masses for specific groups like homosexuals is just embarassing to anyone who takes the Mass seriously. The way they do it, rainbow cakes and all, makes it even worse.

But Thompson is being optimistic when he suggests, at the end of his post, that Archhbishop Nichols may bring these Masses to an end. If he'd been reading CAUK, he's know that Nichols has beeen tolerating his very own 'Gay Masses', in Birmingham, for years. If they are ok in St Catherine of Siena, Bristol Street, Birmingham, why should he move against them in Our Lady of the Assumption, Warwick Street, Soho?

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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