There is some confusion among Catholics about the Soho Masses in the United Kingdom that needs to be cleared up. It is Archbishop Vincent Nichols’ responsibility to do that, and he needs to be more clear about what is happening, but the Catholic press also has a responsibility to report on this situation more clearly.
One point of view is expressed by Deacon Nick Donnelly here.
The potential point of failure inherent in Archbishop Nichols’ announcement is his acceptance that the ‘group’ responsible for organizing the Soho Masses will continue to be recognized in its new role of leading pastoral provision in Farm Street.[...]
[...] If the same individuals continue in leadership positions then the promotion of active homosexual life-styles contrary to the teaching of the Church will in all likelihood continue. How will Archbishop Nichols ensure that the ‘Farm Street Pastoral Council’ will be ‘conducted fully in accordance with the teaching of the Church?’
Another point of view is expressed by Matt Shea at Vice.com here.
Archbishop Nichols officially condemned the LGBT masses, but most members of the Soho parish share the view that he’s being “bullied” into cracking down on gays by his bosses at The Vatican. It’s privately acknowledged that he’s in support of the LGBT masses and plans to meet them in person to encourage their continuation at The Church of the Immaculate Conception on Farm Street, Mayfair.
Deacon Nick Donnelly notes that the Catholic press is not reporting the reality of the situation.
This weekend has witnessed the disappointing sight of the entire Catholic press misreporting the news about the Soho Masses resulting in many usually well informed and astute Catholics believing that the Soho Masses have been stopped.
Will our Catholic journalists just read the statements issued by the Soho Masses Pastoral Council and its members that have been published and are widely available to see through the spin and report the truth – the Soho Masses have not been stopped.
I continue to believe that we need to be patient on this matter and let the Holy Spirit do His work. At the same time, it should be reported responsibly.
Photo: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images