US priest who runs outreach for LGBTQ+ Catholics tapped by pope to join major Vatican gathering

by | Jul 7, 2023 | Religion

ROME (AP) — An American Jesuit who runs outreach ministry for LGBTQ Catholics was been tapped by Pope Francis on Friday to be among participants at a major Vatican gathering of bishops and laypeople later this year.The Vatican unveiled the names of bishops, priests, nuns and laypersons who will take part in the weeks-long meeting that the pope has called for in October. Among those chosen is the Rev. James Martin, who has long been a prominent advocate of greater inclusion of the LGBTQ community in the Catholic church.
Official Catholic teaching considers any sexual act outside of marriage between a man and a woman sinful.
Ahead of the gathering, known as a synod, there was an unprecedented canvassing of Catholics worldwide, which found that the faithful want to see concrete steps to promote women to decision-making posts as well as a “radical inclusion” of the LGBTQ+ community in the Church.
After the pope, in an interview with The Associated Press in January, decried as “unjust” laws that criminalize homosexuality and declared that “being homosexual is not a crime,” Martin, who is a Jesuit like Francis, asked him for clarification, given the church’s teaching on the subject. Francis then clarified that he should have said that any sexual act outside marriage is a sin.
Throughout his 10-year-old papacy, Francis has upheld Catholic teaching on sexuality but has made outreach to LGBTQ+ people a priority.
Earlier this year, Pope Francis decided to give women the right to vote at the gathering, which runs from Oct. 4 till Oct. 29. That reform reflected his wider hope …

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