VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis has written a letter to “LGBT Catholics,” delivered via dissident Jesuit priest Father James Martin, declaring that a “selective” Church is “a sect,” and decrying what he styled as the Church’s “rejection” of “LGBT Catholic[s].”
Martin noted that he had himself written to Pope Francis on May 5, asking “if he would be willing to respond to a few of the most common questions that I am asked by LGBTQ Catholics and their families.”
The request took the form of “three questions,” which the Pope responded to in Spanish, addressing Martin as “brother” in the handwritten note which was delivered just three days later. (Full English text at the bottom of this article)
Outreach is delighted to announce that we will soon be running a very brief interview with Pope Francis, who graciously responded to three common questions from the LGBTQ community. We’re very grateful to the Holy Father for his kindness, even in the middle of his recuperation.
— Outreach (@OutrchCatholic) May 8, 2022
Breaking: Pope Francis @Pontifex sends message to LGBTQ Catholics in mini-interview with Outreach, answering three brief questions often posed by LGBTQ Catholics: “A ‘selective’ church, one of ‘pure blood,’ is not Holy Mother Church, but rather a sect.” https://t.co/ejjjDkrPaw
— Outreach (@OutrchCatholic) May 9, 2022
‘Selective’ Church is a ‘sect’
In response to Martin’s first question – “What would you say is the most important thing for LGBT people to know about God?” – Francis wrote that “God is Father and he does not disown any of his children.”
As such, “‘the style’ of God is ‘closeness, mercy and tenderness’,” said Francis. “Along this path you will find God.”
Martin had also enquired what the Argentinian Pontiff desired “LGBT people to know about the church,” to which Francis responded briefly:
I would like for them to read the book of the Acts of the Apostles. There they will find the image of the living church.
The most striking part of Francis’s short letter came in his answer to Martin’s third question, which asked the Pope what he would say “to an LGBT Catholic who has experienced rejection from the church.”
I would have them recognize it not as “the rejection of the church,” but instead of “people in the church.” The church is a mother and calls together all her children.
Take for example the parable of those invited to the feast: “the just, the sinners, the rich and the poor, etc.” A “selective” church, one of “pure blood,” is not Holy Mother Church, but rather a sect.
Pope Francis’s letter to Martin, who wrote in the name of Outreach, is particularly significant given that the pro-LGBT group only officially launched on May 1, just days before Francis replied to Martin. Pope Francis had recently undergone a medical procedure May 3 for an ongoing problem with his knee.
Outreach itself operates “under the auspices of America Media,” which oversees the far-left, Jesuit-run America Magazine. The group is the brainchild of Martin and his past pro-LGBT activities, as it looks to become a global resource center “where church leaders, both clergy and lay, can encounter the LGBTQ faithful, in their ‘joys and hopes’ and ‘griefs and anxieties’ as well as engage in respectful dialogue.”
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Christians are being attacked relentlessly by violent Hindus in India, but some Indian states are compounding this persecution by jailing those accused of converting Hindus to Christ.
Using "anti-conversion laws", eight Indian states have outlawed any attempt by minority faiths such as Christianity to convert members of the majority Hindu population.
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Christians know that, like St. Paul who himself was jailed (2 Tim 2:8-10), we cannot remain silent in announcing Christ to unbelievers (Acts 5:17-26), but our Indian brothers and sisters in faith are being imprisoned on trumped up charges when they have not violated any of these unjust laws.
Legislators in eight Indian states have created vaguely-worded "anti-conversion laws", leaving the door wide open to minorities being accused of "allurement" or "coercion" when sharing their faith with Hindus.
The wording often states that "no person should convert or attempt to convert, either directly or indirectly, any person from one religion to another by use of force or by allurement or by any fraudulent means".
The states of Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand have already introduced these laws, with several more expected to follow.
Legislators have ignored the fact Christians are entirely opposed to forced conversions or deception, instead bowing to the demands of Hindu extremists worried that Christ is winning the hearts of Indians long maltreated in the inhumane caste system.
The false allegations of coercion made against Christians have resulted in the widespread persecution of believers across the country.
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As K.V. Turley reported on LifeSiteNews, one reason Christians and other minorities are persecuted is because of the growing popularity of the nationalist Hindutva ideology.
This ideology demands a Hindu-only India, resulting in sustained violence against those who would lead Hindus to Christ.
Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, then-General Secretary of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India, said as early as 2018 that even members of the ruling Barathiya Janata Party (BJP) are "using false accusations to incite hate. And nobody in their party or in the government is revoking their problematic statements.”
The latest anti-conversion bill is set to be passed in Karnataka state, where Christians will face jail terms of up to 10 years if found guilty of converting others by alleged "force", "fraudulent methods", or as a result of marriage.
Karnataka has seen a significant increase in Hindu attacks on Christian priests, pastors and laity, with the BBC reporting at least one violent incident in 21 out of 31 districts.
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Right-wing Hindu radicals are known to barge into houses or churches where prayer sessions are conducted and demand the identity of those in attendance.
If Hindus are in the audience, conversion charges are pressed and the pastors are arrested. The onus of proof is on the pastors, catechists or priests.
Another issue is that Catholic priests, brothers and nuns teach, educate and empower the dalits (untouchables), the tribals and the poor. These then stand up for their rights, which is not pleasing to many politicians.
This petition will be sent to the Indian ambassadors to the USA and Canada, the Ambassador at Large of the United States for International Religious Freedom, the High Representative of the EU's Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the president of India's ruling BJP party.
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**Photo Credit: Video screenshot of a statue of Christ about to be destroyed by authorities in Karnataka on February 14, 2022**
Catholic teaching on homosexuality
However, while Francis refers to “rejection” as not being that “of the church,” Catholic doctrine on homosexuality conveys a different message. The Catechism of the Catholic Church #2357 teaches 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.”
Any such concept of “rejection” from the Church in the area homosexuality lies in the adherence to the natural law, which finds such “homosexual acts” to be “intrinsically disordered.”
The Catechism notes that those suffering with homosexual tendencies “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity,” but that such people are nevertheless “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,” the Church teaches.
Father Martin has gained notoriety along with condemnation from faithful prelates for his promotion of LGBT ideology among Catholic circles, and in the name of the Church. Among his most infamous actions, Martin promoted an image drawn from a series of blasphemous, homoerotic works, showing Christ as a homosexual, promoted same-sex civil unions, and has described viewing God as male as “damaging.”
Pope Francis and Martin met privately in September 2019, in what was reportedly their third meeting, although their first substantial conversation. Both Martin, and America Magazine of which he is an “editor-at-large,” proclaimed the meeting as being “a public sign” of the pontiff’s “support” for Martin’s work promoting LGBT ideology in the name of Catholicism.
In April 2017, Pope Francis had appointed FMartin as one of the 13 consultors who advise the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communications, and the Vatican invited him to speak at the 2018 World Meeting of Families in Dublin on “Exploring how Parishes can support those families with members who identify as LGBTI+.”
Since the CDF’s March 2021 responsum condemning same-sex “blessings,” Pope Francis has made numerous public statements praising and supporting advocates of LGBT ideology and same-sex civil unions. He has notably made a number of statements in support of dissident nun Sister Jeannine Grammick and her previously condemned pro-LGBT group New Ways Ministry.
Full text of Pope Francis’s letter to Fr. James Martin and Outreach:
Thank you for your mail.
With respect to your questions, a very simple response occurs to me.
- God is Father and he does not disown any of his children. And “the style” of God is “closeness, mercy and tenderness.” In this way (or along this path) you will find God.
- I would like for them to read the book of the Acts of the Apostles. There they will find the image of the living church.
- I would have them recognize it not as the “rejection of the church,” but instead “of people in the church.” The church is mother and calls together all of her children. Take for example the parable of those invited to the feast: “the just, the sinners, the rich and the poor, etc.” A “selective” church, one of “pure blood,” is not the Holy Mother Church, but rather a sect.
Thank you for everything you do. I pray for you, please do so for me.
May Jesus bless you and may the Holy Virgin guard you.