Revealing email from Soho Masses Youth Organiser about Farm Street move

The following email from Wilbur Maxino, the Soho Masses Young Adults Group organiser, is very revealing about the Soho Masses Pastoral Council thinking about the Farm Street move:

From: Wilbur Maxino
Sent: Wednesday, 2 January 2013, 18:33
Subject: [SohoMassesYAG] The continuing evolution of the Sohomasses

Dear Fellow YAGgers,

By now, you have probably heard/read/reacted to news articles that the Sohomasses will shut. The press do tend to use dramatic language. I have enclosed bellow the letter that +Vincent wrote to the Sohomasses and will be read to the congregation this Sunday.

Archbishop’s House.
Westminster.  London.  SW1P 1QJ
1 January 2013

To those attending the evening Mass at Our Lady of the Assumption on
Sunday 6 January 2013

My brothers and sisters

I write to you at this time when, as you may already know, I have made decisions affecting you and the pattern of pastoral outreach the Diocese offers to you.
From early Lent, this year, the twice-monthly Sunday evening Mass which you have been coming to in Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Warwick Street will come to an end. In its place you are all invited to come to the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, on a similar pattern of meetings. You are also welcome to be part of the Sunday evening parish Mass, at 6.15pm, and to gather together afterwards in the Hall for your meetings. I am very grateful to the Community at Farm Street for readily extending this welcome to you all.

In coming to this decision I am appreciative of the way the work of your Group has developed most recently, offering opportunities for study, prayer and retreats. I thank all who have taken a lead in this. However, it is also true that the celebration of Mass on these occasions in Our Lady of the Assumption Church continues to be contentious and, as far as I can judge, will not cease to be so.

I ask you to accept my decision and my invitation to use the Church of the Immaculate Conception for your meetings and your pastoral activities.

Indeed, I invite you to meet with me, at Farm Street, after the 6.15pm Mass on Sunday 3rd March, the Third Sunday of Lent. This would enable me to express my support for you as you continue your efforts, as do we all, to be faithful to Christ in the communion of the Church and striving to live in accordance with her teaching.
With assurances of my prayers for you all as we enter this New Year of the Lord,

Yours sincerely in Christ,
The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols

Archbishop of Westminster

My personal opinion is that +Vincent’s support of us is still strong, but he is facing an enormous amount of pressure from protesters and from Rome. I think his proposal is sound; it should shut down the arguments that have been put against us and yet allow us to continue to grow spiritually and strengthen our resolve for these masses. It doesn’t matter where we are housed. In fact, some of us have felt that we are ready to take our message to a wider public. The move to Farm Street will give us this opportunity. As far as pastoral care is concerned, I also feel that the Jesuits in Farm Street will be more equipped to provide this than the sole figure of Mgr Seamus, although he has also been a strong supporter of Sohomasses and we owe him our thanks. I invite you to read Terry’s thoughtful blog on this topic

There are still many things we don’t know, such as if our bidding prayers or the rota of priests will continue. I would like to see these things continue. Please attend the mass on 6 January. Perhaps there will be more information then. At the very least, you can voice out your opinion to someone in the SMPC.

Kind regards,

Protect the Pope comment: Protect the Pope leaves it to our readers to draw conclusions from this email. It should be noted that the author explicitly states that these are his ‘personal opinions’ and therefore do not necessarily reflect the intentions of Archbishop Nichols.  However, this email does reflect the approach taken by Terence Weldon and the statement from the Soho Masses Pastoral Council.


15 comments to Revealing email from Soho Masses Youth Organiser about Farm Street move

  • Simon

    I retract my comment about Archbishop Nichols made yesterday. The Archbishop has made a very sensitive, wise decision. Above all he does not explicitly or implicitly stigmatise gay catholics. He does not seek to marginalise them in any way or judge them. Indeed, his offer to meet them is an example to the all too many critics who post ill-informed and often rather nasty comments about gay people.

    • Rifleman819

      Dear Simon ,

      This is pretty nasty then , isn’t it?:- CTS “Catechism of Catholic Doctrine”
      Card.John Heenan Imp 18/07/1971

      Page 72 No:327

      “Which are the 4 sins crying to heaven for vengeance?”

      The 4 sins crying to heaven for vengeance are:

      1. Wilful murder (Gn 4)
      2. The sin of Sodom (Gn 18)
      3. Oppression of the poor (Ex2)
      4. Defrauding labourers of their wages (Jm5)”

  • The key thing is what the powers-that-be at Farm Street do/ do not let them do in the Masses. And that is still up in the air.

  • Joseph Matthew

    Fr Brendan Callaghan S J will be saying the last Soho Mass. Oh dear ! Encourage, the only Catholic alternative, has a reputation for offering good pastoral support and an unwillingness to seek the limelight. What these persons with same sex attraction need is orthodox pastoral support in every city.

  • Fredderick

    I think that the whole organisation should cease to operate as they will still go against the Churches teachings

  • Lynda

    I think the Archbishop is not doing his duty regarding the souls of those who attend these Masses nor those who are aware of them, the “organisers” and their anti-Catholic ideology. I find his attitude to this group simply appalling; he acts as though he does not know of their radical, aggressive dissent from Church teaching and authority, indeed from the Natural Law.

  • Nicolas Bellord

    ++VN writes “In coming to this decision I am appreciative of the way the work of your Group has developed most recently, offering opportunities for study, prayer and retreats.”

    Study: Is that the list of relevant books on the sohomasses website starting with five by James Allison?
    Prayer: Surely he must be referring to something other than the bidding prayers.
    Retreats: The only reference I could find on the website was to one in Spain:

    Dancing in the Spirit is a retreat for men, regardless of sexual
    orientation, facilitated by Brendan O’Rourke CssR, David Birchall SJ, &
    Mark Argent. It will be held at a retreat-house on the Costa Blanca, 1-8
    June 2011. A number of people from the Soho Masses community have
    taken part, previously. Details: or

    Looking at the website for this retreat it does not sound much different from anything else the SMPC has promoted.

  • spesalvi23

    ‘Evil’ Rome will not back down on that one, I think.
    It’s too big to simply let it fade away.

  • Simon

    Here is an extract from a good bishop. He understands human frailty.

    ‘The Catholic Church will not reject people because they use contraception, don’t attend Mass every Sunday, have sex outside marriage or live lives that run counter to the ideals of the Church, according to the Bishop of Cork and Ross.

    Bishop John Buckley has said the central tenets of Catholicism were not established as rules of memberships but as “ideals”.

    “These are all ideals that we must try to live up to. If you do not meet all these ideals, it does not mean that you cannot take your place at the table the Lord has prepared for you. The Church is a refuge for the weak, not a home for the perfect.

    “I welcome all to the Church and I would encourage everyone to welcome all. I will hear no condemnation or rejection of people. Jesus loves his people no less in their absence,” he said.

    In an end-of-year interview, he said he welcomed with open arms those who only turn up to Mass once a year, namely Christmas Day.’

    • Spesalvi23

      Yes.. Happy happy Joy Joy!!
      We’re all loved unconditionally.
      Catholic moral teaching is based on Ideals?!
      Conscience beats catechism. Sounds like relativism in its purest form! I wish people, incl. Bishops, were honest enough to convert to some kind of Protestant association.
      If it wasn’t for the step into complete irrelevance and the loss of all those episcopalian privileges…

    • Rifleman819

      Simon ,

      So in regard to your assertion that “ideals” trump the catechism of the Catholic church and therefore , what?

      We make it all up as we go along?

      Is this seriously what you believe?

  • Rifleman819

    Deacon Nick,

    There is a wonderful editorial of 5th Jan 2013 from Starship “Tablet”….that planetoid hovering on the Black Hole of Dissent….regarding ++ Vin and the Soho masses…towards the end of this momentous piece of verbiage…there is a real funny….. it refers to Rome wanting the English and Welsh hierarchy to take a much firmer line.

    “In this light, Archbishop Nichol’s statement is as significant for what it does not say as for what it does.Nichols refuses to moralise.Strings may be pulled in Rome, but he is not their puppet”

    I am not even sure if the “Tablet” is circulating our galaxy… only occasionally?
    As for ” puppet”…that’s a laugh. He received his second pallium on 29th June 2009 in Rome.From whom , pray? The Holy Father.

    If he does not want to spend the rest of his episcopal years as a domestic chaplain to the Swiss Guard, one suggests he had better start moralising alright.
    ++ Vin’s transparent manouverings for that red hat are straight out of the opening scenes from “Richard 111″

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