jesuitpostOver at The Jesuit Post, Eric Sundrup, SJ, one of the pope’s Jesuit brothers, responds to the news that Pope Francis has ben named Person of the Year by the Advocate, a magazine reporting on LGBT issues.

Sundrup sees the honor as an opportunity for dialogue between two usually polarized groups: the Catholic Church and the LGBT community:

There is so much healing that could happen in the coming conversations.  The important and challenging thing about true dialogue is that both participants learn something they didn’t know before, and the final conclusion can’t be predicted in advance by either side. Pope Francis’s refusal to judge doesn’t mean that he’s moving towards changing Church teaching, and The Advocate putting Francis on the cover doesn’t mean that they’re suddenly going to embrace all that the Church calls for — but the fact that both are interested in the conversation is already a sign of hope. In fact, it’s a hope that Francis has already pointed to, in his call for dialogue in his recent exhortation.

He also hopes that Catholics resist the temptation to double-down on church teaching rather than engage in serious dialogue around these sensitive issues:

The Advocate gave us a powerful example of how to move beyond simplistic denunciations.  The temptation facing the Church now is to respond with an obsessive clarification of the established teaching, with which, as we’ve seen, even people who disagree are already familiar. Instead, I hope and pray that the everyone who speaks for the Church can respond to an invitation to dialogue in kind, demonstrating that same hope, love, and charity, and a little bit of patience, waiting to see where it leads us all.

Time will tell.


Categories: Beliefs, Culture

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Michael J. O'Loughlin

Michael J. O'Loughlin

Michael J. O’Loughlin writes about religion and politics from Washington, D.C., paying close attention to the role of the Catholic Church in public life. His writing has appeared in Religion & Politics, the Jesuit magazine America, on, and in Duke Divinity School’s Faith & Leadership.


  1. Earold Gunter

    Trying to force their beliefs upon everyone else is in the DNA of the Catholic church. The only dialogue they are interested in having with anyone in the LGBT community is one that results in assimilation into their beliefs. Without Catholics changing their doctrine, which will never happen, the only possible outcome would be they still consider anyone in the LGBT community as sinners, and pray for them, which is the height of arrogance, because they think they have the moral high ground given to them by the creator of all.

  2. Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    After we dialogue on whether homosexual acts are sinful, shall we then dialogue on whether adultery is sinful, shall we then dialogue on what babies deserve to be exterminated (before, during, or after birth), and shall we dialogue on when to start pushing granny over a cliff. Heck! let’s just get out the history books of the Roman empire and use those as blueprints for our dialogues.

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