Seminary Cancels Talk by Priest Who Urges Tolerance for Gays

The seminary at the Catholic University of America has canceled a talk by a prominent Jesuit priest who encourages reaching out to the LGBT community after receiving criticism over the move by far-right religious groups. Rev. James Martin, the author of a book on the LGBT community called “Building a Bridge,” said he was notified Thursday of the decision and that he had only planned to talk about Jesus, not his views on LGBT groups. The seminary attributed the cancellation to “increasing negative feedback from various social media sites,” though John Garvey, the president of Catholic University, made it clear his administration did not support the cancellation. “The campaigns by various groups to paint Fr. Martin’s talk as controversial reflect the same pressure being applied by the left for universities to withdraw speaker invitations,” Garvey said. While Martin’s ideas have angered some far-right groups, his book has gotten support from two U.S. cardinals and three bishops. Pope Francis appointed Martin to serve as an adviser to the Vatican’s communications department last April.