ABOVE: Rev. James Martin. (Photo from Facebook)
VATICAN CITY (AP) | Pope Francis met privately with an American Jesuit Sept. 30 who has been attacked by conservative U.S. Catholics for reaching out to gays, the latest evidence of Francis’ willingness to shrug off right-wing criticism for the sake of his pastoral priorities.
The Vatican listed the audience with the Rev. James Martin among the pope’s activities, in a sign that Francis wanted it publicized. Since only some of Francis’ private meetings are announced, the implicit message was a public vote of confidence in Martin’s ministry.