Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

FAITH Magazine November – December 2010


Dear Father Editor,

The generous invitation which we received to celebrate the actual day of our Golden Wedding Anniversary with the Pope in Westminster Cathedral led to a wonderful occasion which we shall always remember.

In the quiet of the great Cathedral a single sacristy bell warned of the approach of the Pope. A tremendous crash of organ, trumpets, drums and bells thundered through the silence reaching to the very rafters heralding the Pope as he quietly and humbly made his entrance surrounded by clergy and servers. And thus the Mass commenced.

The atmosphere in the Cathedral was one of quiet expectancy as the numerous clergy and lay people began their participation in the Mass of the Precious Blood.
This truly wise and holy man has the ability to preach to his flock words of tremendous wisdom which can be understood by the humblest intellect.

We were especially struck by his powerful invitation to us as laity to participate in Christ's reconciling sacrifice which He wishes us to bring to the world. We felt called to listen to John Henry Newman's teachings and so be inspired to be witnesses to the beauty of holiness in this land and to defend and proclaim the unchanging moral truths of the Gospel. The Pope wishes us to pray and consecrate ourselves to God through lives of faith and holiness accompanied by an outpouring of prayer for vocations, without which we would have no Eucharist. Only by offering our 'spiritual worship' and sufferings can we be united with Him on the cross and
bring back to this country with its long Christian heritage, a society worthy of man and of our martyrs.

Yours faithfully
Maureen and Dick Findlay-Wilson
Bat Alley, Marnhull, Dorset



Dear Father Editor,

1. William Oddie quotes a correspondent defending the Soho Masses as saying, "Research shows clearly that most Catholics differ from the official doctrine on virtually all matters of sexual ethics" (Ecclesial Co-operation with Homosexual Activism; Faith September and October 2010). While the research claim is a red herring it could be a useful one. Our beliefs are based not on current opinion but on Faith and Reason. To reject what the Church teaches would necessitate un-picking the weave of Scripture from Genesis to the end of the Apostolic Age; the rejection of its authenticity and the rejection of Christ's claim to teach with the authority of the Father and that he was vesting that authority in the Church headed by Peter, the Rock, Key-bearer, and Shepherd. It would furtherrequire the rejection of two thousand years of Jewish and Christian history since at no time has homosexual intercourse been proposed to or found acceptance among the People of God.
Furthermore there is no rational argument for equating homosexual union, which is anatomically and physiologically dysfunctional and unproductive of new life, with heterosexual union.

It would be useful to know the source of the research figures, to be able to scrutinise its methodology. In any case the most it could tell us is the level of apostasy within the Catholic Community.

2.  How has the Soho situation arisen? One view is that the English and Welsh bishops while not formally rejecting Christian teaching on homosexuality have undermined it by mixed messages. Their precipitate refutation of Cardinal
Bertone's justifiable concerns about the overlap of the homosexual and pederast cultures, lends some credence to this view. It drew them praise from Peter Tatchell, who campaigns for the easing of restrictions on "consensual" sex with the young {Faith July/August 2010).

Their refusal to give figures on the level of abuse of post pubertal boys by homosexual priests as opposed to paedophiles is puzzling. Those figures would facilitate a sharper focus on the problem. Adding to the uncertainty is the failure of some Bishops to prevent their adoption agencies dropping their Catholic identity and agreeing to being open to placing children with same sex parents, subjecting such children to the experience of "genderless parenting".

The Archbishop of Westminster has been criticised for failing to engage with Tina Beattie of The Tablet on homosexuality during the post-Papal Visit Oscott debate on BBC2. He was right to refuse to allow Ms Beattie and Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch to manipulate the agenda onto the homosexual agenda. It is interesting to note that National Statistics, reported by The Daily Telegraph, not long after the debate indicated that homosexual persons make up 1.5\% of the United Kingdom population; a figure consistent with Academic research over twenty five years.
In his Westminster address Pope Benedict focused, not on the demands of a fractional and vocal minority, but on the urgent needs of millions in deprived parts of the developing world. He highlighted their need for food, clean water, improved maternal health and also the importance of co-operation between the British Government and the Catholic community for the good of all citizens. The Archbishop rightly maintained that focus. His apparent hesitation when asked elsewhere if homosexual relationships would ever be accepted by the Catholic Church is harder to decipher.

3. Oddie reports that the organisers of the Soho Masses claim that at no time did Bishop Longley, who set them up, demand that they remain celibate or agree with Church teaching. Would not a Catholic bishop assume that those for whom he was making provision in good faith intended to live, as far as any of us can, in accordance with Christian teaching? Would he not assume that as a result of the generous provision they would, like the rest of us, try to deny themselves, take up their crosses and follow Christ? Could he, acting in good faith, have foreseen that these Masses would be used as a platform for attacking the Church and the Holy See and furthering an ideological and political agenda? The Soho Masses Pastoral Council surely now realise that their position is untenable.

4. It is easy to underestimate the pressure which Gay activist lobbies exert. Stephen Green in his book "The Sexual Dead End" describes how the Chief Superintendent in charge of the Metropolitan Police Community Relations Branch was "worn down" by pressure of Gay activists. The Police have capitulated to gay activist pressure on numerous occasions. In Chorlton police searched an Evangelical church; in Glasgow an evangelical preacher was put in the cells overnight; in Workington an Evangelical preacher was fingerprinted, palm-printed, had his retina scanned and DNA taken; in Wyre an elderly Evangelical couple were interrogated; all because they would not collude with Gay opinion. Brighton and Hove City Council withdrew finance from a prestigious Evangelical Charity caring for theelderly when they resisted pressure to give preferential mention to Gays in their literature and quiz elderly patients on their sexual orientation. In Northamptonshire an experienced Evangelical paediatrician was removed from the Adoption Panel because her views did not accord with Gay thinking. The agenda seems to be to silence all who dissent from Gay activist opinion.

The political aim of some of the defenders of the Soho Masses is to create a model which, in the words of Mr Martin Prendergast, "could be used potentially in other parts of the world". To do what? To further the rejection of two thousand years of Christian teaching?

The way forward is clear. Saint Paul tells Titus that a bishop must "adhere to true doctrine, so that he may be well able both to move his hearers with wholesome teaching and to confute objectors".(Titus 1 ;9.) Will the response of the English bishops to the dubious arrangement in Soho be less courageous than that of our Evangelical brethren?

Yours faithfully
Kenneth H Kavanagh
Byron Crescent, Bedford

Dear Father Editor,

On 14th September 2010, BBC News 10.00pm, Martin Pendergast, coordinator of the SMPC, stated he was actively gay and actively Catholic and manifested his dissent from Church Teaching.

To quote Professor Patrick Reilly writing recently in the Scottish Catholic Observer. "The church exists to serve, not flatter the world and often serves best by correction, not compliance."

Our Holy Father, teacher and physician of souls does the same. No matter how vociferous and strident the demand of Martin Pendergast is, he needs to learn the Pope cannot renounce the mandate of Christ. The duty of pastoral care and teaching are inextricably entwined.

Now Our Lord Jesus understands weakness from within. His judgment can only be love. He sets us straight if our hearts are not humble enough to be in harmony with His Truth. His gentle call is for healing, forgiveness and wholeness on our road to holiness.

The question remains: Are we dealing with a betrayal of Church Teaching, by Westminster Diocese? "Friend wherefore art thou come?" (Matt. 26.50)

Yours faithfully
Katherine Barry
Ixworth Place, Chelsea, London

Dear Father Editor,

Thank you for publishing Dr Oddie's excellent article on the Soho Masses: "Ecclesial Co-operation with Homosexual Activism". Such a piece may be difficult for many to take in, but people should be aware that an alarming trend is emerging regarding certain bishops' responses to homosexual issues. Some posts on John Smeaton's blog in Jul/Aug/Sept reveal firm evidence of this trend http:// spuc-director.blogspot.com

I appreciate that some may still be wondering if the Westminster diocese is really aware of the agenda of the so-called 'Soho Masses Pastoral Council'. I wish to leave your readers in no doubt that the diocese is fully aware of its agenda. These Masses were specifically requested by individuals who have publicly voiced their opposition to Catholic teaching on homosexuality for decades, and to secure such diocesan-approved Masses has undoubtedly been a massive coup for them. Verifiable and irrefutable evidence, such as newsletters published by the Soho Masses Pastoral Council even stronger than that provided by William Oddie, of the dissent of these people and that which has been, and continues to be, promoted by them and through the Masses. The Westminster diocesanauthorities have no excuse.

The norms for pastoral care of homosexual people are clearly set out in the 1986 CDF document Letter To The Bishops Of The Catholic Church On The Pastoral Care Of Homosexual Persons (available on the Holy See website). Two quotes from this document will suffice to show how Westminster diocese is directly violating its teaching:-

"We encourage the Bishops, then, to provide pastoral care in full accord with the teaching of the Church for homosexual persons of their dioceses. No authentic pastoral programme will include organisations in which homosexual persons associate with each other without clearly stating that homosexual activity is immoral... All support should be withdrawn from any organisations which seek to undermine the teaching of the Church, which are ambiguous about it, or which neglect it entirely. Such support, or even the semblance of such support, can be gravely misinterpreted. Special attention should be given to the practice of scheduling religious services and to the use of Church buildings by these groups, including the facilities of Catholic schools and colleges. To some, such permission to useChurch property may seem only just and charitable; but in reality it is contradictory to the purpose for which these institutions were founded, it is misleading and often scandalous."

Name and address supplied


Dear Father Editor,

I think the following is just one indication of how God is behind nature:

The world in which we live is characterised by law. Let us think, say, of a kicked ball. There is indeed a law of nature which stipulates that, when the antecedent force causing the ball's motion is X, the ball shall travel A amount of distance during B amount of time (this distance is increased or lessened by influences during the ball's motion). Of course, we are familiar with the fact that the laws of nature reflect a lawgiver, but the reason why the above detail is interesting is that, in originating the law, God necessarily specified the degree of force, of distance, and time that the law embodies.

There is no logical connection between force X and the distance the ball goes in B time, nor any logical connection between the distance the ball travels and the time it takes over that distance.

Yours faithfully
Damian Goldie
Church Hill, Totland Bay

Faith Magazine

November - December 2010