Two cardinals recently created by Pope Francis recommend a book by the controversial author James Martin, S.J., on how the Catholic Church should treat members of the “Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transsexual community”.
Building A Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity, by Jesuit Father James Martin, opines that “church leaders should address LGBT people by the term they call themselves.” The author also argues, with strange logic, that Church employees should not be fired for endorsing homosexual acts or openly professing homosexuality, although both are against Church teaching, because “such firings selectively target LGBT people.”
Endorsements from the New Cardinals
Cardinal Kevin Farrell, the former Bishop of Dallas, recently appointed by Pope Francis to head the consolidated Vatican dicastery for life and family, said that Martin's book “will help bishops, priests, pastoral associates, and all church leaders more compassionately minister to the LGBT community.”
The Ordinary of the Archdiocese of Newark, Joseph Tobin, who was created a cardinal by Pope Francis, also 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.
With considerably less broadmindedness, Cardinal Tobin has publicly criticized the four cardinals who asked Pope Francis for clarifications on the moral teaching of Amoris Laetitia as “troublesome” and “at best naïve.”
Church Teaching on Homosexuality
The current teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church reflects tradtional doctrine about homosexuality, 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).