A group representing LGBT Catholics in Westminster has written to Bishops in England and Wales, urging them to consider a wider programme of pastoral support.
The move comes as a response to the widely publicised consultation on the family ahead of next year’s Extraordinary Synod in Rome, which will examine a variety of issues, including family life, birth control and same sex relationships.
The council (now LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council) was previously known as the Soho Masses Pastoral Council (SMPC). It met at the Church of St Gregory and the Assumption in Warwick Street, Soho, until a move to the Jesuit Church in Mayfair in March 2013.
“In the vast majority of Catholic parishes in the UK there is no dedicated pastoral care of LGBT Catholics,” says the written submission.
“Typical Catholic parishes are very unlikely to mention any pastoral care in the parish newsletter, or even to recognise the needs of LGBT Catholics as a group.”
In a reference to the provision of pastoral support made available to LGBT Catholics at the Church of the Immaculate Conception at Farm Street in central London, the council asks that consideration be given to “supporting this at national level.”
The text has been submitted to Elizabeth Davies, the Marriage and Family Life Project officer at the Catholic Bishops’ conference ahead of a January 2014 meeting in which the responses to the consultation will be discussed in detail.
* Full letter from Westminster LGBT Catholics to the Bishops' Conference: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/19682
* LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council: http://www.sohomasses.com
* RC LGBT Chaplaincy: http://www.rcdow.org.uk/chaplaincies/default.asp?other=lgbt