Masses at Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Warwick Street, Soho, would end as it was against the church’s central teaching on sexuality. “The moral teaching of the church is that the proper use of our sexual faculty is within a marriage, between a man and a woman, open to the procreation and nurturing of new human life,” he said.
The Masses for gay Catholics have been held at the church for the past five years and pro same sex activists are disappointed about the closure.
Gay rights charity Stonewall said it was a real shame that the Archbishop was taken away an opportunity for gay Catholics to celebrate Mass in a safe environment.
Stonewall director of public affairs, Ruth Hunt, who is Catholic, said: “Given what’s happened over Christmas, where there were vitriolic and mean messages from pulpit about same-sex marriage, there has never been a more important time to provide a safe space for gay Catholics to pray.”
Archbishop Nichols, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales said, in a statement, that “people with same-sex attraction” would continue to receive pastoral care.
The church will be dedicated at Lent to the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, a group set up by Pope Benedict XVI in 2011 for Anglican clergy who defected to Roman Catholicism.