A wide river to cross: an admirable call for a courteous conversation that needs to grow

19 July 2017 | by Hilmar Pabel


The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that gay people/members of the LGBT community “must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity”. In other words, they deserve to be loved unconditionally as God’s beloved children. I preach this message in the parishes of the Archdiocese of Vancouver, where I coordinate Courage, a ministry to men and women who experience same-sex attraction and aspire to live chastely. Vancouver is home to one of the most promin­ent LGBT communities in North America. Many in these communities feel ignored, unloved and pushed to the margins of the Church. Gay Christians frequently ask heart-breaking questions: “Does God hate me? Does the Church hate me?”

James Martin, the hugely popular American Jesuit writer on contemporary spirituality, envisages a two-way conversation forming a bridge between “the institutional Church” and the Catholic LGBT community.

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