UK Bishops Openly Promote LGBT Juggernaut
Lifesite have this really sad article about the number of Catholic Dioceses with so-called "LGBT Masses".
Salford, Clifton, Nottingham, Northampton, Middlesborough & Westminster dioceses are all mentioned along with sacrilegious religious artefacts daubed in the all pervading, garish LGBT rainbow and evidence of the explicit support of the bishops of all these dioceses. Of course, there is the same activity in my own diocese of Brentwood as well, where at least one priest is actively pushing the direct opposite of Church teaching and we have had a "gay Mass" in the Cathedral, although the Lifesite article doesn't mention this.
To be honest I am not surprised at the news, especially as the leader of the Catholic Church in England & Wales, Vincent Cardinal Nichols, has so openly advocated for homosexuality over many years. He even openly supported a gay group banned by Cardinal Hume for opposing Catholic teaching.
Of course, the justification for these things is always ostensibly mercy & compassion, yet the Catholic Church has always, in all times and in all places, taught that sex outside Marriage is wrong, and that sexual intercourse which restricts or denies the procreative dimension is sinful. To engage in a sexual acts with another human being has psychological and physical consequences, not least because you are using another person to gain sexual gratification. Love does not use people. The Catholic Church has always taught that the consequences of such acts have serious repercussions for our lives, both existentially and spiritually. As a married man who has been alive for almost half-a-century now, my experience tells me this teaching is powerfully true! I fully recognise this teaching can be hard to follow, especially in our modern, high-sexualised society, so for this reason we do not exclude people who fall short of the mark, but we welcome them, we offer them Christ's love and forgiveness, and we, with Him, encourage them to "sin no more".
We hold to the perfect image of us in the mind of God, who desires we are the very best we can be and live the very best lives that we can live. We seek to change our lives - the very heart of the Gospel call to conversion - to be the very best we can be, to have honour, integrity and perfect charity.
If we start to unravel teachings like this and suggesting a different direction for the sake of "inclusion", what are we actually saying about doctrine? Are we denying it? Are we working to change it? If we are, then surely we are saying it is false or wrong?
Is there not a way we can be understanding and compassionate towards people with same-sex attraction without denying our long-held teaching on the importance of sex and sexuality?
More importantly in a contemporary context, in a world which clearly has a deeply problematic and broken relationship with human sexuality, should the Church really be listening to the culture which we can so clearly see is lost and adopting its position?
Clearly, society is moving in a subjective direction, away from objective truth and as it does so, it can only achieve an increasing lack of social cohesion. Our faith fundamentally builds family and therefore community: society. Modern secular society increasingly holds up individual sexual desire and identity as the defining criteria for what makes us who and what we are. How is it possible that the Catholic Church can find any common ground with such a diametrically opposed anthropology? Surely we need to be working to explain the truth of our existence: that we are not slaves to sexual - or any other kind of - desire, we are made for God for communion with Him and rejecting sin sets us free!
I fear that what we are seeing is the bishops abandoning the faith and abandoning Christ. These men cannot believe what She teaches if they are so ready to publicly abandon doctrine and advocate positions radically at odds with (admittedly - difficult) teaching because they lack the intellect to present a Catholic alternative to the secular norm, or they see it as a way to curry favour with the "people".
The fact we have so little teaching from the bishops - the men who are supposed to teach - who are ordained to teach - is demonstrative of the lack of unity in the bishops conference. It shows us they all believe different things. Things which are opposed to Catholic teaching and belief. The fact that they fail to teach is in fundamental opposition to their very purpose and function -FACT!
In stark contrast to what we actually see, their job is not to listen to the uninformed masses and simply follow suit, but rather to inform and transform secular society through engagement with the Person of Jesus Christ. Is it just me or do they seem to have got all this so wrong? Finding ways to justify abandoning Christ through appeals to "mercy" and "inclusivity"? As Chesterton put it:
“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.”And it is not just on this issue, here in the UK our bishops have demonstrably failed us on schools, on the abuse crisis, on evangelisation, in fact, pick an area of Christian life and I will show you failure and decline propagated by the bishops. Despite this failure to perform the very functions they exist for, they live lives of extreme privilege and daily make decisions which impact on our lives - when it comes to the laity, you'll find very little mercy on offer!
This is deeply depressing, but we know the victory is already won. I for one have absolutely had enough of the bishops. I feel in making excuses for them, we become complicit with their failings.
Come Lord Jesus!