Archbishop Nichols’ Soho Masses Group plans to emulate New Ways Ministry condemned by the US Bishops for dissent

The Soho Masses Pastoral Council is making much of the fact that they have received an official mandate from Archbishop Nichols to provide pastoral outreach to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender persons of the Archdiocese of Westminster. In their recent newsletter it states:

‘Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster has mandated the Soho Masses community to extend its pastoral activity, thanks to the hospitality of the Jesuit Church of the Immaculate Conception, otherwise known as Farm Street Church, and the Mount Street Jesuit Centre. Next Steps is the theme of a day-workshop which will enable LGBT Catholics, parents and families, to explore what such pastoral ministry might entail, what are the resources at our disposal, and how can we galvanise the community’s various groups in developing collaborative ministry in this area? This takes place on Saturday, 4 May 2013, from 10.00-16.30. See the attached flier for details!

The flier includes the following information about the plans of Archbishop Nichols’ Soho Masses Group to fulfill its mandate in the Archdiocese of Westminster and beyond:

‘In June 2012, a number of members of the Soho Masses Community attended a highly successful one – day workshop, “Next Steps in LGBT Ministry”, led by Frank DeBenardo of New Ways Ministry (USA). The May workshop for the Soho Masses Community will be based on the structure of the New Ways model, adapted for our conditions and local circumstances.’

The problem for Archbishop Nichols and the Archdiocese of Westminster is that his Soho Masses Group is proposing to carry out his mandate using a model developed by New Ways Ministry, which has been condemned by the US Bishops for dissenting from Catholic teaching on homosexuality and for this reason the faithful have been warned that it is not a Catholic organization. Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Bishop Salvatore Cordileone on behalf of the US Bishops issued the following statement on Frank DeBenardo of New Ways Ministry:

In view of the recent booklet Marriage Equality: A Positive Catholic Approach, by Francis DeBernardo (published by New Ways Ministry), we, as the respective chairmen of the USCCB Committee on Doctrine and the Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage, wish to reaffirm Francis Cardinal George’s statement of February 12, 2010 and assure Catholics that in no manner is the position proposed by New Ways Ministry in conformity with Catholic teaching and in no manner is this organization authorized to speak on behalf of the Catholic Church or to identify itself as a Catholic organization.’

Protect the Pope comment:  Archbishop Nichols should take note of the fact that the Soho Masses Pastoral Council is planning to model its pastoral outreach,in his name and with his mandate, on the work of an organisation condemned by the US bishops for not being in conformity with Church teaching to the extent that the faithful have been warned that it is not ‘a Catholic organisation’. The decision of the Soho Masses Pastoral Council to model itself on the New Ways Ministry shows the mistake Archbishop Nichols has made in only transferring the Soho Masses to Farm Street and failing to disband the Soho Masses Pastoral Council. But his greater mistake was to bless the Soho Masses Pastoral Council with his mandate, because every time they dissent from the teaching of the Church they do so in his name and with his authority. The flier for the May meeting begins:

‘With the move from Warwick Street to Farm Street, there will be much to do to give full effect to our mandate from Archbishop Nichols to continue and expand our efforts in pastoral provision for our community – a responsibility that the SMPC will take very seriously.’

29 comments to Archbishop Nichols’ Soho Masses Group plans to emulate New Ways Ministry condemned by the US Bishops for dissent

  • Michael Petek

    What does a bishop have to do to be automatically excommunicated and deposed?

  • Rifleman819

    Deacon Nick ,

    I love this “our community” bit.So ,there’s a homosexual RCC in England and Wales then? Rather different from the rest of us?

    Or certainly in the ADW of Westminster?

    And it makes up its own rules?

    If a bishop/archbishop can’t control events in his own diocese…let alone with aspirations to be the “de facto” senior Catholic cleric in England and Wales.
    What a disaster we could be inviting if Vin one day lovingly strokes the red felt of a Cardinal’s hat.
    It is truly jaw-dropping that a man of his calibre might one day become a successor in the Cardinalate to Nicholas Wiseman or Henry Edward Manning.

  • Please God the Nuncio reads blogs!

  • Pat

    The May 4th workshop of Abp Nichols’ Soho Mass group is being conducted by Terry Weldon of ‘Queering the Church’ blog notoriety:- so don’t expect too much adherence to Church teaching. Terry describes those who accept and defend Catholic teaching on faith and morals as ‘orthotoxic’. So for those with same-sex attraction, or interested in helping to support people with SSA, save the train fare (and more importantly, your soul) and stay away. But please forward Deacon Nick’s article to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Abp Nichols the parish priest at Farm Street, Father Andrew Cameron-Mowat SJ and register your concern that the dissenting Soho Masses group is still being allowed to use Catholic premises to spread its dissent, masquerading as ‘pastoral outreach’.

  • Nancy D.

    In order to be a Catholic, including a Catholic Bishop, Archbishop, Cardinal or Pope, one must remain in communion with The Catholic Church, The Body of Christ.

  • Mel

    Doesn’t Archbishop care about respecting his fellow American Bishops? If so, he must act now.

    Looks like we are going to have send under batch of letters to the Vatican.

  • Joseph Matthew

    Unless Archbishop Nichols condemns this group, he would appear to be in a state of dissent from his brother bishops in the US.

  • Rifleman819

    I have known cucumbers from the “chilled veg” section of Sainsburys with more backbone and moral fibre than that of ++Vincent Gerard Nichols.

    He appears not to brook any criticism yet patently has difficulty organising a revery in a brewing establishment.

    “Capax imperii , nisi imperasset”

  • Lynda

    The Archbishop is wholly responsible for this irrational and immoral ideology and praxis taking place wih his approval and patronage. He ought to be removed from ministry and disciplined. He is leading people into sin, and possible perdition. He is giving grave scandal and discrediting the Church and it’s teachings.

  • We should write to the CDF. They couldn’t possibly know what’s gong on, could they? Let’s wise up. There’s no cavalry coming. Our bugle calls for assistants are heard only by Indians that want our scalps. We can only fight them with prayer and humility.

  • Since this is all happening within the Archdiocese of Westminster, and I reside within the Diocese of Motherwell, Scotland, I am reluctant to advocate a particular line of action since it really has little directly to do with me. However, why doesn’t someone who knows how to do so launch an on-line petition to be sent to Archbishop Mennini for onward consignment to the Holy Father? Or, everybody write to him directly. Of course, this may have been done before. So do it again and again until someone in authority listens.

  • [...] Naturally, there have been people writing and complaining about such things but I told them: “Hold your tongues!” Things were getting quite out of hand, so, anyway, I simply moved the problem to another Church in a different area of Laodicea.Hopefully those gossipers will pipe down now. [...]

  • Amanda Peter

    Has some one got the contact details of the Vatican nuncio to whom we can report this abomination happening under the watch of + Vincent Nichols. Can we let them know how + VN is truly behaving?

  • Athanasius

    Is this the same ++Nichols leading the hierarchy in a special audience with the new pope? What is all that about? Coincidence? I hardly think so. When was the last time they shuffled off to Rome for their ‘Low Week’ meeting? Just after the last pope was elected in 2005? No. Just about the time they’re reportedly unhappy with the nuncio and want to let the new pope see what a wonderfully faithful, united bunch they are? Mor likely. So they grab the opportunity to parade their fraternal unity and fidelity to the new boss, let him know he needs to replace the nuncio and, hey presto, we get more bishops of the same ilk. Or am I being a tad cynical?

  • BJC

    One wonders exactly what the SMPC has to do to make it clear that they promote beliefs which are contrary to Catholic doctrine. They’ve been caught red-handed with books at the back of Our Lady of the Assumption which do so; Terry Weldon has a blog called “Queering the church” in which he openly advocates gay marriage and Mark Dowd, the chair, regularly goes on TV seemingly supportive of an openly gay lifestyle and wishing gay seminarians could just come out of the closet. Now this. It would be nice to think ++VIn will do something about it but I bet he won’t. He’s too much of a coward. He’ll just shoot the messenger instead. One has to wonder about the spiritual lives of our Bishops; this isn’t a difficult decision and should require minimal discernment. You would need a hole in the head not to see what is going on here.

  • Rifleman819

    Vin Nichols is not made of the stuff of heroes, is he?

    He’s like a WW1 staff officer…..fancying a front-line trenches’ gallantry award like a DSO or an MC….yet quite content to file things in triplicate 20 miles behind the line and let others do the combat.

    But his “all things to all men” strategy only works at a certain level…if you wish to represent the Catholic Church in England and Wales as its “de facto” top cleric -that means grip , seizing the initiative, showing firm and faithful leadership.I see no evidence of any of this.

    You judge a person by what he or she does….not by their “talking a good war”…..I am beginning to think that ++ Vincent lacks any glimmer of leadership at all.
    But trying to do a Pontius Pilate act by palming off the whole Gay Masses issue onto an Order of the Church technically outside his jurisdiction as ABW smacks to me as lacking in moral courage.
    In a nutshell Vincent Nichols would love to be a Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church but is doing nothing to defend the Holy Roman Church.

    He should do the honourable thing.

  • Andrzej

    One possible reason: Someone has some information and is blackmailing Nichols into complacency.

  • karla

    The only way to stop this is to go to the CDF with complaints about what is going on these Soho because unfortunately Archbishop Nichols does not seem to be doing anything to stop them

    • Pat

      Er, hello . . . some people have been sending hard evidence of the dissent of the Soho Mass group to the CDF for well over 10 years – literally – since they were operating out of St Annes Anglican church, Soho (using Catholic priests for their Masses). Under Cardinal Levada nothing happened. Certainly, more has been done under Abp Muller, but not enough, not anywhere near enough. Keep writing and complaining to the Nuncio and CDF (email addresses above), keep praying and offering sacrifices . . .

  • Genty

    You got it, Athanasius. I’ve never seen the bishops move so fast. Just take a look at the picture on the Catholic Herald website to see the new-found confidence of three of the men who have caused most damage to our national Church surrounding Pope Francis.
    The intensive, behind-the-scenes wheeler-dealing which one of them has been engaged in is not hard to guess. Clue: He’s the one without a diocese. One can only hope that the Pope is savvy enough to listen to other, knowledgeable voices around him who know the true state of affairs in our island.
    I wonder if we might do better contacting The Vatican to affirm our respect for the Nuncio and asking that he should stay for the spiritual good of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

  • Rifleman819

    You may have something here.Yes ,they’re like flies round the jam pot here….because pretty soon now it is time for a number of dioceses to fall vacant on age.

    If the Magic Circulars…fumble it this time -their combined anti-traditional agenda fails forever.

    The next year or so is critical.++ Vin and cronies might be worried men….and that is why they detest the internet and blogging because they have the power to uncover several cans of worms the hierarchy would rather see firmly vertical.

  • ConfusedofChi

    The Second Message from Garabandal in Spain JUNE 18, 1965

    As my message of October 18 has not been complied with and has not been made known to the world, I am advising you that this is the last one. Before, the cup was filling up. Now it is flowing over.

    Many cardinals, many bishops and many priests are on the road to perdition and are taking many souls with them. Less and less importance is being given to the Eucharist. You should turn the wrath of God away from yourselves by your efforts.

    If you ask for His forgiveness with sincere hearts, He will pardon you. I, your mother, through the intercession of Saint Michael the Archangel, ask you to amend your lives. You are now receiving the last warnings.

    I love you very much and do not want your condemnation. Pray to us with sincerity and we will grant your requests. You should make more sacrifices. Think about the passion of Jesus

    • SteveD

      The ‘apparition’ also said some other things e.g.:
      On the morning of this 26th of September, don Lavaca, a Basque priest who happened to be there, recorded the exceptional words of Conchita during her ecstasy, among them: “The Council is the greatest of all! . . . It will be a success! . . . How good this is! . . . Thus you (the Virgin Mary) will be better known, and you will be very happy . . .” Shortly after, and later on several occasions, Conchita was to affirm, very firmly, that Our Lady had assured her of “the extraordinary success of the Council.” And, in fact, not only for its doctrinal content and as a very great historical and ecclesiastical event, but also for the countless and very important later authoritative applications of all its exceptionally enlightened and profound Teachings.

      The ‘apparition’ laughed and smiled ‘a good deal’. According to Lucia of Fatima Our Lady there ‘never smiled’ and appeared ‘anguished’.

  • Ioannes

    Rifleman, you are grossly unfair to the hard-working staff officers of the Great War, many of whom were on temporary secondment from regimental duty. Staff work wins and loses battles, and by 1918 the staff of the BEF, in all branches, had reached a peak of efficiency unrivalled in other armies and not surpassed since. The US offensive in the Argonne in that year foundered with heavy casualties; not through lack of bravery or tactical skill, but through failures at staff level due to inexperience.

    Benedict XVI had the measure of the E&W hierarchy. Francis does not (yet) but rest assured that Ouellet and Mennini do.

    • Athanasius

      But will they (the pope, the nuncio and the Cardinal) give in to the magic circle demands? I want to be confident that the pope will listen to Card. Oulett and the nuncio, but I don’t feel that confidence.

    • Rifleman819


      Quite so! Being an ex-SO2 myself I have felt their pain, believe me.

      And you are quite correct-BEF Staff from after the March 1918 German offensive did indeed reach a peak of efficiency….especially so when you consider the tiny staff corps of the pre-1914 Regular Army had been swamped many times over by wartime expansion.
      The new Jesuit Pope will I hope see through the chortling,unctious behaviour of Vin’s mates on their Rome trip.All hoping to secure V G Nichols his red headgear…….but I bet …the harder they try …the further it may slip away from him.
      The next few months are critical-the rescuer of the Catholic Church in E and W will be Antonio Mennini, not Vincent Nichols.
      The former has had some 28 months to evaluate the present crew.Whilst the latter has had 48 months to prove himself deeply unworthy of his high office.
      I hope Pope Francis has a strong sycophant detector mechanism and will not be swayed by fawning second-raters, some of whom have proved to have been disloyal in the extreme to Benedict.

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