Westminster LGBT+ Catholics have welcomed comments by Pope Francis, published this week by Fr James Martin SJ on his website Outreach. Fr James’ pastoral ministry includes the LGBT community, and he recently sent three questions to the Holy Father, which he said are most commonly asked by LGBT Catholics and their families.
Fr James asked firstly: “What would you say is the most important thing for LGBT people to know about God?”
The Pope answered: “God is Father and he does not disown any of his children. And the ‘style’ of God is ‘closeness, mercy and tenderness.’ Along this path you will find God.”
The next question was: “What would you like LGBT people to know about the Church?
Pope Francis said: “I would like for them to read the book of the Acts of the Apostles. There they will find the image of the living Church.”
Finally Fr James asked: “What do you say to an LGBT Catholic who has experienced rejection from the Church?”
Pope Francis responded: “I would have them recognize it not as “the rejection of the church,” but instead of “people in the church.” The church is a mother and calls together all her children. Take for example the parable of those invited to the feast: “the just, the sinners, the rich and the poor, etc.” (Mathew 22:1-15; Luke 14:15-24). A “selective” church, one of “pure blood,” is not Holy Mother Church, but rather a sect.”
Ruby Almeida, Chair of the Westminster LGBT+ Catholics told ICN: “We, the Westminster LGBT+ Catholics group, are always delighted when Pope Francis speaks about our community with such compassion and understanding about the many sins of rejection and hurt that have been committed against us.