Jason Collins Deserves Catholic Support, Says Fr. James Martin

Jason Collins

Splashed across the cover of Sports Illustrated this week is Jason Collins, the first athlete on a male professional sports team to come out as gay. Collins has been celebrated across the sports world and the internet, but he has also faced harsh criticism. Jesuit Fr. James Martin posted the Collins’ story, and then provided lengthy remarks about why Catholics should support the athlete’s coming out without reservation. Fr. Martin writes:

“There are many times that Catholics are called to support their gay brothers and sisters wholeheartedly, unreservedly and publicly. This is one of them. All of us are created by God, and all of us have an undeniable and unassailable human dignity. And part of that dignity is accepting that you are a beloved creation of God. For many gays and lesbians, however, accepting that they are beloved creations of God is a

very difficult task, made more difficult by a variety of social pressures. ‘Coming out’ is often an important step, sometimes the most important step, to a deeper relationship with God, and to spiritual wholeness…

James Martin, SJ

James Martin, SJ

“Loving means first accepting a person, in all their complexity and beauty, as God has created him or her. This kind of love precedes questions about judging the actions of any person–straight or gay. Besides, we know how Jesus felt about our judging others. Love precedes all of that. True love means loving a person as he or she is–not as we would wish them to be, or as we think they should be, or worse, as we think God should have created him or her. But as they are.

“As the Psalmist says, ‘I praise you God, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.’ We should be grateful to Mr. Collins for reminding us that all of us are indeed ‘wonderfully made.'”

–Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry

8 replies
  1. jono113
    jono113 says:

    Jim Martin is often spot on in his comments including this one. However, when he notes that self-acceptance is often made difficult because of “social pressure,” he could have mentioned comments by Catholic bishops as one of the leading causes of pain among GLBT Catholics.

  2. Bill Welch
    Bill Welch says:

    I endorse and concur with the commentary by Fr. Jim Martin and the comment by jono113 above. To add emphasis to jono113’s remark, we often see the bishops, other hierarchy, and some clergy and theologians relying on the phrases “as set forth in infallible or so-called ‘defined’ teaching of the Church” or “proclaimed by God or Jesus Christ from the beginning of time,” neither of which are truthful to substantiate the hierarchical and other proclamations, reasoning, theses, or foundation of premises and logic.

  3. Joseph J Pepe
    Joseph J Pepe says:

    Thank you Fr Martin for putting your faith in words so meaningful. As Christians how can we do less then to welcome all God’s children. It grieves me to hear comments from some of the church’s hierarchy that reflects anything but the love preached and practiced by Jesus Christ


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] include critiques each time they made a statement on LGBT issues. Martin also applauded NBA player Jason Collins for coming out and commemorated PFLAG founder Jeanne Manford on his Facebook page. Most recently, […]

  2. […] to more inclusive athletics and founded by a 2006 alum of Notre Dame who has also worked with Jason Collins and Michael Sam. You can view it below or by clicking […]

  3. […] Father Gerald Coleman, S.S., recently commented on athletes Jason Collins and Robbie Rogers coming out as gay men.  In reflecting on the announcements of these celebrities, […]

  4. […] seems as if the floodgates are opening for gay athletes.  We had Jason Collins’ announcement a few weeks back, and Robbie Rogers’ announcement just recently, both of which broke the ice […]

  5. […] with Jason Collins, who noted the central and affirming role Christian faith played in his life, Rogers publicly speaks about his Catholic identity as affirming this decision […]

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