Father James Martin — a Jesuit priest appointed last month by Pope Francis as a consultant to the Vatican’s secretariat for communications — said some saints "were probably gay."
Martin's comment was part of a Facebook thread he began Friday about a bishop who led a prayer at an LGBT Catholic gathering, which Martin called "another sign of welcome and building bridges."
After one commenter wrote that "cannonized [sic] saints would not be impressed," Martin fired back saying, "Some of them were probably gay."
"A certain percentage of humanity is gay, and so were most likely some of the saints," Martin said. "You may be surprised when you get to heaven to be greeted by LGBT men and women."
Reactions on the thread to Martin's assertion were mixed.
"Good for you, Fr. Martin," Lorraine Cheli wrote. "I have some beautiful friends in that community and feel so sad for what is happening now after some real gains."
But Erick Gonzalez called out Martin as a "Judas" and asked him, "Do you believe in hell?"
Martin — who last month compared the United Airlines passenger dragged out of plane to Jesus Christ suffering on Good Friday — is no stranger to controversy.
He accepted an honor in October from an LGBT-affirming Catholic organization, New Ways Ministry, which has been condemned by the Roman Curia and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. In his acceptance speech, Martin said the church should embrace homosexuality’s "special gifts" and "lay to rest" language about the “objectively disordered” nature of homosexual inclinations and acts, LifeSiteNews reported.
In late February, Martin said transgender people should be free to “use whatever bathrooms they choose” because they have to “endure so many indignities already.”
It saddens me that a #trans student cannot choose what bathrooms to use. A basic need. It's an affront to their dignity as human beings.— James Martin, SJ (@James Martin, SJ)1487814028.0
But after a fellow Catholic priest challenged Martin's point, apparently there was so much backlash from Martin's followers that Father Matt Bozovsky temporarily made his Twitter account private.
Martin discusses LGBT issues and the Catholic Church in the below video: