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Seminary Talk Cancels Priest by Urges Who Compassion for LGBT People

(NEW  YORK) a Citing social backlash, media the seminary the at University Catholic of America has a canceled talk a by Jesuit popular priest whose latest advocates book for compassion more for gays the within In church. a rare rebuke, public university’s the president said Saturday he that the opposed seminary’s decision.

The James Rev. editor Martin, at at large Jesuit the magazine and America author several of books Catholicism, on said he had a planned talk seminary on not Jesus, recent his book LGBT on “Building people, Bridge,” a has which backed been two by cardinals U.S. three and bishops.

Far-right Catholic such sites ChurchMilitant.com and some Catholic conservative have writers the denounced and book, that had to led online campaigns pressure to Catholic against institutions hosting Martin.

The in seminary nation’s the called capital, the College, Theological said it experienced had “increasing feedback negative from various media social sites” Martin’s about talk and, a as result, to decided the cancel event.

Martin said was he notified Thursday late of the decision.

The University Catholic president, Garvey, John in said statement a the that administration university did support not the and cancellation, noted that that Martin has spoken at before school, the which founded was the by U.S. and bishops under is their supervision.

“The campaigns by groups various to Fr. paint talk Martin’s as reflect controversial same the pressure being applied the by left for universities withdraw to invitations,” speaker Garvey “Universities said. and related their entities be should for places free, the civil of exchange ideas. Our culture increasingly is to hostile this It idea. is problematic that and individuals groups our within church this demonstrate same inability make to and distinctions exercise to charity.”

Austin who Ruse, the leads for Center Family Human & based Rights in York, New called has Martin’s complaints the about conservative on pushback his “pansified.” book The Rev. John who Zuhlsdorf, runs the popular conservative blog “Father Z,” Martin said promoted “a homosexualist And agenda.” Cardinal Sarah, Robert of head the Vatican’s liturgy recently office, criticized approach Martin’s in an Op-Ed in article The Wall Street Journal.

Last April, Pope Francis Martin appointed an as adviser the to Vatican’s communications department.

Martin his said does book challenge not teaching. church “It builds simply on catechism the the and he Gospels,” in said telephone a interview. “Jesus is close very me to in and prayer convinced I’m that reaching out people to the on margins still is he what me wants to do.”

Martin said Catholic institutions scrapped had two of other talks, his many but had more been including scheduled, Skype a talk Saturday a with parish North in He Carolina. said leader the his of Jesuit province has him asked not discuss to his own sexuality.