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This Vatican adviser is moving Catholics toward LGBT inclusion
Religion News Service ^ | June 6, 2017 | Jonathan Merritt

Posted on 06/06/2017 3:53:36 PM PDT by ebb tide

In 1992, the Vatican under Pope John Paul II published the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which stated, among many other things, that “homosexual tendencies” are “objectively disordered.” One of the principal theologians who shaped the document was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who would succeed John Paul II as Pope Benedict XVI. He too would take a hard-line stance against homosexuality.

Two decades later, Pope Francis has signaled what many believe to be a softening on the matter.

In 2013, when asked about gay priests, he famously replied, “Who am I to judge?” He has continued to call for the Catholic Church to treat LGBT people with dignity and respect, and to fight discrimination against sexual minorities.

But the church may be on the cusp of another baby step in this ongoing discussion with the publication of a new book by a popular Jesuit priest, James Martin: “Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter Into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity.

Martin argues the church must move from a position of tolerance to inclusion when it comes to LGBT people. He criticizes the language of disorder from the catechism, calls on Catholics to stop firing LGBT people from church positions and frequently uses terms like “gay” and “lesbian” that many Catholic officials avoid.


RELATED: Top Vatican and US church officials back new gay-friendly book


The book carries with it a sense of authority. It was approved by Martin’s Jesuit superiors and is endorsed by two Catholic cardinals and a bishop. And Martin was recently appointed by Francis as consultant to the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communication, which manages Vatican TV  and radio as well as the pope’s social media presence.

I sat down with Martin to discuss his message, and he told me he isn’t the only person connected to the Vatican who wishes to see the church move toward LGBT inclusion. Here we discuss what that looks like, how likely it is to happen and why he is putting his reputation on the line to fight for it.

You’re arguing for inclusion of LGBT in Catholic churches. How is it possible to include someone that your church believes is actively living in sin?

Image courtesy of HarperOne

Simply being LGBT is not sinful, according to Catholic teaching. That’s a common misconception. Even the catechism talks about welcoming them with “respect, compassion and sensitivity,” which is the genesis of the book’s subtitle. More basically, LGBT Catholics are baptized, and so they’re as much a part of the church as the pope. Sometimes when LGBT people tell me they feel like they’re being pushed out of the church, I’ll say, “Don’t let anyone push you out.  It’s your church too.”

Let’s assume you’re successful and churches open their arms to the LGBT community. Is it even possible for LGBT people to feel welcome in the Catholic Church?

​Yes, and many parishes show what this means in practice.  Of course, some parishes are more forward-thinking and have LGBT support groups, like the successful “Out at St. Paul” group at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle in New York. But there are quieter ways of welcoming LGBT people — mentioning them in homilies; encouraging them to participate as lectors, ministers of hospitality and in other parish ministries, and getting to know them personally.​ And, above all, listening to them.

A lot of Catholic leaders avoid using labels like “gay” and “lesbian,” opting instead for terms like “same-sex attracted.” Why did you decide to use the more common labels?

Because those are the terms that LGBT people use. People have a right to name themselves. It’s similar to the reason we no longer use terms like “Negro.” Why not?  Because the African-American community opted for terms like “African-American” and “black” over time. Catholics are supposed to treat LGBT people with “respect,” and it’s disrespectful in the extreme to continue to use names that they not only don’t use, but reject. ​

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” Do you affirm and agree with this teaching and language?

I’m no theologian, but I would say that some of the language used in the catechism on that topic needs to be updated, given what we know now about homosexuality. Earlier, for example, the catechism says that the homosexual orientation is itself “objectively disordered.” But, as I say in the book, saying that one of the deepest parts of a person — the part that gives and receives love — is disordered is needlessly hurtful. A few weeks ago, I met an Italian theologian who suggested the phrase “differently ordered” might convey that idea more pastorally.

Can you understand the pain that LGBT Catholics have felt?

Absolutely. Over the past 20 years, I’ve done what you might call an “informal ministry” with LGBT Catholics. They’ve come to me for spiritual counseling, confession and conversation. And they’ve told me the most appalling stories of being ignored, excluded and insulted — by priests and lay workers in their parishes. There is simply no group as marginalized in the Catholic Church as LGBT people. Sometimes they’re treated like lepers. So yes, I understand their pain.

Recognizing that this is just conjecture, how do you predict the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality will be different in 100 years?

​I hope that the church would more fully embrace Jesus’ call to reach out to those on the margins, those who feel excluded. In the past, when it came to the LGBT community, we led with condemnations. Which is not what Jesus does. For Jesus it is, more often than not, a welcome first. Think of the story of Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector in Jericho, who would have been considered the chief sinner in the city. As he’s passing through Jericho, Jesus sees him and says, “Tonight, I must dine at your house!” It’s a public sign of welcome. That came first for Jesus, and that’s what should come first for the church. ​

What kind of pushback do you expect to receive?

Most likely, some church leaders will think I’ve gone too far, and some LGBT people will think I haven’t gone far enough. A few church leaders ​might find the call to stop firing LGBT people in same-sex marriages a challenge, and some LGBT Catholics might find my call to treat the hierarchy with respect a challenge. On the other hand, the book has been endorsed by two cardinals, one of them an official in the Vatican.  So I think there’s an opening here. And the LGBT people who have read it have thanked me for writing it. So something is changing in the church. Something new is happening.  I think it’s the right time for a book like this.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Moral Issues
KEYWORDS: apostasy; apostate; catholic; francis; franciscardinals; francischurch; homos; homosexualagenda; jesuits; pope; popefrancis; vatican
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It was approved by Martin’s Jesuit superiors and is endorsed by two Catholic cardinals and a bishop.

The two cardinals are Kevin Farrell and Joseph Tobin, both new franciscardinals and both from the U.S.

1 posted on 06/06/2017 3:53:37 PM PDT by ebb tide
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To: ebb tide

NOT THIS CATHOLIC!!!


2 posted on 06/06/2017 3:58:04 PM PDT by HarleyLady27 ( "The Force Awakens!!!"...Trump and Pence: MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!)
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To: ebb tide

“One of the principal theologians who shaped the document was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.”

How did things work out for Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger?


3 posted on 06/06/2017 4:01:39 PM PDT by Timpanagos1
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To: ebb tide

I will bet dollars to donuts this pope will OK gay marriage.


4 posted on 06/06/2017 4:06:18 PM PDT by Organic Panic (Flinging poo is not a valid argument)
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To: ebb tide

I visited the Catholic chapel of my old college today — noticed a “safe person safe space, certified LGBTQA-XYZC3P0 etc ally” sign on the door.


5 posted on 06/06/2017 4:07:40 PM PDT by Wyrd bi ful ard (Flag burners can go screw -- I'm mighty PROUD of that ragged old flag)
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To: ebb tide; HarleyLady27; Timpanagos1

You folks need to stop reading this stuff for you own good! It is only going to get worse as we get nearer to the Tribulation Period. These Apostates are going to be left behind, and most likely will end up in Perdition. What happens to them, doesn’t affect what happens to you! Be a victor!

The Episcopal Church is well down Perdition road, but you can still find a local parish that holds fast to what we were taught when we first believed!

Msgr. Charles Pope’s blogs tell me that there are still a few faithful Catholics left! Find one and hold fast!


6 posted on 06/06/2017 4:10:58 PM PDT by SubMareener (Save us from Quarterly Freepathons! Become a MONTHLY DONOR)
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To: ebb tide

The Church has provided refuge to child molesters.

With that, it is not a big leap that they would condone gay marriage.


7 posted on 06/06/2017 4:11:37 PM PDT by Timpanagos1
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To: HarleyLady27

NOR THIS CATHOLIC!!!!!


8 posted on 06/06/2017 4:13:07 PM PDT by sneakers (It's DEMOCRAT - and not DemocratIC. There's nothing Democratic about the DEMOCRAT party)
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To: ebb tide

Condemn the sin, love the sinner. Now under Frankie the Great Pretender, it’s love the sinner and worship the sin. Vile and blasphemous.


9 posted on 06/06/2017 4:16:00 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (Je Suis Pepe)
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To: SubMareener

Our Father in Our Parish has decided that this Pope is evil...he has repeatedly told us to hold on to the Traditional Version of the church...which I am doing...but I’m not about to let this poop franky get away with anything...


10 posted on 06/06/2017 4:16:03 PM PDT by HarleyLady27 ( "The Force Awakens!!!"...Trump and Pence: MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!)
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To: ebb tide

What!
Take a stand against perversion?
And alienate all that money?
Yeah,


11 posted on 06/06/2017 4:19:06 PM PDT by Joe Boucher (President Trump makes obammy look like the punk he is.)
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To: ebb tide; All
"Even the catechism talks about welcoming them with “respect, compassion and sensitivity,”"

1 Corinthians 5:11 shows that Paul instructed that congregation to not even eat with unrepentant sinners, including sexually immoral people.

Just like Obama proved that anybody can become president, Pope Francis has proved that anybody can become Pope.

12 posted on 06/06/2017 4:21:38 PM PDT by Amendment10
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To: Organic Panic

I don’t think so.


13 posted on 06/06/2017 4:41:04 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Amendment10

The catechism states plainly that we follow God’s law. In accepting homosexuality that means accepting homosexuals as God’s children who have a particular suffering part of which is the call to be celibate

Period

The Catholic Church is not a democracy. It will. It waver on this

So the headline actually means ‘heretics are persuaded ...’


14 posted on 06/06/2017 4:44:27 PM PDT by stanne
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To: HarleyLady27

.but I’m not about to let this poop franky get away with anything...
- - - -

Lady, it is not your job! Poop Franky is just like Judas Iscariot. There had to be someone who would betray Jesus to the Jewish leaders, but it didn’t have to be Judas. He wanted the job, and Jesus let him have it. Similarly, there has to be a last Pope who is an evil Jesuit. Poop Franky didn’t have to be that Pope, but he wanted the job, so Jesus let him take it.

So if someone says something nice about Poop Franky, by all means set them straight, but after that just let Jesus take care of him with that wonderful double-edged sword of His Word! ;-)


15 posted on 06/06/2017 4:47:13 PM PDT by SubMareener (Save us from Quarterly Freepathons! Become a MONTHLY DONOR)
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To: Amendment10

Catechism ch 2359

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.


16 posted on 06/06/2017 4:47:26 PM PDT by stanne
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To: SubMareener

It’s MY JOB to say WHAT I THINK...my Uncle, Brother in law, two Nephews and my Son in law gave me that RIGHT!!!


17 posted on 06/06/2017 4:48:32 PM PDT by HarleyLady27 ( "The Force Awakens!!!"...Trump and Pence: MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!)
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To: HarleyLady27

OK, I guess that settles it. I won’t worry about you any more, promise! ;-)


18 posted on 06/06/2017 4:50:15 PM PDT by SubMareener (Save us from Quarterly Freepathons! Become a MONTHLY DONOR)
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To: stanne

Schism is the only answer. True Catholics need to separate themselves from the heretics and perverts that have gained control over the Vatican and much of the Church in western countries. The true Church is still alive and vigorous in third world countries where just being a Christian will lead to persecution and too often death. Let anti-Pope Francis reside over the destruction of the dying carcass of the western dioceses and make common cause with the true Church in Africa and Asia. The remnants of the true Church will be a much poorer, much more humble, much more effective servant of God.


19 posted on 06/06/2017 4:53:33 PM PDT by littleharbour
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To: littleharbour
Schism is the only answer.

No it isn't. Not at all.

Honorius I played cute with the Monothelite heresy. He was anathematized by the Third Council of Constantinople and Pope Agatho for it. That became a test case for the Fathers of Vatican I on defining the limits of Papal Infallibility.

No schism was necessary.

20 posted on 06/06/2017 5:28:35 PM PDT by Claud
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