Father James Martin has previously stated that LGBT people should be seen as full members of the Catholic Church.
A group of lay Catholics has called on the World Meeting of Families in Dublin to prevent a US priest, who has voiced his support for the LGBT community, from speaking during Pope Francis' visit
The Irish branch of the Tradition, Family, Property (TFP) has voiced its disapproval that Fr Martin, who has long advocated that LGBT people should be regarded as full members of the Catholic community, was invited to speak at the meeting in Dublin taking place this August.
The group has addressed a letter to Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin calling on him to disinvite Fr Martin from speaking and gathering the names of over 9,500 people to sign the letter of disapproval.
“The hosting by your Archdiocese of the World Meeting of Families should be a joyful occasion for Ireland,” the letter to Archbishop Martin reads.
“The choice of Dublin as a venue by Pope Francis should serve as a consolation for Ireland at a difficult time and is, of course, the effective reason for the Pope’s pastoral visit.
“We are disappointed and greatly concerned that Fr James Martin, S.J. will speak at the event, casting a shadow over its proceedings. Fr Martin is well known for his dissent from Church teaching on sexual morality. He has articulated views which condone homosexual behavior in contradiction of the Magisterium.”
Fr Martin has previously advocated for LGBT rights within the Catholic Church, claiming that the LGBT community “need to know that God loves them and their church accepts them.”
“I’m tremendously grateful for this invitation, not so much for what it says about my own ministry or writing but what it says to LGBT Catholics, a group of people who have for so long felt excluded,” he said in America magazine, of which he is the editor, about his invite to Dublin.
“I hope they see this invitation, which had to be approved by the Vatican, as an unmistakable sign of welcome from the church.”
The letter emerges as certain Catholic groups and abuse survivor groups speak out against what they feel is their exclusion from the Papal Visit.
We Are Church Ireland, a group which campaigns for the equal inclusion of women and LGBT people in the Catholic church, has claimed that they are being “ignored and discriminated against” after not receiving an answer to their application to present a stand at the meeting in the RDS.
A protest demonstration for those affected by clerical abuse in the Catholic church will also take place during Pope Francis’ visit to Ireland later this month.
If you, or someone you love has been abused or hurt by the Catholic Church, or if you wish to stand in solidarity with those who have been abused, please join me at the Garden of Remembrance #Dublin at 3pm on Sunday August 26th. #PapalVisit #Ireland More info to follow soon.— Colm O'Gorman (@Colmogorman) August 2, 2018
The rally, which will take place on Sunday, August 26, at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin, has been organized for those who have “been abused or hurt by the Catholic Church' or those who “wish to stand in solidarity with those who have been abused.”
Pope Francis will visit Ireland later this year on the first papal visit since Pope John Paul II's historic trip to the country in 1979. He will be in Dublin as part of the 9th World Meeting of Families (WMOF) which will take place from the 21-26 August.
The two main events that the pontiff will attend are the 'Festival of Families' in Croke Park on August 25, and the 'Final Mass' in Phoenix Park on August 26. While both of these events are free, tickets and registration are essential according to the World Meeting of Families website.
A Facebook group was recently criticized for encouraging people to register for tickets in protest when they have no intention of attending either of the events.
Should Fr Martin be allowed to speak? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section, below.