Last month, the Catholic world shook when Pope Francis reportedly told a gay man, “You have to be happy with who you are. God made you this way and loves you this way, and the pope loves you this way.”
While Vatican declined to comment on the pope’s remarks, prominent adviser to the pope, Reverend James “Jim” Martin, confirmed the story via tweets.
"Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter. God made you like that and he loves you like that, and I do not care. The Pope wants you like that, you have to be happy with who you are."
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) May 19, 2018
Rev. Martin has also gone on record saying, “The pope is saying what every reputable biologist and psychologist will tell you, which is that people do not choose their sexual orientation."
Now the reverend, who authored the book, “Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity” is set to host a panel welcoming the LGBTQ community into the church at a Vatican-backed Catholic rally.
The World Meeting of Families is a Catholic Church run event taking place in Dublin, August 21-26. Pope Francis will be in attendance for the final two days, and the entire rally will culminate with a large-scale mass at Phoenix Park.
Despite some protest about the LGBTQ panel, Rev Martin told the Associated Press, “LGBT Catholics and their parents are an important part of our church.”
He continued, “The message from the Vatican to LGBT Catholics is this: you belong.”