Ireland: Fr. James Martin Urges Welcome and Respect for LGBT Catholics at WMF

The movement in the United States and around the world to create LGBT-friendly parishes, which has worked for decades to welcome and include marginalized and alienated people, finally came into its own this week when, at the Vatican-sponsored World Meeting of Families in Dublin, Jesuit Father James Martin addressed the gathering about creating inclusive Catholic communities.

To a standing-room only crowd in a hall with a seating capacity of 1000, Fr. Martin gave a talk which the session moderator introduced as the “most publicized and talked about” session of the WMF.  The talk, entitled “Showing Welcome and Respect in our Parishes for LGBT People and Their Families,” had been added to the schedule after the WMF had made a series of decisions which had alienated the LGBT community in Ireland and abroad.  Fr. Martin had earlier described the decision to invite him as a message to the LGBT community that expressed “as an unmistakable sign of welcome from the church.”

Fr. Martin introduced his talk by saying that “The following observations are based on not only conversations with LGBT people, but also the experience of LGBT ministries and outreach groups that I consulted for this talk.  I asked them: What are the most important things for parishes to know and to do?”   Read more via New Ways Ministry