Citing the recent successful pilgrimage to Rome by members and supporters of the LGBT+ group based at London’s Jesuit Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, The Tablet (16 March 2019) describes the Church’s traditional language about gay men and women, especially the phrase “intrinsically disordered”, as “frankly incomprehensible”.
It continues: “The reconciliation of the Church with its gay and lesbian members cannot simply mean trying harder to persuade them to adhere to traditional teaching. If they fail, they can experience a burden of anxiety, guilt, and low self-worth which is a breeding ground for mental illness”.
The leading article acknowledges that “at a pastoral level there is increasing acceptance that gay Catholics benefit, just as others do, from being in loving, stable, long-term relationships”.
The Tablet justly gives credit to Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster “for his sensitive and consistent efforts to reconcile gay Catholics with the Church”. However, it should not be forgotten that his brother bishops in other dioceses, namely Nottingham, Middlesbrough and, more recently, Clifton have also contributed to this important ministry, often following meetings with Quest.