Building a Bridge

book cover

Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity (2017)

Author(s): James Martin

Format: Paperback

ISBN-13: 9780062694348

Amazon UK: Building a Bridge

Language: English

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Advice – spiritual and practical, Contemporary Christian practice and experience, and Theology

Topic(s): Church order and discipline, Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, and Inclusive Christianity

Especially suitable for: Catholics

On the day after the Orlando nightclub shooting, James Martin SJ posted a video on Facebook in which he called for solidarity with our LGBT brothers and sisters. “The largest mass shooting in US history took place at a gay club and the LGBT community has been profoundly affected,” he began. He then implored his fellow Catholics – and people everywhere – to “stand not only with the people of Orlando but also with their LGBT brothers and sisters.” A powerful call for tolerance, acceptance, and support – and a reminder of Jesus’ message for us to love one another – Father Martin’s post went viral and was viewed more than 1.6 million times. Now, Martin expands on his reflections in this moving and inspiring book, offering a powerful, loving, and much-needed voice in a time marked by anger, prejudice, and divisiveness. Building a Bridge provides a road-map for repairing and strengthening the bonds that unite all of us as God’s children. Martin uses the image of a two-way bridge to enable LGBT Catholics and Church leaders to come together in a call to end the “us” versus “them” mentality. Turning to the Catechism, he draws on the three criteria at the heart of the Christian ministry – “respect, compassion, and sensitivity” – as a model for how the Catholic Church should relate to the LGBT community.

Reviews/Comments

“What James Martin has to say to the institutional church, and all of us in the pews, about the LGBT community is hardly revolutionary, but his critique of the silence of church leaders in the face of hate crimes toward LGBT people strikes me as gutsy, if long overdue. This short book is a plea to both the church leadership and the LGBT community to come together with respect, compassion and dignity. Not controversial? I’ll bet it is, unfortunately. For me, a straight cis male, the most useful part of the book is the set of biblical passages with reflection/dialogue questions after Fr. Martin’s essay.What James Martin has to say to the institutional church, and all of us in the pews, about the LGBT community is hardly revolutionary, but his critique of the silence of church leaders in the face of hate crimes toward LGBT people strikes me as gutsy, if long overdue. This short book is a plea to both the church leadership and the LGBT community to come together with respect, compassion and dignity. Not controversial? I’ll bet it is, unfortunately. For me, a straight cis male, the most useful part of the book is the set of biblical passages with reflection/dialogue questions after Fr. Martin’s essay.” — nmele

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