Pope meets with pro-LGBT priest denounced by hardline conservative Catholics
Pope Francis has met privately with an American priest who has been attacked by hardline Catholics for his pro-LGBT+ views.
Father James Martin has developed a reputation within the Catholic church for his soft approach to the LGBT+ community. He has even written a book, called Building a Bridge, which argues that the church should reach out to the LGBT+ community.
Martin may be a controversial figure within the Church, but that did not stop Pope Francis meeting with him privately this week.
Meeting with Pope Francis ‘one of the highlights’ of James Martin’s life.
The meeting was publicised by the Vatican, who listed it in the Pope’s activities. Press Association reports that this indicates the Vatican wanted the public to know that the meeting took place, as they do not publicise all of the Pope’s private meetings.
Sharing the news on Twitter, James Martin said the meeting was “one of the highlights of my life.”
“I felt encouraged, consoled and inspired by the Holy Father today,” Martin wrote.
He continued: “And his time with me, in the middle of a busy day and a busy life, seems a clear sign of his deep pastoral care for LGBT Catholics and LGBT people worldwide.”
I felt encouraged, consoled and inspired by the Holy Father today.
Pope Francis has been more amenable to Martin than other Catholic officials, with some interpreting his approach as a sign that the Church is softening its opposition to LGBT+ rights.
Martin said he spoke to Pope Francis about the struggles of LGBT+ Catholics and told him that many “feel marginalised” by the church.
Much has been made of Francis’s comments about the LGBT+ community.
Significant attention has been paid to Pope Francis’s approach to the LGBT+ community. In the last few years, he has made many comments about the community. Some of his comments have signalled that the church’s attitudes are changing, while others have indicated that Catholicism will not be pro-LGBT+ any time soon.
In 2013, when asked about homosexuality, he responded: “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?”
However, last year he claimed that families shouldn’t shun their gay children, and said they should instead seek psychiatric help.
Late last year, he also claimed that there is “no place” for gay people in the clergy, and said the issue of homosexuality “worries” him.