Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta invited pro-LGBT Fr. James Martin to speak at his diocese this month, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Fr. Martin will be giving the same talk he did at the World Meeting of Families last month in Dublin, Ireland, entitled “Showing Welcome and Respect in our Parishes to LGBT People and their Families.”
The priest will speak at St. Thomas More Catholic Church at 7 p.m. on October 20, and at the Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception at 9:30 a.m. on October 21.
The parish of the Shrine of Immaculate Conception, the first Catholic church built in Atlanta, maintains a “Pride Outreach,’ according to Life Site News, including running a booth at Pride, marching in the Pride parade, and hosting LGBTQ potluck socials.
“The Shrine has always welcomed all of God’s children,” says the church’s website.
Gregory said in a statement that he was asked by one of the pastors to invite Fr. Martin “to share his perspective on ministry to the LGBTQ community as part of a larger, local parish conversation.” He added that he didn’t hesitate to extend the invitation.
Fr. Martin delivered his pro-homosexual presentation to a packed hall at the World Meeting of Families, declaring that active homosexuals “should be invited into parish ministries,” specifically mentioning them becoming “Eucharistic ministers” in order to make them welcomed and accepted in the catholic Church.
He added, “like any group, LGBT people bring special gifts to the church.”
Fr. Martin’s visit has already sparked controversy. On September 23, protesters gathered outside of the Cathedral Church of Christ the King in Buckhead to protest the priest’s visit, reported MSN.
“We’re simply protesting two things,” one of the protesters, Dr. Kelly Bowring, told CBS46. “One, that Archbishop Gregory directly invited Father James Martin to speak. It wasn’t that it just happened. He invited him. And secondly that Father James Martin himself is coming to the diocese to speak with a pro-gay agenda.”
Although there has been protest from some Catholics, most Catholics support same-sex relationships
. A 2017 Pew study found that two-thirds of Catholics support same-sex marriage.