America Media in 2022 launched “Outreach,” an “LGBTQ Catholic ministry” personally founded by Fr. James Martin, SJ. The organization has weighed in on a number of debates during its first year, often criticizing U.S. bishops and other Catholic leaders for their opposition to the LGBTQ movement….
In its first year, Outreach has carved out a space for itself as an LGBTQ pressure group in the Catholic Church. Outreach is hardly distinguishable from its secular counterparts except by its exclusive focus on opposing the Catholic Church’s resistance to the LGBTQ movement’s aims.
While a growing number of bishops and dioceses expressed opposition to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ decision to honor the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (SPI), Outreach published a piece sympathizing with the anti-Catholic drag group.
“Some members of the group use lewd and crude comedy in their performances, as their Catholic detractors have highlighted this week,” wrote Michael O’Loughlin. “But the group also raises money for charitable causes and seeks to bring visibility to a community often under siege….”
This June, Jason Steidl-Jack published an article for Outreach defending a piece of artwork entitled “God is Trans” being displayed inside a liberal parish in New York. The artwork is by Adah Unachukwu, a senior at Fordham University, “who, according to their public LinkedIn profile, uses they/them pronouns and works as an intern for GLAAD, an LGBTQ advocacy group,” Steidl-Jack explained. Another of Unachukwu’s artworks proclaimed “there is no devil, only past selves….”
On the so-called “Trans Day of Visibility” in April, Outreach promoted a statement rejecting the bishops’ efforts against the LGBTQ movement in schools as well as bishop-backed legislation to protect children from sexual surgical interventions.
In another example, America Magazine associate editor Fr. Jim McDermott, S.J., contributed a piece entitled “A Catholic Case for Choosing Your Own Pronouns.”
“In recent months, a number of Catholic bishops in the US have spoken out against transgender and non-binary people’s decision to alter their pronouns, names and bodies,” McDermott began:
Some have even insisted that Catholic schools must continue to use the birth pronoun and names of transgender and non-binary students in their schools, despite the pain that non-binary and transgender people have expressed over this practice.
McDermott quoted a number of Catholic academics on the topic. “It’s their truth, though,” said Fr. James Keenan, S.J., of Boston College. “That’s what we’re talking about: their truth. How does a bishop have more capability of grasping other people’s truth than they themselves do? There’s something deeply disturbing about claiming you understand a person’s truth better than they do….”