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LGBTI community made to feel like ‘lepers’, priest tells Catholic conference

LGBTI community made to feel like ‘lepers’, priest tells Catholic conference

Fr James Martin, pro-lgbti priest

‘A pro-LGBTI priest called out the Catholic Church for treating the LGBTI community like ‘lepers’, saying that LGBTI Catholics had been ‘deeply wounded’ by the church.

Fr. James Martin spoke of the importance of LGBTI inclusivity in the church and that discrimination against the LGBTI community goes against Christian ideology.

The American Jesuit priest made the comments at the World Meeting of Families, which is currently is taking place in Dublin.

The conference is held every three years and is a major event in the Catholic calendar. Pope Francis is due to address the conference over the weekend.

Fr. Martin told the large crowd attending his speech that LGBTI Catholics were routinely ‘mocked, excluded, and condemned,’ and that it is ‘not a sin to be gay,’ The Irish Times reported.

‘LGBT parishioners have been made to feel excluded from the church for so so long, that any welcoming experience can be life-changing for them,’ he said.

‘They are as much a part of the church as Pope Francis, your local bishop, your pastor, or anybody. It’s not a question of making them Catholic, they already are.

‘Sadly many people still believe people choose their sexual orientation, despite the testimony of almost every psychiatrist, biologist, and the lived experience of LGBT people,’ he said.

Fr. Martin also said the church knew ‘so little about the transgender experience,’ and needed to learn to listen and better understand trans people.

His speech received a standing ovation from the crowd.

Support for LGBTI community

Fr. Martin is known for his support of the LGBTI community. His views have been controversial among a number of conservative Catholics groups.

Earlier this month, Fr. Martin said he had received ‘oceans of hate at threats’ in the lead-up to the event.

A petition was also set up to disinvite Fr. Martin from the event, which gained almost 10,000 signatures.

The petition was launched by the conservative Catholic group Conservative Catholic group Tradition, Family and Property. The group claims that Fr. Martin views ‘support transgenderism for children,’ and ‘favours homosexuals kissing during the mass’.

In response to the petition, Fr. Martin said ‘These protesters are not only on the wrong side of history, they’re on the wrong side of the Gospel.’

‘What kind of Jesuit would I be if I let hatred stop me from loving?’ he said.