Reader Pope Francis ruffled a few feathers yesterday when he suggested that the church not only should apologize to the person who is gay whom it has offended, he added, "but has to apologize to the poor, to exploited women, to children exploited for labor; it has to ask forgiveness for having blessed many weapons.
The Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and editor at large of America magazine, called the Pope's apology to gays and lesbians "a groundbreaking moment." "While St. John Paul II apologized to several groups in 2000 -- the Jewish people, indigenous peoples, immigrants, and women, among them -- no pope has ever come close to apologizing to the LGBT community. And the Pope is correct of course. First, because forgiveness is an essential part of the Christian life. And second, because no group feels more marginalized in the church today than LGBT people."