Fr. Martin Scores Another One for the Opposition!

Father James Martin: Lessons for all Catholics from six L.G.B.T. parables 

James Martin, S.J.

March 05, 2018

Since the first edition of my book Building a Bridge, about L.G.B.T. Catholics, was published last June, I have been privileged to speak at many parishes, colleges, retreat houses and conferences. At each venue, L.G.B.T. people and their families and friends have shared their experiences with me. Some were so powerful that they have become almost like parables for me. In the revised and expanded edition of the book, published this month, I share six of these stories.

We all knew it but, once again, Fr. Martin shows us that the god-complex is strong with him.  If these are parables (which by definition don’t even come close) then who is he again? Oh yeah, Christ. I keep forgetting. Did you ever notice that people who keep trying to draw parallels between themselves and Christ or the true martyrs are usually the ones who are legends in their own minds? Sorry. He is neither Christ nor a martyr except in his own little story. I always feel a little bad for Fr. Martin. I get the impression that he gets up every morning and thinks “How can I be perceived as Christ-like?” rather than “How can I BE Christ-like?”

In his now-famous definition, the biblical scholar C. H. Dodd said that a parable was a story designed to “tease the mind into active thought.” Stories have the capacity to open our minds in a way definitions cannot. This is one reason Jesus used parables extensively in his public ministry, as a way of inviting his listeners to see life from a new perspective.

Isn’t it fitting the Fr. Martin chooses a Protestant theologian? Heck, I don’t have a problem with Dodd’s comment but Fr. Martin’s twist on why the parables? Meh.  Honestly, wouldn’t you think it just the opposite of what Fr. Martin was saying? Christ wasn’t trying to propose that his disciples see things from a new perspective but he used something they were very familiar with to get his point across.

Christ actually explains it quite well in Matthew 13.

  18 The parable of the sower, then, is for your hearing. 19 Wherever a man hears the word by which the kingdom is preached, but does not grasp it, the evil one comes and carries off what was sown in his heart; his was the wayside sowing. 20 The man who took in the seed in rocky ground is the man who hears the word and at once entertains it gladly; 21 but there is no root in him, and he does not last long; no sooner does tribulation or persecution arise over the word, than his faith is shaken. 22 And the man who took in the seed in the midst of briers is the man who hears the word, but allows the cares of this world and the false charms of riches to stifle it, so that it remains fruitless. 23 Whereas the man who took in the seed in good soil is the man who both hears and grasps it; such men are fruitful, one grain yielding a hundredfold, one sixtyfold, one thirtyfold.

Fr. Martin seems to be the one who encourages seed planting on the path, on rocky ground and in the midst of briers of, say, New Ways Ministry or America Magazine instead of the fertile ground of the Church. Noooo! The Church, well, that’s where are the meanies are unless he can convert her to his methodologies. Gag! At this point, let me take the time to point out a few newish things that came to my attention in the past couple of weeks. If you have a chance, do yourself a favor and get Fr. Michael “Amazingly Nice Guy” Schmitz’s book “Made for Love” and Avera Maria Santo’s blog More of this please Catholic writers and bloggers! Let’s put Fr. Martin out of the business. He wants the Church to address this issue? DO IT!

I hope these few stories about L.G.B.T. Catholics tease your mind into active thought.”

Stories have the capacity to open our minds in a way definitions cannot.

Oh, your use of these stories, Fr. Martin, certainly has “teased my mind into active though!” Not what you were going for?!

 1. One of my oldest friends is a gay man named Mark, who was once a member of a Catholic religious order. About 20 years ago, after Mark left the order, he came out as a gay man and began living with his partner, with whom he is now legally married. His partner has a serious, long-term illness, and Mark has cared for him for many years with great devotion and loving-kindness.

What can we learn from Mark about love?

Well, we can learn from Mark that after 20+ years you have failed to lead one of your oldest friends and his “partner/husband” away from a sinful and dangerous lifestyle. So, all that love and acceptance you’ve thrown his way has done what to bring him about to the chaste lifestyle and the teachings of the Church?!?!?! Unless, of course, that was never your plan in the first place. Geez, Fr. Martin. In all your haughtiness, you just missed that you’ve proven my point and the point of thousands of others. Bravo!

2. An elderly man told me that his grandson recently came out to him as a gay man. I asked what he had said in response. He said that he had suspected for some time that his grandson was gay, and so when his grandson sat down to tell him, before a word was even on the young man’s lips, the grandfather said, “I love you no matter what you’re about to say.”

What can we learn from this grandfather about compassion?

I would think this what would come out of the mouths of most Catholics despite what YOU tell people. What I want to know is what did Grandpa say AFTER his grandson came out? Did he tell him to lean on the Church to carry that burden or did he say “Hopefully the Church will one day get with the program?”

3. After a talk I gave at a Catholic college in Philadelphia, a young man told me that the first person to whom he came out as a gay man was a Catholic priest. During a high school retreat, he decided to publicly acknowledge his homosexuality, but he was so nervous that he was “literally shaking.” The first thing the priest said to him was “Jesus loves you. And your church accepts you.” The young man told me, “It saved my life.”

What can we learn from this priest about acceptance?

And here’s where Fr. Martin uses his usual ambiguity. Did the priest say “The Church accepts you and wants to help you to live a chaste life and to help you get to heaven!” or did the priest say “The Church loves you and give the gay lifestyle the thumbs up because you have to do what your conscience tells you formed or not!” as you ambiguously intimate all the time? See, there’s a bit of a difference. I don’t know a priest who would tell someone suffering from SSA (same-sex attraction) that they are not loved and accepted. Are the loving ones going to leave it up in the air as to whether or not the gay lifestyle is conducive to gaining everlasting life? No, the good ones are going to lovingly explain what the Church has explained a million times. While he can’t wait to point out the word “disordered” you cannot seem to ever bring himself to quote this:

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.


4. A woman in her 80s, with snowy white hair and apple cheeks, came to my book-signing table after a talk I had given in Connecticut and said, “Father, I have something to tell you.” The focus of the talk had been on Jesus, not on L.G.B.T. issues specifically. I thought she might share an insight about Jesus or tell me that she had been on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Instead she said, “Father, I have a grandchild who is transgender, and I love her so much. All I want is for her to feel welcome in the church.”

What can we learn from this grandmother about faith?

I think I’ve learned Grandma might have forgotten the teachings of the Church. Really?  That’s ALL she wants for her granddaughter?!?!?!?! How about everlasting life?!?!?! That could have been the moment when a grandmother was encouraged to make many sacrifices on her granddaughter’s behalf with the time she had left. There really, really could have been a beautiful story there but feeling welcome always seems to be the be all and end all with Fr. Martin. In case he missed it, quite a few saints died never once praying that they felt happy and welcome. Sigh.

5. At a parish in Boston, a gay man and a lesbian woman were invited to respond to my lecture on L.G.B.T. Catholics, in the spirit of fostering a real conversation. In her response, the lesbian woman, named Maggie, chose to discuss a reflection question that appears at the end of my book: “When you think about your sexual orientation or gender identity, what word do you use?” My intention was to invite readers to reflect on biblical passages about names and naming and encourage them to “name” their sexuality.

So I had expected words like “gay,” “lesbian” and “bisexual.” But that night in the parish, Maggie said that when she read that question and thought of her sexuality, she thought of the word “joy.” It was such a surprise!

What can we learn from Maggie about sexuality?

What in the what?! First of all, what was the REAL intention, Fr. Martin? Having read a lot of Fr. Martin, I’m reasonably sure he was going with his skewed version of the story of Bartimaeus.  It’s such a beautiful story in its non-paraphrased form but Fr. Martin cannot see the difference in desiring a healing and desiring something sinful and he seems to lead people to believe they are one and the same.

What can we learn from these stories? What does God want to teach us?

There you go again. You does not = God.

6. And perhaps the biggest surprise: On that same evening in Boston, a couple stayed afterward to have their book signed. One was a transgender woman—that is, a woman who had begun her life as a man. The other was a cisgender woman—that is, someone born a woman who is still a woman. (I have tried to be mindful of contemporary terminology, though I recognize that these terms get dated quickly.)

The cisgender woman told me that the two had been married for many years, which confused me, since same-sex marriage had not been legal for that long in Massachusetts. She sensed my confusion, smiled and said, “I married her when she was still a man.”

I was reduced to stunned silence. Here was an apparently straight woman who had married a straight man who was now a woman. How had she done it? “Love is love,” she said.

Here is a marriage that almost every church official would probably consider “irregular,” to use the official ecclesiastical term. Yet it was a model of faithfulness. Even after one partner had “transitioned,” the marriage was still intact.

What can we learn from them about fidelity?

Faithfulness/fidelity to what?!?! Disorder all the way around?

Overall, what can we learn from these stories? Where are we invited to see life in a new way? What does God want to teach us?

I’ve learned there are many souls out there that need more of Fr. Schmitz and Avera Maria Santo and far, far less of Fr. James Martin, SJ.

17 thoughts on “Fr. Martin Scores Another One for the Opposition!

  1. For a long time, I’ve felt that the Church was a bit too lenient in handing out annulments. But if ever I were to recommend that someone beat a path to the local annulment tribunal, it’s got to be the so-called ‘cisgender’ Mrs No. 6. That poor lady apparently married someone who deceived her. To embrace that deception and encourage her husband’s depravity is just sick.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for your specific pulling apart of what poor Father Martin has written. This is important, rather than just a general slam of this junk. When we examine what people like Martin actually say we can see just how shallow, weak, vacuous, charmless it is. Jesus Christ and His parables? I think not.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fr. Martin is taking to an absurd and evil extreme the Jesuit maxim to find God in all things. Something of or from God can be found in all things because God is their source, but that doesn’t mean that everything that we find in things or want to find in them is the same as what God intends or desires us to find in them. Fr. Martin apparently believes that every experience is a locus theologicus without qualification, thus he concludes that LGBT-affirming experiences reveal God’s approval of the entire LGBT agenda. Fr. Martin is seriously misled and is doing great harm in the Church.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The real scandal is that Fr. is tolerated and even (silently) backed by the hierarchy. If we lived in normal times the man woould have been defrocked a long time ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. When I think about my “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” (which is not often, sorry…) cisgender is not a term I would ever use. As a female married to a male for longer than I care to mention I have to admit that it have only recently even heard that word and only more recently even knew what it meant.

    Things are so abnormal these days that I guess they had to coin a term for what we always thought was normal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What is normal is “male” and “female”, along with all that those two opposite terms and the realities they signify naturally and logically entail. One need read no further than the first two chapters of Genesis nor have more than a rudimentary understanding of biology and anatomy to realize that.

      The term “cisgender” was invented to make the abnormal and ludicrous seem normal and plausible. Use of that made-up term gives credence to the false ideas associated with LGBTQIA+ ideology because it suggests that “cisgender” is merely one acceptable possibility among many.

      In other words, “cisgender male” and “cisgender female” are redundant expressions. Male is male and female is female, regardless of what anyone thinks, believes, wishes, feels or desires about himself (oh, sorry — should I have used the word “zirself” instead?) or someone else.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Rev. Martin’s book does not build bridges. One hears the constant drum beat of LGBT identity, an exclusive identity that defines a group of people by their “collective sin” verses joining the rest of us sinners.

    Rev. Martin builds a case for those LGBTs fired to sue the Catholic Church for “exclusive discrimination”. Why not fire those “living together”etc. he states. In my opinion, Fr. Martin drones on about the “victimization of gays” verses encouraging “gays” to live as “CHILDREN OF GOD”. Truth makes us free!

    Rev. Martin needs to be prayed for as does his followers, Bishops included, who are encouraging this deceitful identity. God made Man and Woman.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I know you won’t appreciate this, but I feel sorry for you. How does anyone else’s life affect you? Why can’t you just believe that you “know” what is right without imposing your beliefs on others. Don’t give me any crap about being worried about their souls. We only have to worry about ourselves.


    1. A tad bit narcissistic don’t you think? If nobody’s actions affect anyone else, what’s the point in commenting at all. You’re imposing your beliefs on me, again, TT. 🙂 I know, I know, you never quite see the hypocrisy in your comments. Good day!


    2. I know that you won’t appreciate this, but I feel sorry for you. How does someone giving their opinion on a weirdo priest affect you? Why can’t you believe that you “know” what is right about this priest without trying, through your comment, to impose it on me? Why do you hate me and want to oppress me with your thoughts? Can’t you just leave me alone and keep your opinions to yourself? Don’t give me any crap about you have a brain. I know you don’t. Otherwise you would know you only have to worry about yourself.


      1. blah blah, TT never quite sees the irony in her comments. I admit if she would actually debate the points made instead of repeating the same old, same old but she is welcome here anytime.


  8. Wow. This pale gray font is almost unreadable. Why not go all the way, and use a white font on a white background?


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