Written by guest author
29th February 2024


“Pride” or “Gay-Affirming” Masses are unfortunately becoming quite commonplace, as the Church in Australia drifts further down the path of decline. On February 9th, one such LGBTIQ+ affirming Mass was held in Melbourne at St Joseph’s, South Yarra. Although fairly sedate in its execution, the Mass was truly scandalous, in the sense of leading people into sin – both sexual sin and sacrilegious Communions. For there was no mention of the immorality of homosexual acts or of the need for sincere repentance  and sacramental confession before the reception of Holy Communion. The presiding priest was not merely a homosexual-sympathiser; as Mass began, he openly stated that he was “queer” while confidently assuring all attendees, regardless of their religious affiliation, that this was a “safe space” for them.

The context of the Mass was particularly grievous because it had been promoted as an official event of Melbourne’s LGBTIQ+ Midsumma festival. With an entire page devoted to the event, the Mass was billed as “An LGBTIQ+ Affirming Mass for Catholics and Friends,” with the claim that “Yes, you CAN be both queer and Catholic.”

The Mass was organised by a pro-homosexual Catholic organisation known as “Acceptance”, which is currently celebrating its fiftieth anniversary – for which it apparently received congratulations from Pope Francis.  Although it is not mentioned on the parish website or newsletter, the “Acceptance” website and Facebook page advertise monthly pro-sodomy Masses at St Joseph’s.

According to their website, “Acceptance” is “an affirming, non-profit organisation in Melbourne, Australia that supports Catholics who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Questioning and all of their allies.” The organisation is advertised on the directories of homosexual organisations such as the Victorian Pride Centre and the Rainbow Network and members attend gay “pride” rallies under the “Acceptance” banner, leading many to believe that Catholic teaching on homosexuality has changed.

Screenshot from Acceptance website

“Acceptance” members at a previous year’s Pride March,
taken from the “Acceptance” Facebook page


Fr Kevin McGovern, a self-described “queer” priest

The Mass was celebrated by Fr Kevin McGovern. Formerly of the Diocese of Rockhampton, Fr. McGovern is now parish priest at St Cecilia’s in the Melbourne suburb of Camberwell South and is chaplain to the nearby St. Cecilia’s Primary School at Glen Iris. He also lectures in Human Sexuality at the University of Divinity and holds a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Boston, as well as a Diploma in Applied Science from Queensland Institute of Technology.





From the University of Divinity website

Fr McGovern has worked with the government at high levels on policy-making in regard to human embryos, human cloning, IVF and also COVID policies. He wrongly concluded that COVID treatments must not be boycotted by Catholics who have a conscientious objection to the use of aborted foetal tissue in their development. [Click here to read Fr McGovern’s flawed rationale for using abortion-tainted COVID ‘vaccines and click here to order our book explaining why he is wrong.]

He was a regular spokesman on LGBTI matters during the Plenary Council, making an astonishing and erroneous claim to the ABC that:

The Australian bishops have taught that someone who is using contraception because he or she honestly cannot accept the Church’s teaching on this matter may be admitted to the sacraments. Pope Francis has taught that someone who is divorced and civilly remarried because he or she honestly cannot accept the Church’s teaching on this matter may also in some cases be admitted to the sacraments. The Plenary Council could recognise that a Catholic who honestly does not accept some element of the Church’s teaching about matters related to LGBTIQA+ people may also in some cases be admitted to the sacraments.


Mass began with the banal “Gather Us In”, after which Fr. McGovern blithely announced that he was “queer.” He repeated that this Mass was a “safe” and “welcoming” space and that “we should all be friends”. Then followed a novel insertion into the Introductory Rites, called the “Lighting of Rainbow Candles”. Fr. McGovern began by reminding the congregation of “the rainbow God set in the sky as a sign of his eternal covenant,” then priest and congregation recited a prayer as the six rainbow-coloured candles were lit. They remained lit during the entire Mass.

The Mass proceeded as normal, with the set readings of the day. In his homily, the priest spoke on a theme of disunity being death, using the example of the disintegration of the Kingdom of Israel. He suggested that “queer Christians” should “blaze a trail” and exhorted the congregation to foster unity among the churches, with perverted sexuality being the common bond.

The lowest point of the Mass was the distribution of Holy Communion to the congregation, where multiple Eucharistic abuses could be witnessed. In his bid to make the Mass “welcoming”, the priest announced that he would administer the Blessed Sacrament to all baptised Christians (NOTE: not baptised Catholics)  who believe that the consecrated Bread is Jesus Christ. Please note that every single person who received Communion at this Mass was objectively in a state of mortal sin. That is, every Communion administered that evening, including that of the priest, was sacrilegious.

As he prepared for the distribution of Communion, the priest set aside consecrated hosts for an Extraordinary Minister, flouting the rubrics as he did so. All priests know that as a sign of honour for the true Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Lord, a ciborium or paten, preferably made of a precious metal, should be the vessel for holding consecrated hosts. However, that requirement was ignored at the “Pride” Mass: the priest placed Hosts for the EM on what appeared to be the flat plastic lid of the container which had held the unconsecrated wafers.

As could be imagined, it would be almost impossible to keep the small Hosts on this slippery, rimless lid and thus it was not surprising that a Host fell to the ground. This unfortunate abuse of the Lord’s Body was apparently unnoticed until the last communicant had moved away, meaning that It had potentially been trampled on by dozens of feet. The only reaction of the Extraordinary Minister was an embarrassed giggle before the priest casually stooped to retrieve the Host.

After Holy Communion came the final blessing, and the priest exhorted the congregation to ‘pray for the gift of pride’. The recessional hymn contained a blasphemous “queer” verse which the congregation was told is usually omitted from hymnals. A member of the choir announced that he had heard the hymn at a Uniting Church and had requested permission to use it at the Acceptance Mass. The words of the usually-prohibited verse run thus: “For queer and for straight, a place at the table / For trans and for gay, a welcoming place / A rainbow of race and of gender and colour / For queer and for straight, the chalice of grace.”

At one point during the Mass, the priest explained that the Augustinians who run the parish do not merely tolerate the Acceptance Mass, but they in fact positively welcome the Acceptance at their parish. He then drew the congregation’s attention to a small rainbow flag which hangs discreetly below the choir loft at the rear of the church as a sign of the Augustinians’ solidarity with the LGBTIQ movement.








The information contained in this article has been sent to the Archdiocese of Melbourne, but FLI does not realistically expect any action to be taken. This is because in the past, our enquiries about other serious matters such as sexualised school curricula or the Archdiocese employing a transgender teacher and an abortion advocate have gone unanswered. More compelling than those failures, however, is the fact that Archbishop Comensoli has himself offered Mass for Acceptance, as evidenced by a post on the group’s Facebook page.

Please pray for all members of “Acceptance”, including the priest and also please make reparations for these sacrilegious Masses. An ideal set of prayers are those of the Holy Face devotion, which specifically make reparation for blasphemy. Here is one example:


ETERNAL Father, turn away Thine angry gaze from all guilty people whose faces have
become unsightly in Thy eyes. Look instead upon the face of Thy Beloved Son, for this is the
Face of Him in Whom Thou art well pleased. We now offer Thee this Holy Face, covered with
shame and disfigured by bloody bruises, in reparation for the crimes of our age, in order to
appease Thy anger, justly provoked against us. Because Thy Divine Son, our Redeemer, has
taken upon His head all the sins of His people that they might be spared, we now beg of
Thee, Eternal Father, to grant us mercy. Amen.

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