A key theme of Pope Francis is “accompaniment.” He wants the church to stop being “self-referential” and go out to the margins to those who feel the church has abandoned them. Following that lead, Cardinal Joseph Tobin, the new archbishop of Newark, welcomed a LGBT pilgrimage to Sacred Heart Basilica Cathedral on May 21 with scant media fanfare. He personally welcomed the 200 mostly white, aging crowd, including family and friends of gay men and lesbians. While this gesture has been tried in some small degrees decades ago, Tobin has given it a needed reboot.
This month, Jesuit Father James Martin publishes his 15th book, “Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity.” As editor at large at the Jesuit magazine, “America,” Martin is a whirlwind speaker, writer and social media favorite in Catholic circles.