Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity by Fr. James Martin, SJ

(New York: HarperCollins, 2017/2018), 190

  • The Church and LGBT community are too far apart on issues of sexual morality, so he specifically avoids talking about this to focus on areas of commonality (5-6)
    • "Not everything has to be about sex. This is a book primarily about dialogue and prayer." (6)
    • This book grew out of a presentation he gave to New Ways Ministry (17)
    • The book is focused on the themes of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity from both the perspective of the LGBT community and the institutional church (CCC 2358)
  • Hatred can come from viewing LGBT person through the lens of sin, when in fact we are all sinners (8)
  • Jesus always welcomed those marginalized and "the inclusion of LGBT people is entirely consistent with Jesus' practice of including the marginalized." (9)
  • Motivation: "the work of the Gospel cannot be accomplished if one part of the church is essentially separated from any other part." (15)
  • The institutional church has made LGBT Catholics feel marginalized and therefore has to take the initiative (22)
  • Respect
    • The objection that outreach is a tacit agreement with everything the LGBT community does is unfair because it is applied to virtually no other group (e.g. "Catholic business leaders", 33)
    • Treat LGBT Catholics as full members of the church by virtue of their baptism (35)
    • Respect means calling a group what it asks to be called (35) ^f686c1
    • LGBT Catholics bring unique gifts to the church (39)
    • Terminating employment for lack of adherence to church teachings is selectively applied to LGBT people (47-49)
    • Being respectful of people with whom you disagree is at the heart of the Christian way. (81)
  • Compassion
    • a grandfather: "I love you no matter what you are about to say." (54)
    • "For any learning to happen, we need to listen." (57)
    • Pope Francis: "What matters above all is reaching out to save those far off, healing the wounds of the sick, restoring everyone to God's family! And this is scandalous to some people!" (62)
    • For people you struggle with: Pray to see that person as God sees him or her. (98)
  • Sensitivity
    • Jesus focused on community first, and conversion second (71)
    • Sensitivity is based on encounter, accompaniment, and friendship (72)
    • The CCC's use of "objectively disordered" seems unnecessarily cruel to many LGBT Catholics (74) ^038312

Chastity and Homosexuality from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. It psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity (Cf. Genesis 19:1-29; Romans 1:24-27; 1 Corinthians 6:10; 1 Timothy 1:10), tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Persona humana, 8). 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.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them their 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.

→ see also Fr. Martin's What is the official church teaching on homosexuality? Responding to a commonly asked question

Created: 2022-01-27-Thu
Updated: 2023-02-07-Tue