Tuesday, 1 May 2007

BBC Broadcast "not a gay mass"

The Archdiocese of San Francisco is refuting the Evening Standard's claim that a service to be broadcast worldwide this Sunday by the BBC from a San Francisco parish is a "gay Mass".

With the headline, "BBC to broadcast gay mass from San Francisco" the Evening Standard reported today that the event, recorded last October 22, was presided over by Jesuit Fr. Donal Godfrey with preaching from one of Britain's leading homosexual theologians, James Allison. The Standard reported that the "Mass" will feature prayers and readings tailored for the gay community.

Maurice Healy, Communications Director for the Archdiocese, however, was adamant that what will be broadcast is neither a Mass nor endorsed by the Archdiocese. Healy told LifeSiteNews.com, "The event was not, repeat not a 'gay mass' it was a prayer service organized by Jesuit father Donal Godfrey." Read more. Listen to the service here.

1 comment:

Blair said...

Hello John,

well, irritation again from me about the way a media report has subtly been slanted. You can read the transcript of the service (from the Sunday Worship home page) and see that what was broadcast was indeed not a Mass (though it isn't entirely clear to me if the actual event was).

So what Maurice Healy said is true, but lifesite.net has as I say slanted its reporting in order, it seems to me, to whip up disapproval, sometimes by trying to give a false impression. Some examples: the article says James Alison's book 'Faith beyond resentment' is described as a "stunningly original re-imagining of the Catholic faith... from the gay perspective". This misquotes the blurb on the book's cover to insinuate that James Alison has effectively made up a gay version of Catholicism. (I will refrain from quoting you the full blurb to prove that this is a misquote but will if asked!). The article then says he wrote 'Is it ethical to be Catholic? - queer perspectives'. True - it was a presentation at a discussion hosted by the University of San Francisco last year. Presumably this is mentioned in the hope that readers will make the 'right' assumptions about what James' argument was... (it's quite other than what one might expect - and it's available on the net). Lastly lifesite's article mentions at length the Holy Redeemer parish's links with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Whatever else could be said about them, their antics have nothing to do with the content of the service that was broadcast. Lifesite seem to be trying hard to associate the parish and the church (and by implication the service the BBC put out) with what is or could be seen as immoral and hostile to Christianity, and so to discredit the service.

Having written that I think I've got caught up in rather unimportant matters, though - what's important is the content of the service and the voices heard in it. "I want mercy, and not sacrifice"; "you who were no people, you are MY people"; James's words "So that little by little we are able to let go of stories about ourselves which we have heard since we were young, about how we are sick, and our love is dangerous, and not real, and we should be ashamed of ourselves, and hide away". In my zeal to comment on what I see as lifesite's distortions I've been distracted from receiving something much richer, which was being offered by the BBC's service.