Fr. Martin is now using Twitter to post his latest book. Honestly, by using 15 tweets to get his latest message of dissent across, he’s kind of violating the spirit of Tweeting, don’t you think? If you can’t get your point across in 280 characters, move onto another platform.
Fr. Martin has apparently decided the crisis is so huge that he can move into full Saul Alinsky mode.
Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and chance the future. ~Saul Alinsky
Of course Rahm Emmanuel made this tactic a little clearer when he said:
You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.
The radicals’ modus operandi has always been to exploit the victims of a crisis and, in fact, even cause a crisis to advance their agenda. Good old Fr. Martin is just another in a long list of dissenters who embraces this idea, as shown in his string of tweets found here: https://twitter.com/JamesMartinSJ/status/1036280808724733952
For those who abhor Twitter and social media, here are all his tweets nicely copied and pasted for you with my comments in between.
Dear friends: Like you, I am sick about what is happening in our church. Like you, I’ve prayed about how best to move ahead. Our church will survive. The “gates of hell” will not prevail against it, as Jesus Christ himself promised us.
We stood against you this long, Fr. Martin. We’re quite sure of Christ’s promise. I’m pretty sure your world is about to turn upside-down, though.
But Christ, through the Holy Spirit, urges us to act: to rebuild the church and help his holy and faithful people. Without certain steps, people will flow out of the church, never to return, like water from the side of the Crucified One on Good Friday.
What the what?! Fr. Martin is comparing water flowing from the side of Christ to people leaving the Church??? I know he’s fond of saying “I’m not a theologian!” but how awful is that comparison? The water from the side of Christ was a fulfillment of prophecy and had so much good symbolism for our Church. Martin’s comparison turns that on its head. Here’s something for you to read if you don’t believe me: https://catholicexchange.com/the-meaning-of-his-piercing
As happened when Christ spoke the Truth, some left and some will still leave. This is never a reason to downplay or distort the truth.
Some of you may not agree with each step,
I’d take that bet in a heartbeat!
but I believe that each one is essential for us to rebuild the church. This list is by no means complete or exhaustive. With a focus on the US church, and in order of immediacy, they are as follows:
I’m glad you admit it is incomplete, because it lacks any sort of spiritual dimension to fight the battle ahead. While cardinals and bishops across the country – and indeed the world – are suggesting prayer, penance, sacrifice, spiritual reparation, prayer to St. Michael after all Masses, etc., what it the world are you suggesting? Oh, yes, removing anything that causes us the slightest bit of inconvenience or hardship.
First, while journalists have discredited large sections of the Vigano “testimony,” and while many charges have been shown to be baseless, one answer that journalists will not be able to uncover is Pope Francis’s knowledge and actions regarding the McCarrick case.
If wishes were ponies, Fr. Martin! You won’t even address the charges. With a wave of your hand, you try using Jedi mind tricks. “These are not the charges you are looking for!” Let me clue you in. You are not Sir Alec Guinness by any stretch of the imagination. Your delivery causes a HUGE chunk of the Church to chuckle. It’s such a desperate, desperate attempt.
The faithful are exceedingly confused about this one question; a short and simple answer from the Pope, or from the Vatican, on that specific issue will help us move us ahead.
Isn’t it curious that you think you get to dictate the questions we find credible and worthy of answering? The Pope answering yes or no to a single question is never going to move us ahead. By the way, the only response we’ve gotten in the entire disastrous crisis is, “No comment, you hateful people!”. I’m hoping and praying that will change, but I seriously doubt it.
Second, dioceses and religious orders should open their abuse files to the public, rather than waiting until they are forced to. Otherwise, the church will face years of civic authorities uncovering our crimes and sins. Confession is not about just what you’re forced to reveal
So, let me get this right. The dioceses and religious orders should open their files, but the Vatican should not have to, as you and your buddy, Austen, think?
Your idea is just to have the Holy Father give us a yes or no and go with it? When there are documents that could answer the charges? (Although I’m betting a whole lot of shredding has been going on in various places in the Church hierarchy, it’s only a guess. That’s OK, Vigano probably still has a copy of all of it.)
Third, lay leaders should investigate the McCarrick case. More importantly, lay leaders should be placed in charge of all review boards in both dioceses and religious orders, if they are not already in charge. The system has shown that it cannot police itself.
Why? It’s a simple question. It would seem you’ve said on more than one occasion the unscrupulous live in my world, too. Weren’t the guys at the Vatican bank members of the laity? That didn’t work out too well, did it? What is the benefit of simply having the laity investigate when we can be just as wicked? I’d be a little worried if we were talking about putting Jesuits in charge, but I’m quite comfortable with Church investigating the Church. Oh, and I’m definitely not comfortable with anyone who reads the National catholic Reporter going anywhere near the Church files. That’s for sure. They’re gullible or agenda driven. How about I just pick who gets to investigate? I’m reasonably sure I could do a good job.
Fourth, bishops found guilty of abuse, or of covering up the crimes, must be removed from their posts as soon as possible. Perhaps just as important, when bishops resign, the Vatican must be clear about the actual reasons for their resignations.
Really? YOU want to go there? I’d have to think we’d be pulling out a lot more of your friends than mine, but hey, I’m willing to give it a try. That said, why limit it to bishops? How about priests? How about cardinals?
Fifth, demonization within the church must end. It is a stumbling block to healing and a desolation to all. Social media has played a malign role. The stereotyping of whole groups (gays, celibates, bishops, conservatives, liberals) must end. Personal vilification must stop.
You’re a uniter, not a divider, huh, Fr. Martin? This is a classic liberal tactic. Wreak havoc and then put yourself in there as the healer, Messiah, etc., etc., etc. You are very, very guilty of demonization. The “holier than though” ploy doesn’t work here, Father. You revel in ad hominems with zero back-up so save it.
Sixth, public acts of penance from the hierarchy must take place. Letters and statements are, as we have seen, insufficient. The laity should decide what form these ritual acts should take. Symbols, as well as practical action, matter as well here.
What in THE heck are you talking about here? Does this mean you think sack cloths and ashes will make everything OK. I might remind you that private acts of The many bishops who have weighed in on Vigano’s claims have talked of penance and reparations on behalf of the abusers and those that covered it up, and they’re not even the guilty ones. We want a spiritual and moral cleansing in our Church. We’re fine with a thorough investigation here and at the Vatican. The only people trying to thwart any of these is in your club.
Seventh, both married men and women must be included in all levels of decision-making in the church—including heading Vatican congregations, helping to select bishops, reforming the Curia, etc.
We’re now in our second decade of you trying to put the laity in charge of the Church, yet you never seem to explain why a Church that has survived 2,000 years without that has to do this. Methinks you’re just hoping to get your cast of same-sex attracted, feminists, and dissenters into these positions. I’m just guessing your whole attitude would change if, say, Janet Smith was put in charge. Janet! Janet!
Married men and women must also be included in all levels of leadership—including leadership in the church’s liturgical life, something of immense symbolic importance. Married priests and women deacons are a start.
Boom! And the laundry list is complete. Please note the use of “are a start.” Pray-tell, where would we go from there, Fr. Martin? Could it be priestesses? Could it be active homosexual priests? Lesbian priestesses? I can’t even imagine all the nightmares running around in your hopes and dreams.
Eighth, a thoroughgoing review of seminary and religious formation, especially regarding education in human sexuality, must happen—again. There are still seminaries and religious orders where candidates are incapable of, or prevented from, discussing their own sexuality.
OK, again, I’m going to suggest Janet Smith also be put in charge of that. Whaaaattt?! Not what you had in mind? What could the problem be? I’m going to quote myself for a change:
I don’t want to hear about “gay priests.” I don’t want to hear about “straight priests.” I don’t want to hear about any priests who spend time focusing on their “sexual identity.” I want priests who focus on serving God and who focus on leading his people to Heaven. Anyone doing less than that shouldn’t be a priest. So, if your focus is on you and your sexual inclinations, please leave.
Your “identity” was already given to you by God. It reflects your body. Your inclinations, that’s a whole other ballgame.
Ninth, clericalism must die. The system that privileges the word and status of bishops and priests over those of lay people (and parents); that insists on an exaggerated deference for clergy and bishops, and that has functioned as a closed world, must be dismantled.
Uh, there’s no system of “privileges.” If by privilege you mean giving up and dying to oneself in order to serve God’s people, I will never give up considering my priests privileged. I respect them as priests of God, which is simply a better status. Now if you mean privileged as in your cronies who attend gala after gala and are regaled upon, I’d agree. Let’s see? Who does that again? Does the Met Gala ring a bell to the priest all excited about being called “sexy?”
Our priests should live as humble servants of Christ, honored and loved by their flocks as a family honors and loves their father. I realize being a humble servant isn’t in your wheelhouse, but it is to faithful priests. This, as I’ve said before, isn’t wholesale clericalism. It’s the clericalism of priests trying to normalize the same-sex attraction, like you, Father Martin.
Finally, despair about this situation must be resisted. Despair does not come from God. The Holy Spirit is with us, and will help us through even the most difficult of times. We must never forget Jesus’s words to his disciples: “Fear not!”
Oh, I don’t despair. In fact, I have more hope than I had yesterday about the direction of the Church. When you’ve hit rock bottom, you can only go up. A full and complete investigation of the Truth is what will bring beauty and glory back to the Church. That’s what we want, and we want it now. Any suggestion from you that we should investigate all claims of whatever will be smacked down and thrown back at you as the obfuscator you are.
On that note, I’d like to let my readers know that I got into Catholic activism in 2002 because of this ongoing abuse scandal. Before that, I spent my time happily focusing on my kids. Sadly, the liberals in my diocese who worship Fr. James Martin, SJ, decided to co-opt the victims’ pain to promote a liberal agenda which had nothing to do with priests abusing children, and they continued to cover-up for their buddies who had done things like getting arrested in a public restroom for indecent activity and propositioning an undercover officer. If you think their focus is the victims, think again.
I will tell you this, don’t think you’re helpless because you don’t have a doctorate in theology. A bunch of nothing special laity affected great change in our diocese and Church, and you can too. Despite the calls for more involvement from the laity, the Fr. Martins of the world are scared by the laity being on fire more than anything else. If you think you can’t do undercover work, write, be a thorn for the diocesan dissenter, affect change, etc., I’m here to tell you if I can do it, anyone can. No special talent needed, just a lot of prayers to the Holy Spirit and hope. Those who have been through the worst of the worst brought all this crud to light and so can you.
Stephen Herried had a very poignant tweet.
While I don’t have a problem with sophisticates and I learn tons from them, it’s going to take far more of us than that. Activists are simply people who are active. This needs to be all of us.
#Resign #NoMoreSilence #Investigate