Dear friends: I'm sharing this letter received today, the kind of message I receive almost daily, not because it disturbs me, but to illustrate the kind of homophobia that is rampant in our church today, encouraged, consciously and unconsciously, by bishops, priests...
...and other Catholics.

Often in the course of ministering to #LGBTQ Catholics, I meet well-meaning Catholics who express skepticism when I tell them about the hatred that LGBTQ people face in various dioceses, parishes, schools or Catholic settings. The challenge is to... well-meaning people see that simply because they do not see homophobia present in their own dioceses or parishes, doesn't mean it's not present elsewhere. It's there, both in the US and, often far worse, in many places overseas.

Until the church addresses this hatred...
...head on, it will continue. The Catholic Church must acknowledge not only homophobia among individual Catholics (like this unfortunate soul "in the trenches") but systemic homophobia, which pervades the church itself. The first step is admitting that it exists...
...naming it and finally bringing it out in the open.

Before Jesus could cure the man with the "Legion" of demons, which had tormented the man and kept him bound and unfree, the demon needed to be named (Mk 5:9).

And this demon is called hate.

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More from @JamesMartinSJ

12 Oct
As the Synod of Bishops begins to listen, will the church listen to everyone, or only the voices we are used to listening to? Will it listen to LGBTQ people?

Pope Francis asked, "Are we good at listening? How good is the 'hearing' of our heart?"...

@Synod_va #Synod2023
"Do we allow people to express themselves, to walk in faith even though they have had difficulties in life, and to be part of the life of the community without being hindered, rejected or judged?"

Who is "hindered, rejected or judged" in the church?...…
#LGBTQ people are among the most persecuted and endangered people in the world. In 70 countries simply being LGBTQ is a criminal offense; and harassment, beatings and violence are common in many more places....…
Read 11 tweets
10 Oct
Dear friends: Today I finished reading the most extraordinary book, which a friend had recommended a few weeks ago. For a long time, I've said to myself, "Wouldn't it be great if someone wrote a book like this?" Well, Mark Gevisser, a South African writer, has... Image
"The Pink Line" is nothing less than an overview of the experiences of LGBTQ people worldwide, and it is incredible. I learned something new on almost every page, and met people whose lives I could barely imagine....
Often LGBTQ issues are seen as the province of white people (primarily gay men) in the West, but Gevisser reveals the lives, struggles, hopes and dreams, as well as sufferings and persecutions, of people from across the globe...
Read 8 tweets
7 Oct
Gospel: Today Jesus tells us the story of a man who persists in asking for food (Lk 11). Elsewhere he tells the story of the persistent widow (Lk 18). Both are used to encourage people to persist in prayer. Some believers are embarrassed to ask for something from God. They say...
"I should be grateful for what I have." Or "Others have it worse than I do." And both are true: gratitude is important and there are surely people worse off than you.

But being honest with God about your real needs is part being in an open relationship with God. So much...
...of what Jesus teaches his disciples about prayer, as in today's Gospel, is about *asking.* The Our Father, after all, is a primarily a prayer of petition: "Give us," "Forgive us," "Lead us not," etc.

Go to God confidently in prayer and ask for what you need today...
Read 4 tweets
5 Oct
Dear friends: I'm so grateful to the Marist Brothers @MaristsUSA leadership for inviting me to speak with the presidents and principals of Marist high schools in the United States about welcoming #LGBTQ students in their schools... Image
Thank you for putting into practice the "practical compassion" of your founder St. Marcellin Champagnat, who cared for the "most neglected," as well as the Marist tradition of going to the "frontiers," as ways of living out the love and mercy that Jesus taught in the Gospel.
From the Marist documents: "Fidelity to our charism requires us to be constantly alert to the evolving social and cultural forces that have a profound influence on the self-perception of young people, and on their spiritual, emotional, social and physical well-being."
Read 5 tweets
5 Oct
Gospel: Today's reading has one of the most remarkable utterances ever made to Jesus. It comes from Martha, who is frustrated that her sister, Mary, is not helping her in the kitchen, during a meal with Jesus (Lk 10). "Tell her to help me!" she says. Who else in the Gospels... Image
...speaks to Jesus so bluntly? The only counterpart may be Peter. It's blunt, but it's also a sign of their close relationship. Jesus often stayed at the house of Martha, Mary and their brother Lazarus in Bethany, a respite from the burdens of his ministry. Scholars differ...
...on how he had met the three. (Were they childhood friends? Did the family live in Galilee before moving to Judea?) But it's clear that all three were close to Jesus. (Lazarus is later described by the sisters to Jesus as "he whom you love.") Martha's bluntless...
Read 4 tweets
3 Oct
Evening meditation: Some Jesuit friends and I were speaking about this film, and this scene, one of favorites. To my mind "Jesus of Nazareth" is the best of the "Jesus movies." Directed by Franco Zeffirelli, written by Anthony Burgess (with an assist..
....from the New Testament scholar William Barclay), it often quotes directly from the Gospels. It draws from both the Synoptics and John and tries to "harmonize" them and does a good job of it...
In my meditations on the Healing of the Centurion's Servant, I can't help but picture Ernest Borgnine's presentation of the centurion as a practical and direct man, who, recognizing Jesus's power, has no trouble crossing certain boundaries to ask for help for his servant...
Read 7 tweets

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