When it comes to Catholic clergy, many assume an anti-LGBT bias because ‘welcoming’ statements often come with conditions. Resisting this trend, many priests continue building safe spaces in the Church for LGBT people and their loved ones. Jesuit Fr. James Martin is behind the recent “#SayingSomethingPositive” campaign on Twitter seeking to do just that.
Recent examples of the clergy leave many disheartened. Cardinal Timothy Dolan is largely silent on an anti-gay hate crime surge in New York, Fr. Derek Lappe and others have written ignorant statements about the Boy Scouts welcoming gay youth, and Bishop Thomas Paprocki told marriage equality supporters to just leave the church last Friday.
As troubling as these events are, they fail to reveal the broader picture about priests who positively minister to the LGBT and ally community within the Church. We also know of Fr. Joe Muth in Baltimore who leads a gay-friendly parish and Bishop Thomas Gumbleton who urges all Catholics to receive Communion. Michael O’Loughlin of Religion News Service reports on the latest trend, led by Fr. Martin on Twitter:
“The Jesuit Jim Martin has asked why Catholic bishops are seemingly unable to make an unqualified statement of God’s love for LGBT people. He wrote:
” ‘I would love to see a Catholic leader make an unabashedly positive statement about gays and lesbian Catholics, without including a critique.’ “
That initial tweet seeking positive statements from the Catholic hierarchy led to a powerful exchange with priest-scholar Fr. Raymond Kemp about the many LGBT Catholics serving God. Fr. Martin followed up with more positive statements about lesbian and gay people in his life and now, O’Loughlin reports, more are joining him. Bondings 2.0 has included a sampling below:
If you’re on Twitter, make your supportive voice heard with the hashtag #SayingSomethingPositive. Be sure to connect with @JamesMartinSJ, @mikeoloughlin, and @NewWaysMinistry if you do! We just got started:
–Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry