This is a most curious situation. Archbishop Longley of Birmingham has slapped the hands of Catholics who were protesting at the Masses in Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Soho which are arranged on a regular basis for homosexuals, indeed called them "judgemental". Now I know it was reported in The Tablet which has its own agenda, and so what the Archbishop said and what was written in the final article may not tally completely in some points - sometimes journalists can "mishear".
Now there would be no problem if these Masses were to help men and women with same-sex-attraction in their living of chaste lives - in fact it would be a great ministry, one much neglected in the Church today. In fact there is a wonderful organisation founded by the Servant of God, Cardinal Cooke and Fr John Harvey which does terrific work, Courage. But, as I know from friends who live in London, those who organise, celebrate and participate at these "Soho Masses" appear to promote the idea that an active homosexual lifestyle is compatible with Christian teaching and those who do so are welcome to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion. This, of course, is contrary to Church teaching.
So why should a good Archbishop be supporting this (and Archbishop Longley is a good Archbishop)? I understand that he may not like the idea of protests outside a church, a sacred place, by people who claim to be faithful Catholics - I do not like the idea myself, there are better ways to getting the point across, and these must be used with regard to the issue. But I am puzzled by the seemingly official diocesan support which the Archbishop seems to be reiterating. Can my readers in London shed any light on the situation?