Quest Conference 2013, 26-28 July: places are still available! Both our speakers, Sara Maitland and Fr Daniel O’Leary, are popular Catholic authors and regular contributors to the Tablet weekly magazine.
It’s been an astonishing, roller- coaster year for British lesbian and gay Catholics. With New Year, came the sudden announcement by Archbishop Vincent Nichols that the Soho Masses in Warwick Street would be ending, and its the congregation absorbed (without consultation or negotiation) into the existing congregation of the Jesuit parish of Farm Street. A month later we heard from Pope Benedict that he would be retiring at the end of February, and in March the conclave surprised most observers by selecting Pope Francis – who continues to surprise with the countless ways in which his style and priorities are so different from his predecessors. What does it all mean for LGBT Catholics – and particularly for Quest?
John McNeill has written frequently about a “Kairos moment” for lesbian and gay Catholics in the Church, an “opportune moment” which, guided by the Holy Spirit, is ripe for deep-seated change and transformation. The events of these three months have left me more convinced than ever that he is right. Formal doctrine has not changed, nor is there any sign yet that it will, but there is The strenuous opposition of the Catholic oligarch to equal marriage, has led some bishops to accept the value of civil unions. Others have shifted the emphasis from doctrinal rules on genital acts, to the previously neglected teaching on “respect, compassion and understanding”, and all that that implies. In the UK, the end of the Soho Masses in Warwick Street was met with jubilation by their opponents – but for those making the transition, this could be a great opportunity for further growth and development as we integrate in a local parish – a further step in our collective coming out process. The problem and challenge, is, “What of all the others?”. Read more…
This book is a clear and compassionate study of the dilemma facing Catholics of same sex attraction. It is very orthodox in accepting Church teaching but searches for a deeper understanding of gay sexuality. Fr. Cameli is aware that today’s youth is put off the Church which is perceived as hostile and condemnatory so he seeks a more sensitive and pastoral approach.
Catholic doctrine teaches that God’s design or purpose for human sexuality is for unitive love between a man and a woman normally leading to procreation. However, today’s world prizes personal autonomy as the source and value and direction in life. The Catholic Faith teaches that God has created us to be connecting, belonging and generative human beings. Fr. Cameli shows how gay Catholics can practise these roles without breaking the moral law of ‘no sex outside of marriage’. Read more…
The new Coaching Relationship service at PACE is aimed exclusively for the LGBT community. Relationship Coaching workshops are run by an experienced Life Coach, to facilitate effective strategies for people to work toward the aim of building a solid foundation to their relationships. Working exclusively with same sex, Trans couples and singles too, to offer dedicated professional support for the LGBT community and their relationship needs, through a series of planned relationship coaching orientated workshops.
The courses are open to everybody in a relationship, those considering a relationship and those that are just curious!
A full one day course for those that want to have a relationship in a different way to how you have had them before! Addressing some of the issues common to all relationships, with strategies on how to work with these to get the best out of your relationship. Including, exploring stages of a relationship and common pitfalls, communication strategies, conflict resolution, problem solving and much more!
A two day workshop covering the legal procedures as well as preparing for your life together, as well as starting to think about the future, includes: financial planning, lifestyle expectations and goals and creating a shared vision. With Plenty more!
Thinking Of Becoming Parents
A two day workshop for those who are considering having children, this will cover the various options for having children, exploring the common barriers and strategies to overcome these… with lots more to offer.
All workshops are completely free of charge.
All the courses will be run at PACE, London. For future dates of courses, which will run monthly, and for more information on course contents please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, www.pacehealth.org.uk.
(With acknowledgement to Lady Gaga)
As Jesus went along, he saw a man who had been homosexual from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should have been born homosexual?’ ‘Neither he nor his parents sinned,’ Jesus answered, ‘he was born homosexual so that the works of God might be revealed in him.’
Full marks if you correctly identify the words above as a reworking of the passage about the cure of the man born blind found in John’s Gospel (9:1-40). While some may find it shocking, perhaps even blasphemous, that I should change a Gospel passage in such a radical way, others may find it helpful. I am fully mindful of the fact that the analogy is imperfect. How many of us would seek to have our heterosexuality ‘restored’ assuming that at one time and by some terrible misfortune it had been snatched away from us. In the words of the Lady Gaga song: “I was born this way”. Equally, my use of this passage is not meant in any way to suggest that homosexuality can be cured. Many have tried; few, if any, have succeeded. Read more…
Workshop for the Soho Masses Community and other LGBT Catholics, their families, and friends
4th May 2013, Mount Street Jesuit Centre, 114 Mount Street, London W1K 3AH. Free – bring & share lunch.
“The Catholic Church is Beyond Redemption: Pope Francis Cannot Save It” – a passionate debate between theologian James Alison, journalist Peter Stanford, barrister Ronan McCrea and author Colm O’Gorman (YouTube video, 59:19)
An intelligent and passionate debate that took place in London in 2009 (YouTube video, 46:43): Ann Widdecombe, Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry.
Your Conscience and Church Teaching – How Do They Fit Together?
A workshop by Fr. Frank Morrisey OMI.
22-23 May, Crewe, Cheshire.
Many people get dizzy when they see disagreement in the Church over such moral issues as birth control, divorce, the changing role of women, or the status of same sex relationships. How are we supposed to deal with the confusing relationship between personal conscience and official Church teaching? How can we be “loyal” to the Church even when we are unable to agree with some aspect or method of Church teaching. How can all of us in the Church work together to
understand and apply gospel values to our decisions?
We will apply the general principles arising from exploring these questions to help us deepen our understanding of marriage as Catholics and ask where it fits at a time when the civic understanding of marriage is changing.
Fr. Frank Morrisey is an Ottawa-based Oblate, a professor and former Dean of Canon Law at the Oblate run University of St. Paul. A gifted speaker and an author of over 300 articles. He has served as a Consultor for the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated life in Rome and is a Judge in the Canadian Appeal Tribunal for the adjudication of marriage cases. Fr. Frank is a strong advocate for the rights of those engaged in pastoral ministry.
The Catholic Masses with a particular focus on the pastoral needs of LGBT Catholics, their families and friends have now come to an end – and the Soho Masses community is preparing for the next phase in their growth and development, the transition to greater integration in regular parish life, at the Church of the Immaculate Conception at Farm Street, Mayfair.
It’s time to step back and examine some of the misinformation and outright lies that have mischievously been sown around these Masses, and about the move to Farm Street.
Is the Catholic Catechism a Gay Political Manifesto?
One of the odder objections raised to the Soho Masses in Warwick Street, was that on special occasions, they would drape a rainbow flag, or a set of rainbow coloured ribbons, over the lectern, or at the base of the altar. I had never really understood the particular intensity of the objections to this, until quite recently I came across a reference to the flag as a “political statement” – repeated this week, by a woman from the Catholic Herald who was interviewed for the BBC “Inside Out” program on the Masses. Now I can better understand the thinking – but that does not make it valid. The rainbow flag is a statement of identity, not a program of any political action. It is not associated with any political party, and does not promote any particular law. It is sometimes used to celebrate legal victories, especially over marriage equality, but the equal marriage cause is not universally agreed on by all LGBT people. The flag does not in any way belong exclusively to marriage activists. It is a symbol, not a political manifesto - so what does it symbolize? Read more…