Catholic Bishop: LGBT Outreach Must Call out ‘Sinful Behavior’

FILE - In this April 19, 2019, file photo, a gay pride rainbow flag flies along with the U.S. flag in front of the Asbury United Methodist Church in Prairie Village, Kan., United Methodist Church leaders are proposing creation of a separate division that would let more traditional denominations break …
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File

Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, has urged LGBT advocate Father James Martin SJ to call his followers to conversion rather than affirming them in their sinful behavior.

Responding to an ad sent by Father Martin promoting his upcoming “Outreach 2020” conference for LGBTQ Catholics, Bishop Strickland reminded the Jesuit priest that true Catholic ministry to gays must proclaim the Church’s teaching on human sexuality in its fullness.

“May those who join in this Conference share the full message of Catholic teaching,” the bishop tweeted. “If Catholics minister without calling sinful behavior sinful then their work is neither truly Catholic nor true ministry. True compassion calls the person from sin to virtue.”

This is not the first time that Bishop Strickland has felt the need to provide pastoral direction to Father Martin.

Last October the bishop called out Martin for suggesting that the Catholic Church may need to reconsider the biblical prohibition of gay sex, while also thanking the priest for finally coming clean on where he stands personally regarding homosexuality.

Bishop Strickland stated on Twitter that it was his duty as pastor to oppose the priest in his assertions regarding the morality of homosexual sex.

“Thank you for acknowledging that you question scripture,” the bishop said. “If we go down that road where do we stop? I know you have lots of support but you are challenging the Deposit of Faith that I promised to defend. As a bishop I’ll keep defending it.”

Martin has been criticized by a number of Catholic prelates for failing to call active homosexuals to conversion instead of merely affirming them in their behavior.

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