The New York Times bestselling author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything turns his attention to the relationship between LBTGQ Catholics and the Church in this loving, inclusive, and revolutionary book.
On the day after the Orlando nightclub shooting, James Martin S.J. appeared in a video on Facebook in which he called for solidarity with our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. "The largest mass shooting in US history took place at a gay club and the LGBTQ community has been profoundly affected" he began. He then implored his fellow Catholics-and people everywhere-to "stand not only with the people of Orlando but also with their LGBTQ brothers and sisters. . . . Sadly of all the US Catholic bishops who expressed their condolences after the shooting, only one that I know . . . made any explicit reference to the LGBT community." A powerful call for tolerance, acceptance, and support—and a reminder of Jesus' message for us to love one another—Father Martin's post went viral and was viewed more than 1,6 million times.
Now, Martin expands on his reflections in this moving and inspiring book, offering a powerful, loving, and much-needed voice in a time marked by anger, prejudice, and divisiveness. Adapted from a talk he gave to New Ways Ministry, a group that ministers to and advocates for LGBT Catholics, Building a Bridge provides a roadmap for repairing and strengthening the bonds that unite all of us as God's children. Martin uses the image of a two-way bridge for LGBTQ Catholics and the Church to come together in a call to end the "us" versus "them" mentality. Turning to the Catechism, he draws on the three criteria at the heart of the Christian ministry—respect, compassion, and sensitivity—as a model for how the Catholic Church should relate to the LGBT community.
Jesuit priest Martin responds to the 2016 massacre in the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., with this brief, clear guide on how Catholics can heal some of the rifts surrounding issues of sexuality. He explains how both Catholic leadership and LGBTQ laity can apply principles of respect, compassion, and sensitivity to the thorny issue. Central to his argument is a gentle reminder to see opponents as fallible humans with good intentions. Rather than argue for a specific theology of sexuality, Martin urges a greater openness from those on both sides to listening, showing care, and genuinely seeking to understand each other. After these suggestions, he turns to brief biblical passages to explore how the ministry of Jesus, the Psalms, and other verses might offer insight into current debates. Each passage is paired with questions for reflection aimed at both LGBTQ believers and those seeking to understand their situation. The surprising places he finds insight highlight the subtlety of his thought and the time he has devoted to considering these questions. Although specifically Catholic, this approachable resource will resonate with many Christians looking for help with providing pastoral care to sexual minorities or living as an LGBTQ Christian.