At least according to the publicity, London Colney All Saints Pastoral Centre 22-24 July will be the venue for the Quest conference this weekend. In brief, Quest states that its first purpose is to 'associate lay men and women who are seeking ways of reconciling the full practice of their Catholic faith with the full expression of their homosexual natures in loving Christian relationships.' I wrote about this matter on Sunday and Wednesday. Someone in the comments below suggested that whatever happens, they will not stop the conference. But that was never my target. Targets have to be credibly achievable! My target has simply been to get information from the diocese about whether this event is approved. More precisely, I wanted to know, indeed I still want to know, if the Archdiocese of Westminster is happy for this event to take place in a pastoral centre which it owns, and whether Archbishop Nichols gives his backing to the conference.
As I stated on Wednesday, I wrote twice very courteously to the administrator of London Colney, Alan Johnstone, and the Archbishop's office, seeking this information. I didn't ask them to cancel it, I didn't state my own opinion, other than to call myself a concerned Catholic. I simply asked them - am I sounding repetitive? It's my Jeremy Paxman impersonation - if this event was diocese approved and whether it had the backing of Archbishop Nichols. I wrote for a third time on Thursday, this time copying in the CDF (a blank email address, for all I know, but why not widen the loop a bit?):
This is now the third time I have emailed you (previous emails copied below) to inquire about the Quest conference to be held this weekend 22-24 July at London Colney Pastoral Centre.
I will be very happy if you will just confirm two things for me:
1) Does the diocese approve of Quest being allowed to hold their conference in a centre which it owns?
2) Does Archbishop Nichols lend his support to this conference?
If you do not reply, then I will conclude that the answer to these questions is in the affirmative.
Yours faithfully, etc.
And answer came there none. A simple yes or no would have sufficed, but neither was given. Need I explain to this readership: qui tacit videtur consentire? He who is silent is seen to give consent.
So, I'm now making the diocesan press office aware of my campaign to get some answers. Let us hope in the course of the day that they manage to provide them.