CV NEWS FEED // The Jesuit-run organization Outreach, an “LGBTQ Catholic ministry,” recently announced its first Executive Director, sparking praise from a prominent secular news site.
AP News featured an article on February 6 praising the United States Jesuit priests’ commitment to “LGBT outreach” through the ministry founded in 2022 by Fr. James Martin, S.J.
CatholicVote previously published an in-depth report on Outreach’s problematic approach to LGBT ministry, as well as its affirmation of transgender ideology.
“Even as Catholic dogma continues to repudiate same-sex marriage and gender transition, one of the most prominent religious orders in the United States — the Jesuits — is strengthening a unique outreach program for LGBTQ+ Catholics,” AP News wrote.
This week, Outreach announced that it has hired its first-ever Executive Director, Michael O’Loughlin.
O’Laughlin is a national correspondent for the Jesuit magazine America and is the author of “Hidden Mercy: AIDS, Catholics, and the Untold Stories of Compassion in the Face of Ear.”
The same day of announcing O’Laughlin as Outreach’s Executive Director, O’Laughlin published an article about the Vatican document Fiducia Supplicans in the Atlantic affirming that he is in a same-sex relationship.
AP News hailed the appointment of O’Loughlin as a “milestone for Outreach.”
“It’s an opportunity to highlight the ways LGBT people can be Catholic and active in parishes, ministries and charities,” O’Loughlin told AP News. “There’s a lot of fear about being too public about it. … I want them to realize they’re not alone.”
AP News reported that “O’Loughlin says his current outlook evolved as he traveled to scores of places around the U.S. to promote his book, talking to groups of LGBTQ+ Catholics, and their families and friends, about how to make the church more welcoming to them.”
“Those conversations made O’Loughlin increasingly comfortable publicly identifying as a gay Catholic after years of wondering whether he should remain in the church. Its doctrine still condemns any sexual relations between gay or lesbian partners as ‘intrinsically disordered,’” AP News added.
AP News reported that President of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States Fr. Brian Paulson told AP News about “why his order had embraced the mission of Outreach.”
“Pope Francis has repeatedly called leaders in the Catholic church to emulate the way Jesus spent his ministry on the peripheries, accompanying those who had experienced exclusion,” Paulson told AP News. “I think the work of Outreach is a response to this invitation.”
Pope Francis has met with Fr. James Martin and recently approved the Vatican document Fiducia Supplicans, which opened the door for priests to bless same-sex couples in a non-liturgical setting.
“However, there has been some resistance to the pope’s approach,” AP News wrote. “Many conservative bishops in Africa, Europe and elsewhere said they would not implement the new policy regarding blessings.”
The Symposium of the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) issued a statement in early January that they would not implement Fiducia Supplicans in any of their dioceses.
“The African Bishops’ Conference emphasize that people with a homosexual tendency must be treated with respect and dignity, while reminding them that unions of persons of the same-sex are contrary to the will of God and therefore cannot receive the blessing of the Church,” stated President and Archbishop of Kinshasa Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo Besungu.
Ambongo also emphasized the SECAM’s communion with Pope Francis, and noted in the statement that the African bishops’ position “has received the agreement of His Holiness Pope Francis and of His Eminence Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith.”