For the Feast of All Saints on Sunday, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, issued a pastoral letter to be read in all churches of his diocese. Drawing attention to the synod’s emphasis on mercy and accompaniment for those in difficulty, he included in his letter a clear apology to “all those who have left in tears.”
In what could be good news for LGBT Catholics, Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster has been appointed to the Congregation for Bishops, where he will be in a strong position to influence the appointments of future bishops of the Church.
(This is “good news”, because Nichols response to marriage equality in the UK has been notably more restrained than that of many other bishops, including a statement that there “could be value” in legal provision for civil unions).
The Archbishop of Westminster has warned Marriage Care that it must conform to Catholic teaching after it emerged that the charity is offering marriage preparation services to same-sex couples.
The charity, which receives money from the Catholic Church, states: “Our counselling service is open to and welcomes everybody over the age of 16, married or not, straight or not.” It also offers marriage preparation and “welcome all couples considering a committed relationship such as marriage”.
A spokesman for Archbishop Vincent Nichols, president of Marriage Care, said his role was exercised “solely on the basis that the charitable objects… are to provide relationship counselling, marriage preparation and relationship education services to ‘promote and support marriage and family life in accordance with the Church’s vision of marriage as a vocation of life and love’.”
He added: “It is the legal and fiduciary responsibility of the directors of the company to ensure that the charitable objects of Catholic Marriage Care Limited are observed and fulfilled. The provision of services in accordance with the teaching of the Catholic Church is also a requirement for Catholic Marriage Care Limited to maintain its continued use of the title Catholic within its designation and to retain the patronage of one of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales.”