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Soho Catholics celebrate fifth anniversary of gay Masses

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  1. A “packed” church, that will make a change!

    1. GingerlyColors 6 Mar 2012, 6:09pm

      You don’t see any empty pews during ‘Songs Of Praise’, people no doubt go along just to be on TV!

    2. billyWingartenson 2 Sep 2012, 5:59pm

      ny gay who goes to a catholic church is like a jew working for hitler.

      Some did in the death camps. they were called Kapos Got better treatment . Most had been common criminals

      we are still breathing some of their ashes

  2. I expect the congregation to organise protests in the other catholic cult buildings this weekend.

    As gay people they have a responsibility to disrupt the hate speech in next Sunday’s sermon

  3. Apparently, the Soho Masses are celebrated for the benefit of gays who accept the teachings of the Church and therefore refrain from any form of sexual activity. Presumably, the priest will be only one non-celibate!

    1. Oh – so these messes / masses are for self-hating lunatics?

      1. I go to the Soho masses because I believe in God and the central teachings of the Catholic Church. I entirely respect the beliefs of my many friends who don’t believe in either and expect the same respect from them. The Soho masses allow me to worship God in the Catholic tradition I grew up in without having to apologise or lie about my sexuality. I’m aware that the Church even whilst sponsoring the Soho masses teaches my sexuality is a sin just as my straight mass- going friends are aware it teaches contraception and sex outside marriage are a sin but we all have enough faith in the wisdom of God to be confident that the rules made by his human church aren’t all correct and we all find attending mass a loving fellowship and a comforting and sacred way to be close to God. I may of course be wrong and a vengeful God will wreak a terrible punishment on me on the day of judgement for being gay and but thats no ones risk but mine and I’m happy to take my chances on that.

        1. Matthew de Unger Brown 7 Mar 2012, 11:00am

          Couldn’t agree more James. Well said.

        2. 1. The Church doesn’t teach your sexuality is a sin. You’ve obviously been poorly catechised. It teaches that homosexual acts are a sin. Big, big difference.
          2. Your friends who use contraception, etc. are also badly catechised most likely.
          3. You should know full well that the Church teaches it is not a totally human institution but guards to deposit of Faith. You should not, as a Catholic, pick and choose your beliefs. It’s all or nothing.

    2. Terence Weldon 6 Mar 2012, 5:28pm

      Church teaching includes an important insistence that we have a right and obligation to follow conscience, even if it is in conflict with orthodoxy. The majority of married Catholics practice contraception in good conscience, in violation of Vatican doctrine, and many gay Catholics who in the same way, in good conscience do not practise celibacy.

  4. A totally mixed message!

  5. I would like to see strong visible opposition to the proposed “instructions” to Catholics on Sunday being demonstrated by the Soho congregation.

    It is crucial that we unite in (excuse the pun) as wide a church as possible, to condemn the vicious and immoral subhuman treatment by senior RC clergy and Christian fundmentalists towards LGBT people where marriage is concerned.

    1. Unity is not required.

      Simply google the location of the nearest catholic cult building.

      It will list the mass times.

      Just go along and as soon as the priest / child-rapist starts spewing his bigotry, stand up, shout ‘Bigot, liar, child-rapist’ at him and wallk out.

      Very simple really.

      1. Spanner1960 6 Mar 2012, 2:52pm

        And all you will do is increase animosity between the groups and make the rest of us look like a pack of animals.

        Peter Tatchell used to do it with Outrage, and he only ended up making gay people look like spoilt brats and lefty fringe lunatics. Even he has seen that there is more than one way to skin a cat and that diplomatic processes achieve far more than banging drums and whistles and making an arsehole of oneself.

        1. @Spanner

          I agree dAVIDs approach to protest is not the best way to proceed.

          I do think it is time to protest. I think we have to be clever, innovative and deliver a punch. Something creative and inspiring that will attract media attention (even if it makes some people look ridiculous – I’m not sure what but Fathers for Justice springs to mind) but requires a good media savvy spokesman too.

          I also think because we have to be clever we have to co-ordinate and work to make sure the battle to establish our rights and fairness that uniting is essential. Disparate small groups shouting and bawling will achieve nothing other than a spectacle that looks as obsolete as the priests dAVID seeks to ridicule in public. The priests deserve ridiculing, but the outcome of the act dAVID proposes will not be beneficial to the cause.

          1. OK perhaps it’s better not to call the priest a child rapist as there is a chance that the priest in question has never raped a child.

            But a loud, vocal protest is absolutely needed.

            These cultists need to know that no longer are they going to be allowed interfere in our democracy without protest.

            Remember that the vast majority of catholics never attend mass so none of those people will be alenated.

            And the people in attendance are far more likely to be bigotted so they need to face the music as well.

            There are hundreds of catholic cult buildings all over the country.

            If there is a large, visible, gay presence in every single cult building this weekend then the message that the catholic cult is sending can be opposed everywhere the cult is operating.

      2. GingerlyColors 6 Mar 2012, 6:17pm

        I’m sorry dAVID but going round accusing people of being pedeophiles is nasty and nothing more than a 21st version of the medieval witch hunt designed to discredit individuals you may not like. The majority of Catholic priests are not perverts but the Church is a huge organisation, representing over 1/7th of the world population and it is a known fact that jobs involving children do attract pedeophiles and it is not only just amongst Catholic clergy, but teachers, care workers, scout leaders and other such workers have their bad apples.

    2. Terence Weldon 6 Mar 2012, 5:31pm

      Agreed, The language used by Cardinal O’Brien is particularly offensive, and in contradiction of the Church’s own teaching that we should be treated with “respect, compassion and sensitivity”.

  6. Father Ted 6 Mar 2012, 3:04pm

    These masses have really been upsetting conservatives, who did some secret filming of a transgender woman doing a reading during the service, then posted it on you tube with disgraceful and unchristian comments, using it to whip up opposition. I presume that is why the comments of the church towards the end of this article sound ominous and threatening.

    1. Terence Weldon 6 Mar 2012, 5:50pm

      Agreed, that the Masses have been deeply upsetting to the orthotoxic Catholics who use their faith as a mask for bigotry- that’s one sign of their value, demonstrating that one can be Catholic and gay, and in good standing with the diocese. It’s encouraging that the visible opposition is now dying off. Perhaps they are finally realizing that they are getting nowhere: the Masses are here to stay.

      1. Don’t be so sure.

        The big guns haven’t been fired, yet, my friend.

  7. Rayne Van-Dunem 6 Mar 2012, 3:20pm

    I’m still not getting it.

    The doctrine of the RCC demonizes gays and lesbians by shaming the sexual relationships which, in this society, often demand such appellations as “gay” and “lesbian”. Yet, a “packed” Mass is supposed to attract a large number of openly-gay and openly-lesbian people.

    Why are they patronizing this establishment? It just doesn’t make sense.

    I call this “Stockholm syndrome”.

    1. They hate themselves.

      1. Or maybe the prospect of the free breakfast afterwards is the attraction. I might pop in for that. And I am not a catholic.

        1. Terence Weldon 6 Mar 2012, 5:46pm

          No chance of breakfast, sadly. The Masses are held in the evening, at 5pm, 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month. But you’re very welcome to come downstairs for tea/coffee and biscuits – and on special occasions, a little more.

    2. They want to have it off with the priest in confession.

    3. Terence Weldon 6 Mar 2012, 5:44pm

      The history of LGBT ministry in all the churches has shown that where once we were totally excluded and demonised, that started to change once we started to organize for ourselves. In response, the churches have steadily modified their own positions. In many churches, there is a movement to radical revision of their historic, steadfast hostility, to ordaining partnered queer clergy, and celebrating same-sex weddings in church. The Catholic church is way behind – but this kind of supportive ministry highlights the inadequacy of current teaching, and is slowly nudging the nominal leaders of the church towards sanity. Already, research shows that most ordinary Catholics do not see homosexual relationships as a matter of morality at all. The bishops will come around – sooner than we expect.

  8. Father Ted 6 Mar 2012, 3:27pm

    Here’s some BBC interviews on this.

  9. de Villiers 6 Mar 2012, 4:39pm

    To those who have wondered why gay Catholics still wish to be part of the faith, consider how deep-rooted are questions of identity and meaning. There are hundreds of thousands of French gay individuals. Most are likely to be Catholic. It forms a part of their identity and meaning.

    It is not for the Church, its leadership or those who dislike the Church to try and redefine for gay Catholics what it means to be both gay and Catholic. Although many gay individuals turn towards secularism, this is often as a reaction against religion, which they see as a threat. It is unattractive for gay individuals who have struggled to find their identity then to seek to criticise others who have found theirs.

    It is perfectly possible to be gay and to find meaning and relief in the spirituality of Catholicism. The power of the liberals is at an ebb at present but it may not be like that forever and I await the time when the Church can reconcile itself with all gay individuals.

    1. Rayne Van-Dunem 6 Mar 2012, 5:29pm

      Sir or ma’am, I stopped struggling with “religious identity” when I gradually realized that theism of the Abrahamic type, with its racket of “good”/”bad” and “Heaven”/”Hell”, is not only divisive but also destructive.

      I choose now to abstain from the “atheist” label as, in many countries in East Asia, such an identity as “Christian”, “Muslim”, “Catholic”, “Mormon”, “Ahmadiyya”, etc., doesn’t mean anything. They don’t explain anything about your ancestry or cultural affiliation, nor do they explain anything about what you do for a living or hobby.

      I encourage those who still pine for the Catholic identity to find an alternative identity in a livelihood, practice or hobby. “Belief”, in the Abrahamic sense, is never the best self-classification or border between communities. We who are openly gay should know about how such classification did damage to us until we reclaimed it as a defensive identity, one that may likely be dropped when the stigma associated with homosexuality ends.

      1. de Villiers 6 Mar 2012, 9:45pm

        I don’t pine for a Catholicism that I haven’t lost. And I would not seek to encourage people to abandon their identity – merely swapping one for another.

  10. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Mar 2012, 6:12pm

    We must get the message across that there are millions of infertile hetero couples around the world. Why not ban them from marriage since most of the cults believe that marriage is about procreation it’s sole purpose? Love is secondary. Why isn’t the RC cult in particular not excommunicating catholics using artificial birth control considered to be a mortal sin? Maybe if that issue were raised, more catholics would not support its campaign to fight marriage equality highlighting the cult’s blatant hypocrisy and bigotry.

  11. Lisandro Caffaratto 6 Mar 2012, 8:35pm

    At the Soho Masses we have experienced attacks upon us from conservatives groups in within the Catholic church, bloggers that dedicate most of their time to speak about us, a group of people gather outside the church to protest at every mass, a number of letter have been written asking for the masses to be stopped; and now I am reading in here some comments that are as tough and as offensive as the words they are condemning.
    C’mon guys we are just a group of folks with a different identity trying to be accepted and respected for who we are; I’m sure you know how that feels like.
    Yes, we are gays; yes, we are Catholics; and with pride and joy we celebrated our 5th anniversary and my eyes got wet when the packed church sang:
    “Let us build a house where all are named, their songs and visions heard and loved and treasured, taught and claimed as words within the Word … let this house proclaim from floor to rafter: All are welcome, all are welcome in this place.”

  12. Rayne Van-Dunem 7 Mar 2012, 8:53am

    Just as there is a minority of Catholics who absolutely despise the Vatican over the changes to Catholic liturgy at Vatican II in the 1960s or Catholics who assert that they have found a more legitimate pope than the present Vatican-selected one, so too will there be Catholics who continue to rue women’s right to vote or, in this case, gays to be catered too without backhanded ideological vilification. Also, it’s considered an abdication to those insufferable Jews or Freemasons to simply abstain from trying to convert them or praying for their conversion to the One True church.

    It’s an identity thing, you see. For many, being a True, non-“cafeteria Catholic” means rejecting “liberalism” in all of its forms.

  13. Watt Tyler 7 Mar 2012, 12:26pm

    What kind of IDIOTS!!! are these. Stop suporting and giving money to a church that is rippingt you and everyone else off, and not giving us a fair chance in life!! Migrate to a humane and decent religion instead, and leave the Catholic church with its yobs and it’s paedophiles. Its waht they deserve and God would want.

  14. Lots of Catholics, gay and straight, love the frocks and candles and give a token nod at ‘official teaching’ as they go in the door. In this instance I find it sad that l&g people accept the condemnation and denigration of their relationships in order to feel tokenistically ‘included’ in what is usually their childhood church.
    You’ve got to hand it to the RC church. It gets into peoples’ water and stays there. One of the most effective totalitarian systems ever invented.

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