News from around the Archdiocese of Liverpool
LIVERPOOL CATHEDRAL CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
- A LOOK BACK AT OUR COMMEMORATIVE ISSUE
The Vatican’s recent announcement forbidding the blessing of same-sex partnerships has brought to mind a story which was often told of Father Vincent McNabb OP. Father Vincent was a very well-known preacher and author. On Sunday afternoons until he died in 1943, he could be found on the Catholic Evidence Guild pitch at Speaker’s Corner at Marble Arch, London where he attracted great crowds. He always walked in his Dominican habit there and back, between his priory in North London and Hyde Park, cutting a striking figure. When he was stopped by people asking for his blessing, he would respond by kneeling in the street with them and get them to pray that God would bless all of them including himself. A critic might accuse Father Vincent of showmanship, but his point was that it was not him who blessed but God.
In general use, the word, ‘blessing’, has come to mean giving approval, and this is why the Vatican felt it could not give permission for liturgical services which are outside the practice of the Church. Fortunately, everything and every person is within the scope of God, our Father and Creator, and at those times when we are confronted with aspects of his creation which we don’t fully understand or even approve of, the only approach open to us has to be to fall to our knees, like Father Vincent, and ask God for his blessing.
Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP
Archbishop of Liverpool