For Father James Martin, following Pope Francis means standing with LGBT people.
With the help of his aptly-titled book, Jesuit Father James Martin has begun building a bridge between the LGBT community and the Catholic Church. Outraged by the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Martin wrote Building a Bridge (HarperOne) in hopes of opening up dialogue around LGBT issues in the church.
Is the church changing its tone regarding LGBT issues?
“Who am I to judge?”
Those five words, spoken by Pope Francis in July 2013 in reference to gay Catholics, were a watershed moment for the church. This was a stark contrast to the tone set by his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, who instead referred to the “intrinsic moral evil” and “objective disorder” of “same-sex attraction.”
The church must reconsider its treatment of LGBT persons, especially those who have been fired from their jobs because of their sexual orientations.
I was visiting missionary friends in Turkana, a remote, arid, and desolate region of Kenya, in the summer of 2001. My friends had asked me to help baptize 40 nomadic women at a distant outstation chapel, about a three-hour drive from the main mission over rocky terrain and river beds that pass for roads. These women were shepherds who tended their communal flock of goats. (The men remained at home to care for the animals.)