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Top Vatican and U.S. Cardinal Back Gay-Friendly Book


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The Vatican's point man on family issues and a U.S. Cardinal are supporting a new book by a Jesuit priest that urges the Catholic Church to be more compassionate and respectful to the LGBTQ community.

They are calling it a "much needed" book that's "brave, prophetic, and inspiring."

"Building Bridges: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter Into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity" is written by the Rev. James Martin of America magazine.

Reports say it neither supports any changes in doctrine nor touches on the topic of same-sex marriage.

Cardinal Kevin Ferrell was recently chosen by Pope Francis to head up the Vatican Office on laity, family and life issues. He sees Martin's writing as "A welcome and much-needed book that will help bishops, priests, pastoral associates, and all church leaders more compassionately minister to the LGBTQ community."

Newark Cardinal Joseph Tobin, who Francis personally picked for the New Jersey archdiocese says, "It will also help LGBT Catholics feel more at home in what is, after all, their church."

"In too many parts of our church LGBT people have been made to feel unwelcome, excluded, and even shamed."

"Father Martin's brave, prophetic, and inspiring new book marks an essential step in inviting church leaders to minister with more compassion, and in reminding LGBT Catholics that they are as much a part of our church as any other Catholic," Tobin added.

Bishop Robert McElory from San Diego says that gay Catholics must also be genuinely loved.

"The gospel demands that LGBT Catholics must be genuinely loved and treasured in the life of the church, they are not," writes Bishop Robert McElory of San Diego, another rising star in the U.S. hierarchy.

McElory says Martin "provides us with the language, perspective, and sense of urgency to replace a culture of alienation with a culture of merciful inclusion."

Martin was surprised by the lack of compassion from U.S. bishops for gays and lesbians, which caused him to give a speech on the issue that eventually went viral. 

His video prompted him how to address the conflict in the gay community between church leaders.

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