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ATLANTA (ChurchMilitant.com) - Celebrity Jesuit Fr. James Martin is heading to Georgia, courtesy of pro-gay Abp. Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, Georgia.
On Friday, Martin announced on Twitter that Abp. Gregory has invited him to speak in October at two Atlanta-area locations.
"Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta has graciously invited me to his archdiocese to speak," Martin tweeted, "so I will be speaking at St. Thomas More Parish (the Jesuit parish) on Sat. Oct 20 and at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on the morning of Sun. Oct 21."
Gregory's personal invitation comes as no surprise to faithful Catholics, as he is one of Martin's most prominent supporters — even publishing a review for the pro-gay Jesuit's 2017 book Building a Bridge.
"Martin has written a wonderful book that challenges the institutional church to be in dialogue with the LGBT community," the archbishop wrote. "This has challenged a lot of people, because you don't want to build a bridge if you already think you're right. But this is where we have to go next."
Gregory has a long history of pro-gay initiatives during his time in Atlanta.
He has opened his chancery to retreats for Fortunate Families, a pro-gay group which associates with dissident organizations DignityUSA and New Ways Ministry (condemned by the Vatican), as well as other Catholics openly critical of Church teaching on chastity for those with same-sex attraction. The archbishop says Mass and delivers the homily for retreat participants.
Gregory has given New Ways Ministry and DignityUSA a permanent home at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Atlanta, despite their censure by many Catholic bishops for open opposition to Church teaching.
For years, he has allowed the Shrine to sponsor and participate in annual gay "pride" events.
"The Shrine has always welcomed all of God's children," according to the parish website. "During PRIDE week each year, we celebrate God's diversity by maintaining a booth in the park."
Gregory ignores the outcry among faithful Atlanta Catholics over the Shrine's pro-gay activities.
In August, the archbishiop appointed Shrine pastor, Msgr. Henry Gracz, to serve as "Spiritual Director for Victims" of predator priests. Faithful Atlanta Catholics blasted the move, pointing out that he named a homosexualist priest minister to victims of clerical sex abuse — which statistics confirm is overwhelmingly homosexually-rooted.
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