Cardinal Vincent Nichols was welcomed by a packed Farm Street Jesuit Church on Sunday, 10 May 2015, when he presided at the scheduled 18.15 Mass which welcomes LGBT Catholics, their parents and families. This was the first time that an Archbishop of Westminster had presided at such a Mass which was concelebrated by Monsignor Keith Barltrop, the Cardinal’s Liaison with the LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council, Farm Street’s Parish Priest, Fr. Andrew Cameron-Mowat SJ, and Fr. John O’Leary, Cardinal Nichols’ Secretary.
Specially-composed music, including Live every day in my love, based on the day’s Gospel reading, and a new version of Psalm 97 were sung by the Beacon Music Group which accompanies Farm Street’s 2nd Sunday evening Masses. Members of the LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council were among the readers at the Mass.
Expressing his delight in being able to celebrate this Mass, Cardinal Nichols highlighted the day’s scripture readings: God has no favourites, but anyone who does what is right is acceptable to God. Affirming that in God’s mercy and love, all are acceptable and accepted, the Cardinal warned against those who would set God’s mercy and Commandments against each other. It is this understanding of mercy which is informing so much of Pope Francis’ ministry, and also the Synods’ processes. The Commandments are not simply regulations imposed from on high, but indications of how God’s mercy can be received and embraced as we journey in the transformation to which we are called. The Cardinal emphasised that it is in the Eucharist that we become what we see: the Body of Christ.
(A link to Cardinal Nichols’ Homily is included below).
Following the Mass, the Cardinal spent time with the congregation over refreshments in Farm Street Parish Hall. The Cardinal thanked both the Parish and the LGBT Catholic Westminster Pastoral Council for journeying together in this important pastoral outreach.
In order to respect the occasion’s privacy a request had been made that no recording or photographs should be taken. It later emerged that someone present disregarded this, recording proceedings in the church and hall. An LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council spokesperson said: The fact that this person deliberately ignored the parish priest’s request tells much of his intentions and lack of respect.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols Homily: