By Vatican News
God "comes close with love to each one of his children, each and every one. His heart is open to each and every one. He is a Father.”
Pope Francis penned those words in a brief, handwritten letter (in Spanish) sent to Jesuit Father James Martin, who carries out his apostolate among the LGBTQ community.
The letter was sent to coincide with the Outreach LGBTQ Catholic Ministry Webinar, which was held on Saturday. Fr. Martin posted the letter on his Twitter feed on Sunday.
“God’s ‘style’ has three elements,” wrote the Pope, “closeness, compassion and tenderness. This is how he comes closer to each one of us. Thinking about your pastoral work, I see that you are continually seeking to imitate this style of God. You are a priest for all men and women, just as God is a Father for all men and women. I pray for you to continue in this way, being close, compassionate and with great tenderness.”
Pope Francis also thanked Fr. Martin for his pastoral zeal and his “ability to be close to people, with the closeness that Jesus had, and which reflects the closeness of God.”
“I pray for your faithful, your ‘flock,’ and all those whom the Lord places in your care," concluded the Pope, "so that you protect them, and make them grow in the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ.”