Terence Weldon, a leading member of the Soho Masses Group, has posted on his website, Queering the Church, that Archbishop Nichols and Bishop Conry have agreed to meet with him to discuss plans to expand the influence of the Soho Masses Group. In the same post Terence Weldon makes clear that he holds that the Catholic Church’s teaching that homosexual genital acts are intrinsically disordered is a ‘relatively low order of teaching’. Elsewhere on his website he explains that he has never ‘entertained even a moment’s doubt about the validity of a gay sexual life in faith.’
Terence Weldon explains Bishop Conry and Archbishop Nichols agreement to meet him to discuss expansion of the Soho Masses Group influence in their dioceses:
‘My second commitment, which I’ve not previously disclosed, was to make contact with my local bishop, Kieron Conroy (sic) of Arundel and Brighton, to discuss possible ways to expand LGBT ministry in our diocese. I have finally made a start on this: when +Kieron recently visited our parish for a local celebration, I made a point of introducing myself. Without going into any detail, I did explain my deep interest in provision for LGBT ministry, and asked if I could come and see him, to discuss it. This, he has agreed to. I now need to write to him, and set up an appointment. When I do get to see him, I will ask for his backing for Next Steps workshops in his dioceses – with priests, and with other groups..
Similarly, at the time that the Soho Masses Community were preparing to leave Warwick Street, I wrote to Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, to express thanks for the creative thinking that went into the invitation to integrate with Farm Street, but pointing out that this did nothing for those unable or unwilling to travel to that parish. I asked what provision could be made for those people – and asked if, sometime, I could come to see him to discuss this. Like +Kieron, he agreed. So, that’s another bishop with whom I hope to discuss backing for Next Steps workshops. After I have met with those, I may be ready to look for meetings with others.’
Protect the Pope comment: The Next Steps programme that Terence Weldon intends to discuss with Archbishop Nichols and Bishop Conry derives from the work of New Ways Ministry’s Frank de Benardo which has been condemned by the US Bishops Conference , ‘ 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.’ It is to be hoped that when Archbishop Nichols and Bishop Conry meet with Terence Weldon that they will bear in mind their collegial union with the US bishops and Terence Weldon’s open defiance of the Church’s teaching on sexual morality.