A new book, endorsed by Roman Catholic officials, may signal a new level of Vatican acceptance of homosexuality.
Obviously, if Pope Francis wants Vatican acceptance of the LGBTQ “community,” he will not announce it himself. He will get others to push the case so that he can then “consider” their “input.” That’s how governments operate and push social change while maintaining their status as objective arbitrators. So, a new book by a priest has come out to serve this function.
Thus, the headline at ReligionNews.com: “This Vatican adviser is moving Catholics toward LGBT inclusion.”
But the church may be on the cusp of another baby step in this ongoing discussion with the publication of a new book by a popular Jesuit priest, James Martin: “Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter Into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity.”
Martin argues the church must move from a position of tolerance to inclusion when it comes to LGBT people. He criticizes the language of disorder from the catechism, calls on Catholics to stop firing LGBT people from church positions and frequently uses terms like “gay” and “lesbian” that many Catholic officials avoid.
The book carries with it a sense of authority. It was approved by Martin’s Jesuit superiors and is endorsed by two Catholic cardinals and a bishop. And Martin was recently appointed by Francis as consultant to the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communication, which manages Vatican TV and radio as well as the pope’s social media presence.
In an interview that follows the story, Martin suggests replacing Catholic teaching that same-sex attraction is “objectively disordered” with the claim that it is “differently ordered.”
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