Cardinal Vincent Nichols is to celebrate a Mass normally attended by Westminster diocese’s group for gay and lesbian Catholics this coming Sunday.
The Mass takes place near to the anniversary of the founding of the LGBT Catholic Westminster group in April 1999 following the homophobic-motivated bombing of the Admiral Duncan pub in Old Compton Street in Soho.
From 2007 onwards bimonthly Masses took place at Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory in Soho, although these were stopped on instructions from Rome following complaints.
While the cardinal ended those liturgies he has shown a pastoral concern to gay Catholics, at one point telling protestors against the Soho Masses to “hold their tongues”.
Cardinal Nichols is also due to attend the forthcoming Synod on the Family where the question of welcoming gay people will be on the agenda again as it was at last year’s gathering.
A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Westminster said the cardinal was making a routine pastoral visit to the Jesuit-run Farm Street Parish and the fact it coincided with the group’s founding was “entirely coincidental”.
A statement from LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council said lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics, their parents and families, “will give a warm welcome” to the cardinal at the Mass, where a work composed for the occasion, Every Day in My Love, will be performed.