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REVEREND JAMES MARTIN DRAWING BOTH CRITICISM AND PRAISE
Reverend James Martin’s book Building a Bridge has earned him lots of gratitude from gay adults or parents of children who have come out as gay. Many of them feel excluded at church due to their sexual orientation. The book urges a dialogue among the Roman Catholic Church and transgender, lesbian, bisexual and gay Catholics.
Controversial Book ‘Building A Bridge’ on LGBT by Catholic Priest Preaches Unity
Martin’s stance, however, has also resulted in many insults directed towards him. There were many threats of violence cloaked in “jokes.” A number of conservative Catholics have termed him “pansy,” “effeminate,” “heretic” and even “homosexualist.” He has been accused of pushing young men towards perdition. The opposition campaign against him is so strong that he was disinvited from a number of events where he was supposed to be a speaker.
Father Martin said that even an invite to listen to the LGBT individuals have uncorked hatred in torrents. He said that the whole thing is insane. The issue is about reaching out to individuals who sit in the margins. However, all these show that there are lots to learn. He reminded everyone that under the present conditions, even dialogues cannot be started without being a heresy charge. It means that it is the prime time to get an excellent look on how the gospel should be understood.
Martin, however, is not unfazed by such hateful invective found on social media. He continued to remain active online. In fact, the priest began to harness the power of social media from 2007 when he used it to promote one of his bestselling books My Life with the Saints. According to him, social media can be regarded as a kind of ministry. There is logic behind this rationale. Just like Jesus who went to people and spoke with them in their language, the internet permits the same to do so. Like Jesus, online power can also be found in the margins.
Reactions from readers have been both encouraging and depressing. He has received a number of impassioned emails and desperate messages which sought prayer or counsel to pass over life’s difficulties. The publication of his book Building A Bridge led to increased messages being sent to his personal mailbox. A number of messages are emails seeking prayers or counsel through the difficulties of life. A few messages are disturbing, like how a dying man will not be anointed by a priest as the former was gay.