Mark Lambert has written an excellent post on the end of the “Soho Masses.” He is as hopeful as I am that this can really be the end, provided that Archbishop Nichols follows through. I have reason to believe he will, which I will explain, but first, let me point out what Lambert says about identity, which really is the crux of the issue in all this and is related to why I believe Archbishop Nichols will follow through.
The Church also refuses to label people according to sexual reference, which is what self-identifying as “gay” or “queer” is. Authentic human dignity means understanding we are far more complicated than our sexuality which forms just one aspect of our person.
Identity with one’s sexuality instead of in what Christ has called us to be is the very problem that has to be addressed. I have taken, recently, in multiple posts, to pointing out that many protestants get this point completely, and many Catholics are completely missing it. Why do many protestants get it? BECAUSE THEY LOVE JESUS and CLING to Him in a personal relationship, and if you LOVE JESUS and cling to Him in a personal relationship you will get it! If you’re just mindlessly following rules without interpreting them in the light of reason which comes from LOVING JESUS, then you will not see this as important. The testimony of Sy Rogers is yet another excellent example of a protestant who understands that “gay” as an identity is what separates people from knowing God’s love in a REAL way.
Some Catholics “get” this, including the Courage apostolate. It is not a “rule” without reason. It means something, and it is something central to every person’s relationship with Jesus — that we are ALL called to become like Him, no matter what “urges” we may have pulling us away from Him. It is said that if you were to meet the person you are called by God to be, you would not recognize that person. You might even hate that person! The saint you are called to be is completely different from the person you are now. For this reason, we should not allow any label that is not Godly to define who we are, because all of them prevent us from becoming the person God has called us to be.
Catholic Truth blog says Archbishop Nichols is not really going to end the Soho Masses. Certainly, he needs to do more than what he has already done. I have already agreed with Deacon Nick Donnelly that more needs to be done, but at the same time I know that our bishops are not in the habit of physically overturning tables as Jesus did without providing time for those being corrected to think things through. Maybe you would like to see them physically overturning tables, but now is not the time for that. My faith in Archbishop Nichols comes from his statement about identity.
Also, of great importance, is the teaching of the Church that a person must not be identified by their sexual orientation .
This sentence alone tells me that Archbishop Nichols completely understands the teaching of the Church and is willing to defend it. That he is giving some time for this to occur does not mean that he is not going to enforce it. It simply means that he is giving everyone an opportunity to think this over and submit to the will of the Church on the matter. At least, that is how I interpret it.
Will they do so? I don’t really think they will, but we must hope that they will, and we must pray for them that they come to the truth on this, because their salvation really does depend on knowing the real Jesus and finding their identity in God’s will for them. Don’t waste your energy complaining about Archbishop Nichols just because he isn’t moving quickly enough for your taste. Give things time, and use that time to PRAY for those who need to come to the truth in Christ.
Read Two Birds with One Stone, by Mark Lambert