Vatican City, Feb 20, 2020 / 17:00 pm
During a private meeting with bishops from the southwestern United States, Pope Francis talked about his 2019 meeting with Fr. James Martin, SJ, and about pastoral care and assisted suicide.
The pope met Feb. 10 for more than two hours with bishops from New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.
Several bishops present at the meeting told CNA that in addition to discussions about his then-pending exhortation on the Amazon region, and on the challenges of transgenderism and gender ideology, Pope Francis discussed his Sept. 30 meeting with Martin, an American Jesuit who is well-known for speaking and writing about the Church’s ministry to people who identify themselves as LGBT.
"The Holy Father's disposition was very clear, he was most displeased about the whole subject of Fr. Martin and how their encounter had been used. He was very expressive, both his words and his face - his anger was very clear, he felt he'd been used," one bishop told CNA.
Martin met with Pope Francis shortly after a Sept. 19 column by Archbishop Charles Chaput criticized “a pattern of ambiguity” in Martin’s work, which Chaput said “tends to undermine his stated aims, alienating people from the very support they need for authentic human flourishing.”
“I find it necessary to emphasize that Father Martin does not speak with authority on behalf of the Church, and to caution the faithful about some of his claims,” Chaput added.
The meeting between Martin and the pope was taken by some as a response to Chaput’s column.
The meeting took place in a papal library ordinarily reserved for high-level audiences with the pope, which some journalists saw as a significant decision.