VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - Pope Francis posed for photos on Ash Wednesday with a pro-LGBT British group that has tacit approval from its local bishop.
The Tablet reported on Monday that an English pro-gay group called LGBT+ Catholics Westminster met with the Pope on March 6.
The LGBT "pilgrims" had a scheduled meeting with Pope Francis following his general audience on Ash Wednesday and posed with him for photographs.
LGBT+ Catholics Westminster's pilgrimage to Rome for the beginning of the Lenten season had the approval of Cdl. Vincent Nichols, Catholic archbishop of Westminster.
Nichols wrote to the group before their pilgrimage to Rome, "May St. Peter and St. Paul, and indeed all the Apostles, continue to guide you on your way, and may you never fail to be inspired by their witness as faithful servants of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ."
Cardinal Nichols asked the LGBT group to pray for him during their trip to Rome.
Also during the Rome pilgrimage, LGBT+ Catholics Westminster celebrated Mass in Cdl. Nichols' titular church in Rome, the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer and St. Alphonsus.
The Tablet mentions that these LGBT pilgrims offered morning prayer at St. Bartholomew-on-the-Tiber Church in memory of "victims of homophobia and transphobia," noting that the church is a place for commemorating the Catholic martyrs of our time.
Cardinal Nichols has a history of pro-LGBT messaging. He gave explicit permission in 2013 for the establishment of LGBT+ Catholics Westminster at the Jesuit-run Church of the Immaculate Conception in Mayfair in central London. It was founded there after Nichols cracked down on the notorious Soho Masses at another parish in central London, Our Lady of the Assumption Church.
When he said Mass there in 2015, the LGBT+ Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council claimed it was the first time an English cardinal said Mass "welcoming" gay Catholics and announced plans to give the cardinal "a warm welcome" at the parish.
Notorious pro-LGBT Jesuit celebrity priest Fr. James Martin gave his endorsement of Nichols' gay Mass on social media.
In January last year, Church Militant reported that Cdl. Nichols legitimized another LGBT Catholic group called Quest. Nichols had the group re-admitted to the Catholic directory despite its open opposition to Catholic teaching.
In 2015, Cdl. Nichols criticized the 500 U.K. priests who signed a petition supporting traditional Christian beliefs about marriage. Nichols contested that dialogue between priests and their bishops "is not best conducted through the press."
Beyond all of that, the Westminster cardinal caused outrage among Catholic pro-lifers in April 2018 when he defended Alder Hey Hospital, the institution where Alfie Evans was allowed to die against his parents' wishes.
There were various plans to take the sick toddler to hospitals overseas with better treatment options, but the British government prohibited this and insisted on ending medical treatment and letting Alfie die in a hospital bed. Nichols said during a visit to Poland, "It's important to remember Alder Hey Hospital cared for Alfie not for two weeks or two months, but for 18 months, consulting with the world's top specialists — so its doctors' position that no further medical help could be given was very important."