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New Archbishop of Birmingham helped organise gay Masses

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  1. Brian Burton 1 Oct 2009, 10:58am

    Now is’nt it remarkable this New Catholic Bishop should be banging at the door of prejudice in the Catholic Church? Catholics are the most hated, so, I hope this Pro-Gay Catholic Bis. is not lumped together with the rest!

  2. yes, Brian, well he will never wear the cardinals hat will he? Call me an old Cynic but is he for real or just trying to convert us back to Path of True Righteousness(!!!!)

  3. Fantastic . . . unfortunately I am pessimistic.

    Look at how the pope banished liberation theology . . . I think the New Archbishop is heading for trouble. It will be interesting to see how he stands his ground, but can any one really remain vertical on quick sand

  4. “…while following Catholic teaching on homosexuality…”

    That is the key phrase. I don’t want to be welcomed by a church that will only accept me if I remain celibate and agree that homosexual acts are wrong.

  5. Just how pro-gay is this Bishop? The article asserts that he upheld official Catholic condemnation of our sexual relationships. However well-intentioned he thought he was, he was nevertheless selling global warming to Eskimos. Has his view changed, and has he the bottle to say so if it has?

  6. Brian Burton 1 Oct 2009, 12:50pm

    Good Comments already, I can see this one reaching the moon!

  7. Robert, ex-pat Brit 1 Oct 2009, 1:50pm

    Interesting isn’t it that the Vatican never bashes straight non-married couples for having pre-marital sex nor do they label it as a “lifestyle”. Why aren’t they treating them the same way by demanding that they remain celibate until they marry? Its beyond the double-standard, nothing more than downright religious cult-based homophobia.

  8. RC church and sex: (remember the Pet Shop Boys song)
    Thinking lude thoughts is….a sin
    sex before marriage is….a sin
    masturbation is….a sin
    having sex with someone who you are not married too is …a sin
    Having sex with someone of the same sex is….a VERY big bad wicked evil sin!
    Having sex in marrige is….NOT A SIN!

  9. Wearing a condom is also a sin for these weirdoes.

    This bishop is supportive only of those gay people who remain celibate.

    With ‘friends’ like that, who needs enemies.

  10. Can I be the only one who thinks that His Lordship has a twinkle in his eye?

  11. As someone else involved in the two-month consultation process that led to the transition of Catholic Masses from Soho’s Anglican parish church to Soho’s Church of Our Lady of the Assumption & St. Gregory I can assure others who ahve commented that there was no demand on us to “remain celibate and agree that homosexual acts are wrong” (Anthony B.) In fact we are invited to make an independent response to Cardianl Cormac Murphy O’Connor’s statement announcing the move. This, along with lots of other information about the Sopho Masses Community, can be seen on If you want to check us out, come along on Sunday, 4 October, 17.00, The Church of the Assumption & St. Gregory,Warwick Street, Soho, W1B 5NB. You might get a surprise !

  12. “Sohomasses” in Soho and what has that to do with the rest of the United Kingdom and the activities of the mainstream Roman Catholic priesthood and what is taught in catholic schools here.

    A sop to the London catholic intelligentsia and fire and brimstone everywhere else for everyone else.

    The Protestant majority in the UK DO NOT WANT Pope Benedict the 16th in our country..this is just a cheap vote-catching stunt by Gordon Brown to gather in the Labour vote amongst Roman Catholics.

  13. Odd. The Guardian cites him as a conservative priest who is well thought of in Rome. Doesn’t seem that Gay friendly to me.

  14. I agree with my friend and colleague Martin (above) who notes that during the extensive consultation process around the Soho gay Masses, Bishop Longley at no time expressed any demand that we remain celibate or agree with church teaching.

    It would be an exaggeration or describe him as “pro-gay”, but he is most certainly open-minded, and accepts that thee is room in the church for disagreement on matters of formal teaching. Early in the discussions, he invited “frankness”. I can assure you that I for one spoke extremely frankly abut the hostility and suspicion, often based on personal experience, with which many gay men and lesbians view the church. To his credit, he took this frankness with good grace, and I believe learned a lot during the discussions.

    One important point of factual error in the report is the statement that he “helped a group out together a statement on ministering to gay Catholics which, while following Catholic teaching…”. That statement, which was not put together by our group, but by the Cardinal’s office, was not endorsed by us. Instead, we put together an independent statement with rather a different message.

    While it would be wrong to call Bishop Longley pro-gay, it is important to note that there are in fact an increasing number of theologians, Scripture scholars and other influential people in the church who are. There are strong arguments for recognising that traditional teaching is flawed, and for reversing the past opposition to homoerotic relationships. The British Quakers and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America in recent months have both taken important steps to reverse past policies – but after careful study and prayerful reflection. The process is not helped by responding to anti-gay bigotry with vitriol against the church.

    Instead, it would be more helpful to understand the religious supportive arguments, and encourage the moderate and progressive forces within the church who are working to bring about the inevitable change.

    Change is visibly on the way in several Protestant denominations, and will come to the catholic Church too.

    For some of these supportive arguments, and news on the change that is occurring within the churches, see various posts at
    Queering the Church

  15. Martin (No. 11) – I admit that I don’t know what goes on in the Soho Masses, but the Pink News article says:

    “He also helped the group write a statement on ministering to gay Catholics which, while following Catholic teaching on homosexuality, recognised that gay and lesbian believers wanted to be involved with the church.”

    As far as I know, the Catholic Church teaches that gay people should not engage in homosexual acts as it considers them to be evil. I was brought up as a Catholic, although I no longer believe or practice. While you may get priests catering to gays in metropolitan London, up here in Scotland they are pretty much of the old school i.e. gays are evil, let’s go bugger the alter boys.

  16. Jean-Paul Bentham 1 Oct 2009, 8:36pm

    Terence (14):


    I hope he ain’t open-minded enough to have an accident so that his head won’t slip into a hangman’s rope under London Bridge.

    There’s naive…and then there’s you!! Bingo at 7 pm every Thusrday; bring lotsa cash!

  17. I’m sure that a lot of catholic priests and bishops think that the catholic church is wrong on homosexuality, but the fact is that the church DOES consider homosexuality to be wrong. Until the church as a whole (the pope) says otherwise, then no amount of masses twice a month or whatever is going to make the slightest bit of difference.

  18. Martin (No.11) – Thanks for the link to the Soho Masses website, but I’m stil not convinced. If I wanted to go to mass, I would want to be able to attend any service in any catholic church, not just a special service put on for gays twice a month. That doesn’t seem like acceptance by the catholic church. I’m sure this bishop means well, but as I said above, official policy is that we gays are evil and will burn in hell.

  19. Otherwise known as Bessie Bunter.

  20. Bishop Ioan 9 Oct 2009, 4:10am

    I suppose this may a start, but the real proof of the pudding so to speak would be if they do Holy Unions for LGBTQ couples. I gather they don’t, so how “pro-gay” they are is open to debate.

    I do think that sooner or later Ratzi the Nazi will get around to quashing this. The man wants to take Roman Catholicism back to the pre-Vatican II style of church. The bottom line I think needs to be understood: the RC Church is not pro-gay or even tolerant. I certainly would never want to belong to a church which does not accept my spouse and me as a fully, legally-married couple. This is why I am Old Catholic.

    I would think the less Roman Catholicism has to be dealt with in any country, the better. They are against just about anything progressive that you can think of.

  21. We need a Pope Bessie Bunter I.

  22. I agree, Dave, the dirty old queer should be made pope if they didn’t have one already.

  23. He can almost certainly quit the Catholic church and move to the Anglican church, which though rent by schism, is far closer to accepting gay people as real people, eg think of what is happening in the US Episcopal(anglican) church.

    Anyone who would work for Benedict is, if he is a good man, a dreamer. If he had the guts to move to the Anglican church, where there is hope, he could be a voice with others, not a fart in a windstorm on this subject.

    And to Benedict, the way to address him is “Seig Heil, meine churchFuhrer.

    Which actually would be good – at least the speaker would be excommunicated from the 10th century into the modern world.

  24. Don Harrison 30 May 2011, 12:21pm

    I am not a Catholic but it is good news

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