A London Catholic organisation has been granted the right to provide Mass for LGBT parishioners following discussions with the Head of the Catholic church in England and Wales.
The Soho Masses Pastoral Council is an elected group of Catholics responsible for organising masses in the Soho area.
It has gained permission from Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, to hold Masses and give pastoral care to LGBT Catholics.
They will do so for the first time in a Roman Catholic church on 4th March.
The Mass will be held in the historic Our Lady of the Assumption church in Warwick Street, near Piccadilly Circus.
Since 2001 LGBT masses have been held at St. Anne’s Anglican Parish Church.
The diocese of Westminster pointed out in a statement that the decision did not contradict Church teaching which argues that homosexual practice is a sin.
“This full and active participation takes place within the context of the wider Church and specifically within existing parish structures and pastoral services, always of course in accordance with the Church’s teaching and liturgical norms.
“In seeking to meet these pastoral needs there would be no attempt to create separate congregations and exclusive services out of step with the Church’s teaching.”
However, according to The Daily Telegraph senior Catholics fear that the Cardinal’s decision will upset traditionalists.
Complaints had been received that unofficial Masses organised by the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement were being used to campaign for a broader change in the Church’s teachings on homosexuality.
Michael Akerman, a spokesman for Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, a traditionalist
Catholic group, told The Daily Telegraph:
“Homosexuals can attend their own parish church, so having a separate and distinct Mass looks like they are trying to make a statement.”