Pope Francis greets Jesuit Father James Martin, author and editor at large of America magazine, during a private meeting at the Vatican in this Oct. 1, 2019, file photo. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)
Pope Francis has sparked controversy in Catholic circles by sending a congratulatory note in his own handwriting to Fr. James Martin, S.J., praising Fr. Martin for his ministry of outreach to lesbians, bisexuals, gays, and transgenders, since the late 1980s placed together under the acronym “LBGT” (link).
The letter has sparked controversy, with a number of Catholics expressing concern that the Pope in his letter strongly supports Fr. Martin’s ministry though, they contend, the ministry focuses on affirming these various sexualities and sexual self-identifications in a way not in keeping with traditional Catholic teaching on sexual morals.