The Catechism is clear about what the Church teaches about sexuality: sexual activity is permissible exclusively within marriage between man and woman. Other types of sexual pursuits, such as non-conjugal relations, are proscribed.
“In questions of sinfulness, few of us are ever qualified to throw the first stone.”
The homosexual act and masturbation are, according to the Catechism, “intrinsically disordered” and not consistent with the teaching of the Church (2352, 2357).
At the same time, the Catechism counsels that homosexuals may not be discriminated against: “They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided” (2358).
The Body of Christ may not engage in homophobia, and our fidelity to the Catechism cannot be conditional on the fidelity to it by others.
There is also no profit in speculating about the sexual conduct of fellow Catholics who are homosexual. We cannot presume to know what happens behind the closed doors of homosexual Catholics, nor those of others, married or unmarried.
In questions of sinfulness, few of us are ever qualified to throw the first stone.
In that light, the decision by the archdiocese of Westminster, England, to discontinue fortnightly Masses as part of a pastoral care programme for homosexuals, reportedly under pressure from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, runs the risk of being understood as lacking in compassion and sensitivity.
It doubtless was a difficult decision for Archbishop Vincent Nichols. While he has been outspoken in his opposition to gay marriage, he has also been supportive of the pastoral care initiative for homosexuals in his archdiocese. In February 2012 he explicitly “reaffirmed the intention and purpose” of the programme, including the so-called Soho Masses.
The programme, which Archbishop Nichols in a statement on his decision described as being “motivated by an awareness of the difficulties and isolation [homosexuals] can experience and by the imperative of Christ’s love for all”, will continue, without special liturgical celebrations, at a Jesuit church in London.
more at –The Southern Cross.
- The Tablet: Nichols to meet Soho Mass-goers (queeringthechurch.com)
- We need Gay Masses beyond Soho (queeringthechurch.com)
- The Vatican “Mess” Over Gay Mass (queeringthechurch.com)
- R.I.P. Soho Masses: Long Live Soho Masses! (queeringthechurch.com)
- Archbishop Nichols’ Letter to the Soho Masses Congregation (queeringthechurch.com)
- Westminster Diocese: Expanding Pastoral Care for LGBT Catholics (queeringthechurch.com)
- Soho Masses: Can We Walk and Chew Gum at the Same Time? (questgaycatholic.org.uk)
- “Soho Masses”: A Time for Prayer and Reflection (queeringthechurch.com)