April 7, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A top Vatican cardinal and several other high-ranking prelates have praised a new book on what the Catholic Church's relationship with the “LGBT community” should be, written by progressive Jesuit Father James Martin.
Martin's book is titled Building A Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity. Religion News Service reports that in the book, Martin says “church leaders should address LGBT people by the term they call themselves.”
Martin also says Church employees shouldn't be fired for going against Church teaching by endorsing homosexual acts or openly professing homosexuality because “such firings selectively target LGBT people.”
Far-left dissident nun Sister Jeannine Gramick endorsed Martin's book as a “must-read” that “shows how the Rosary and the rainbow flag can peacefully meet each other.”
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has banned Gramick from “any pastoral work involving homosexual persons.”
Cardinal Kevin Farrell, appointed by Pope Francis to head the Vatican's life and family dicastery, called Martin's book “a welcome and much-needed book that will help bishops, priests, pastoral associates, and all church leaders more compassionately minister to the LGBT community.”
“It will also help LGBT Catholics feel more at home in what is, after all, their church,” said Farrell, the former bishop of Dallas.
Farrell has repeatedly praised the controversial exhortation Amoris Laetitia, which critics say contradicts or can be interpreted to contradict Catholic moral teaching. He says it opens the door for those living in invalid sexual unions (labeled by the Church to be adultery) to receive Holy Communion.
Newark Cardinal Joseph Tobin, made a cardinal by Pope Francis, endorsed the book: “In too many parts of our church LGBT people have been made to feel unwelcome, excluded, and even shamed. Father Martin’s brave, prophetic, and inspiring new book marks an essential step in inviting church leaders to minister with more compassion, and in reminding LGBT Catholics that they are as much a part of our church as any other Catholic.”
Tobin has criticized the four cardinals who asked Pope Francis for moral clarity on Amoris Laetitia as “troublesome” and “at best naive.”
Martin's book is also endorsed by San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy, famous for instructing his priests to accept “LGBT families” and give Communion to adulterers, banning an outspoken pro-life priest from writing bulletin columns, and calling the Catechism's language “very destructive.”
“The Gospel demands that LGBT Catholics must be genuinely loved and treasured in the life of the church. They are not,” according to McElory's endorsement. The book “provides us with the language, perspective, and sense of urgency to replace a culture of alienation with a culture of merciful inclusion.”
McElroy has suggested there is an “anti-gay prejudice that exists in our Catholic community and in our country.”
“My own view is that much of the destructive attitude of many Catholics to the gay and lesbian community is motivated by a failure to comprehend the totality of the church’s teaching on homosexuality,” McElroy told America magazine. Labeling homosexual acts as “intrinsically disordered,” as the Catechism does, is “very destructive language that I think we should not use pastorally,” he said.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that those with same-sex attraction “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity” and “every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided” (CCC 2358).
The Catechism also teaches: “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.' They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved” (CCC 2357).
When it comes to same-sex relationships, the Catechism makes distinctions between the person, the inclination, and the act. It labels sexual activity between people of the same sex, and the inclination to commit them, disordered. It does not, however, label any person disordered. Being attracted to people of the same sex is not a sin in and of itself, the Catechism teaches, but acting on it would be.
In November 2016, Martin accepted an award from a pro-gay group, New Ways Ministry, that has been condemned by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the U.S. Catholic bishops. In his acceptance speech, Martin said the Church should embrace homosexuality’s “special gifts.”
In the same speech, he suggested that some Catholic bishops who uphold the Church’s teaching on sexual morality might be “trapped brethren” who are secretly gay themselves. He also praised a 17-year-old for “coming out” on a retreat and equated sexual proclivities with race and age.
New Ways Ministry has been banned from speaking in Catholic dioceses across the country. It is “a gay-positive ministry of advocacy and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Catholics, and reconciliation within the larger Christian and civil communities.” Part of its mission is to “identify and combat personal and structural homophobia,” and “work for changes in attitudes and promote the acceptance of LGBT people as full and equal members of church and society.”
When President Trump rescinded the Obama administration's transgender bathroom order, Martin tweeted his support of boys using the girls' bathroom and vice versa to over 100,000 twitter followers.