‘Gay Garnethill’: Who Am I To Judge?

‘Gay Garnethill’: Who Am I To Judge?

The parish bulletin of St Aloysius, Garnethill, dated 1 May, 2016,  carries an advertisement,  headlined “Who Am I To Judge”: “an evening for friends and relatives of people who are gay or lesbian and who have questions about how to be supportive while remaining faithful to the Christian Faith” (Ed: yeah, right…)

Below is an expanded version of the bulletin advertisement, from the Ignatian Spirituality Centre website:

For Parents and Friends of LGBT People    
9th May at 7.30pm

When a relative or a friend comes out gay, lesbian or other non-heterosexual identity it can be a challenge both to our Christian upbringing and the way we feel about them.

This evening led by family of a gay man and the ISC Team who has worked on retreats for gay people for more than 20 years, looks at these challenges to see how we can live our faith with integrity and best love our LGBT friends and relations.

Open to all of whatever Christian denomination.

It also offers the opportunity to meet with others who have similar concerns. Source

Comment:

Nobody who remembers our front page report ‘Glasgow Jesuit: Body Massage, Anyone?’ by Patricia Phillips in our February, 2015 edition, will be too surprised at the above advertised “evening for friends blah blah.”  You can read the original report by  downloading Issue No. 86, the February Newsletter, 2015 on our website, Newsletter page here  –  just click on the downward arrow at the archive section and select Issue No. 86. For ease of reference, we publish the text of that front page below:

‘Glasgow Jesuit: Body Massage, Anyone?’
by Patricia Phillips

On June 6, 2013, Pope Francis lamented the existence of what he called “the gay lobby” in the Vatican.  Pope Francis’ statement, especially following other revelations on the same subject around the time of Pope Benedict’s departure, drew much needed attention. But the Holy Father need look no further than his own order of priests, the Society of Jesus, for direct confirmation of what he called the “stream of corruption.”1

In 2003, The Catholic Herald newspaper exposed a Jesuit-run website which contained things contrary to Church teaching on homosexuality, including links to “gay” pornographic websites.  This scandalous website was suppressed by the Jesuit provincial, Fr David Smolira, but before it was suppressed, copies of the relevant web pages, were sent to then Cardinal Ratzinger at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The site was run by Fr David Birchall SJ, parish priest at St Wilfrid’s Church, Preston, in Lancashire (Diocese of Lancaster).  His personal web page gave more details about him including the worrying fact that he was Vocations Director for the Jesuits in Britain for four years, and his unbelievably inappropriate offer for anyone to contact him “for a talk, meet, massage, drink, chat . . .

In another section titled “Sexuality and Christianity”, headed by pictures of two young boys kissing and two girls cuddling, visitors were invited to click on buttons to get “thoughts” on various topics, covering Love and Self Acceptance, Same-sex relationships and Bible and Church Teaching.  At the end of these “thoughts” was a little speech entitled “Don’t Be Isolated”.  A link on the right hand side of this asked: “Who am I? – See”. This link invited one to see who has given all these “thoughts”.  When one clicked on the “See” button, it returns to Fr David Birchall’s home page.  A list of Fr Birchall’s “thoughts” from this section were submitted to the CDF.  They were not remotely in line with Catholic teaching on homosexuality.

The site also contained a list of links to other organisations for “Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual Christians”.  Some of these organisations are good Catholic organisations which help homosexual people to live chaste lives (such as EnCourage) some claim to be Catholic, but openly dissent from Catholic teaching on homosexuality (such as Quest) and some are not Catholic at all and totally reject Catholic teaching on homosexuality – even to advocating “gay” marriage (such as Metropolitan Community Churches).  This is very confusing and dangerous for homosexual people genuinely seeking help and advice about their situation.

Another part of this site advertised a weekend retreat for “Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual Christians”, led by Fr Rob Marsh SJ, Helen O’Donnell and Fr David Birchall SJ, at the Jesuit-run Loyola Hall Spirituality Centre in Liverpool, England (Archdiocese of Liverpool).  At the top of this page were two links to “gay” sites, which included direct access to “gay” pornography, called “gay-to-z.com events guide” and “pink links”.   Even though some of these documents contained very offensive images, it was thought vital that the CDF see what kind of material Fr Birchall  was encouraging people to visit.

Although the Jesuit provincial, Fr David Smolira, did suppress parts of this disgraceful website – if only because it was exposed by The Catholic Herald – it was pointed out that there are still many other concerns about this whole issue, not least that there is a possibility that some of this material may eventually be put back on the internet in the future.  There is also the issue of Fr David Birchall SJ himself. The Cardinal was asked if it is right for someone to be working as a parish priest who:

  • clearly holds unorthodox views on homosexuality;
  • offers a “massage” to any stranger who cares to contact him via the internet;
  • encourages homosexual people to visit internet sites which contain “gay” pornography

It was also queried whether it was right for the Jesuit-run Loyola Hall to be hosting Fr Birchall’s  weekend for “Lesbian & Gay Christians”. 

Unfortunately, despite the file of documentary evidence sent to the Vatican, Fr Birchall is still in a position of immense influence, holding the post of Director of the well known Ignatian Spirituality Centre in Glasgow. He is still immersed in the “gay” retreat scene, as revealed in the January 2015 Newsletter for the LGBT Pastoral Council in the Archdiocese of Westminster where the Wounded Healers Retreat in Calpe, Costa Blanca is advertised: Full details of the retreat are on the net at http://calpe.co.nf   [Ed: this link is no longer working, but Patricia Phillips’s claims are corroborated across the internet, including here]. The retreat is open to men of whatever Christian denomination or on the borders, and whatever sexual orientation. A leaflet can be downloaded from the website. Further details: David Birchall SJ, Ignatian Spirituality Centre, Scott Street, Glasgow, G3 6PE – Tel: 0141 332 3659 Mob: 0793 0866679″

Calpe is a place in Spain where Fr Birchall has done these ‘retreats’ in the past, usually for ‘gay men’, and they have offered things like ‘massage’.  Is this really the sort of thing with which the Director of the Ignatian Spirituality Centre in Glasgow should be involved?

The original Catholic Herald article and the website to which it refers are no longer available online, but may be cached online somewhere. 

I know I said if someone is gay and he searches for the Lord who am I to judge. But who's going to find the Lord through a retreat organised by a Jesuit in Glasgow? Gimme a break! That's hilarious!
I know I said if someone is gay and he searches for the Lord who am I to judge. But who’s going to find the Lord through a retreat organised by a Jesuit in Glasgow? Gimme a break! That’s hilarious!

Comment continued…

The idea that this LGBT event – scheduled to take place tomorrow evening in Garnethill – is designed to help the relatives and friends of LGBT people to support them and yet  “live [their] faith with integrity”, is laughable.  In the extreme.  At one time I’d have felt duty bound to go along to this event myself, in order to be able to report it honestly and with integrity, keen not to misrepresent the organisers and participants. No longer. It’s very clear that the teaching of the Church on homosexuality will be mocked – Fr David Birchall SJ is listed at the top of the St Aloysius’ bulletin among the clergy, identified as the ISC Director (Ignatian Spiritual Centre, Director). He’ll be running this show. It’ll be about as faithful to authentic Catholic teaching on homosexuality as any other event in that House of Heresy is faithful to Catholic teaching on just about any doctrine you care to name. I’ve attended enough of them to know that if it’s faithful Catholic teaching you’re looking for, if it’s an event to help you live your Catholic faith with integrity, forget about body massages and give St Aloysius, Garnethill, a huge body swerve.

Or maybe you disagree?  Let’s hear it…    

Comments (82)

  • Therese

    Tony

    I don’t find your examples unwelcome, merely specious. Your remarks about Spain are particularly loathsome as you ignore the many priests and nuns and civilians who were murdered by the left – but then you would wouldn’t you?

    You may fool yourself into thinking you aren’t in a particular “camp”, but your every post betrays your bias. Blinders again.

    May 12, 2016 at 8:20 pm
    • editor

      Therese,

      I’m just catching up now, and I admire your very “Catholic Truth” spirit in ignoring the nasty personal remarks directed at you by Mr Buck. Makes my job easier when all I have to do is delete offensive remarks in one post. So, thank you for your charity towards him. He’s on notice now.

      May 12, 2016 at 9:53 pm
      • Tony Buck

        Editor – Pity you didn’t take offence at the nasty remarks (personal, though cleverly phrased so as not to appear so) made against me by Therese.

        May 13, 2016 at 4:09 pm
    • tonybuck321

      I am well aware of the terrible crimes committed by Spanish Republicans.

      But you asked me to provide instances of Catholics siding with fascism, a point to which the crimes committed by aggressive Anti-Catholics (such as the Spanish Left) are plainly irrelevant.

      I seek always to be unbiased – but your every post betrays your bias.

      May 13, 2016 at 4:13 pm
  • Therese

    Tony

    You said that the Catholic Church was “riddled” with fascism, but you failed to prove your case.

    I’m truly sorry that you think I was attacking you personally, if by this that you mean that I was doubting your goodwill and sincerity; I wasn’t, and I’m not. (A hint – I’m not very good at subtlety!). No, I was hoping to make the point that in historical record, all is not what it seems, and certainly not what the media constantly reports it. You pride yourself on being unbiased, but you weren’t when you mentioned Spain.

    I do also deplore the stance that you take in regard to the devastation in the Church which is undoubted – and OBVIOUS – and which is being carried through by Pope Francis, both in his actions and in his deplorable statements. You seem to me to be denying the truth in the mistaken belief that you are defending Christ. I believe in my whole soul that you are completely wrong in this; the FACTS bear me out, and I assert my right, and my duty, conferred upon me at my Confirmation, to point this out to you, but I bear you absolutely no ill-will – indeed much to the contrary. You seem to love the Church; so do I. Please, please, open your mind, study the facts – read Michael Davies, Hamish Frazer, The Remnant etc – so many wonderful Catholic heroes to list but you’ll meet them once you dip into the above. I urge you most sincerely to do so. If you love the Church, as I believe you do, do your duty and learn what’s been done to Christ’s Bride, and then do you what your conscience tells you.

    God bless,

    PS. Editor Cor! I’m printing off your message and posting it on the wall to console me for the next time I get a telling off!….

    May 13, 2016 at 8:18 pm
    • editor

      Well folks, time for an update on Fr Birchall SJ.

      But first, an extract from the blog article, first published in our newsletter in February, 2015, to remind us all of just how evil is the work in which this Jesuit has been steeped:

      EXTRACTS FROM BLOG ARTICLE….

      In 2003, The Catholic Herald newspaper exposed a Jesuit-run website which contained things contrary to Church teaching on homosexuality, including links to “gay” pornographic websites. This scandalous website was suppressed by the Jesuit provincial, Fr David Smolira, but before it was suppressed, copies of the relevant web pages, were sent to then Cardinal Ratzinger at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

      The site was run by Fr David Birchall SJ, parish priest at St Wilfrid’s Church, Preston, in Lancashire (Diocese of Lancaster). His personal web page gave more details about him including the worrying fact that he was Vocations Director for the Jesuits in Britain for four years, and his unbelievably inappropriate offer for anyone to contact him “for a talk, meet, massage, drink, chat . . .”

      In another section titled “Sexuality and Christianity”, headed by pictures of two young boys kissing and two girls cuddling, visitors were invited to click on buttons to get “thoughts” on various topics, covering Love and Self Acceptance, Same-sex relationships and Bible and Church Teaching. At the end of these “thoughts” was a little speech entitled “Don’t Be Isolated”. A link on the right hand side of this asked: “Who am I? – See”. This link invited one to see who has given all these “thoughts”. When one clicked on the “See” button, it returns to Fr David Birchall’s home page. A list of Fr Birchall’s “thoughts” from this section were submitted to the CDF. They were not remotely in line with Catholic teaching on homosexuality. END OF EXTRACTS

      UPDATE ON FR BIRCHALL SJ….

      Notice in the parish bulletin of St Aloysius, 8 May, 2016… (a copy of which was given to me with my weekly penance of the Catholic papers).

      Future Events – The Joy of Love

      There will be a presentation on Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia) given by Fr Birchall from the Ignatian Spirituality Centre. The talk will take place in the Ogilvie Centre twice:

      Either Friday 20th May at 1pm (after the 12.30 Mass)

      OR Saturday 21st May at 7pm (after the 5.45 Mass)

      You can buy a copy in the bookshop, price £4.95. END OF NOTICE.

      So, the people of Glasgow, and parishioners from the area, are to be subjected to a talk from a man who has no shame in publishing his dubious sexual enterprises online – enterprises which include inviting any Tom,Dick or Oddball who wants to contact him “for a talk, meet, massage, drink, chat…”

      At one time, we’d have felt obliged to go along to one of these talks to report back. No need. An educated guess will do. The mind will still boggle, of course, but an educated guess beats paying the parking fee for the painful duty of having to listen to the Church’s teaching being distorted on marriage, homosexuality, family life and, who knows, life on Mars. Gimme a break!

      May 15, 2016 at 9:40 pm
  • Albert

    http://www.saintpeterinchains.net/

    check out the emmaus walk from 15-05-16

    May 19, 2016 at 11:50 pm
    • editor

      Albert,

      Is there something specific we should be looking for? There’s no sound, and nothing to read – the only page with text simply flashes on and off again and won’t halt. So I’m not sure what it is we are supposed to be looking for – at a quick skim it’s just a typical novus ordo type gathering.

      May 19, 2016 at 11:58 pm

Comments are closed.


%d bloggers like this: