Pope Francis discusses LGBT+ rights with Rev. James Martin

Pope Francis invited Rev. James Martin, an American Jesuit priest, to meet with him at the Vatican on Monday to discuss LGBT+ Catholics, a move some advocates say is signals support for a priest who has come under fire for calling on Catholics to be more compassionate toward LGBT+ people.

Martin’s 2017 book, “Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT+ Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion and Sensitivity” provoked criticism from conservative groups for suggesting the Catholic teachings on same-sex attraction are ‘objectively disordered.’

Martin declined to share specific details from the conversation, but did say that it focused mainly on ministry to LGBT+ Catholics, which Francis was happy to talk about. “I brought into that room the joys and the hopes and the struggles and the challenges of LGBT+ Catholics and LGBT+ people worldwide,” he said.

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