Pope Francis Showers Gay Ministry with Praise During Pride Month

ROME — Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office, ha
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ROME — Pope Francis has written a third supportive letter to LGBTQQIAAP2S+ advocate Father James Martin, promising prayers for the success of a Pride conference to be held in New York this month.

“I send my best regards to the members of the meeting at Fordham University,” the pontiff wrote to his fellow Jesuit. “You and all who are working at the Outreach Conference are in my prayers and good wishes.”

As he has done on other occasions, the pope praised Father Martin for “all the good you are doing.”

“Thank you, thank you for your witness,” he added.

The pope’s handwritten letter is dated May 6, 2023, and refers specifically to the Outreach LGBTQ Catholic Ministry Conference to be held at Fordham University from June 16 to 18.

This is the third such letter Pope Francis has sent to Father Martin. On a previous occasion, he thanked Father Martin for his “pastoral zeal” while commending him for imitating the “style of God.”

Pope Francis has also met personally with Father Martin in two separate private audiences at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican, “where the two discussed ministry to LGBTQ Catholics,” Father Martin notes.

Last year, Father Martin declared that churches have a special duty to celebrate Gay Pride since much anti-gay violence has been “motivated by religion.”

Participating in Pride events during June is one way to live out the Catholic Catechism’s call to treat homosexuals with respect, he proposed.

Catholics should celebrate Pride Month, he said, because Gay Pride is “a celebration of the human dignity of a group of people who have been for so long treated like dirt.”

“It’s especially important for churches to celebrate Pride, since a great deal of the rejection and even violence that the LGBTQ community has faced has been motivated by religion, or at least what people think religion teaches,” the Jesuit stated.

Just last week, Father Martin asserted that celebrating Gay Pride is compatible with devotion to the Sacred Heart because both teach us about the love of Jesus.

“In June, Catholics celebrate the Month of the Sacred Heart,” Father Martin said. “LGBTQ people celebrate Pride Month. LGBTQ Catholics celebrate both. One shows us how Jesus loves. The other shows us whom Jesus calls us to love today.”

While enjoying special protection from Pope Francis, Father Martin has come under fire from other Catholic prelates for affirming people in their immoral sexual behavior rather than calling them to repentance and conversion.

In 2018, for example, Archbishop Charles Chaput called Father Martin out for speaking of “LGBTQ Catholics,” as if people’s sexual proclivities define their identity as persons.

“There is no such thing as an ‘LGBTQ Catholic’ or a ‘transgender Catholic’ or a ‘heterosexual Catholic,’ as if our sexual appetites defined who we are,” Chaput said, “as if these designations described discrete communities of differing but equal integrity within the real ecclesial community, the body of Jesus Christ.”

After the 2017 publication of Father Martin’s book, Building a Bridge, Archbishop Chaput reproached the priest for failing to summon gay Catholics to “conversion” rather than simply asking for “affirmation.”

Father Martin’s book “regrettably lacks,” Chaput wrote at the time, “an engagement with the substance of what divides faithful Christians from those who see no sin in active same-sex relationships.”


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