Some of you may remember that, on the occasion of St. John Henry Newman’s canonization, Fr. Martin put out this infamous tweet:
This doesn’t imply that the man who will become a saint tomorrow ever broke his promise of celibacy. And we may never know for sure. But his relationship with Ambrose St. John is worthy of attention. It isn’t a slur to suggest that Newman may have been gay” https://twitter.com/JamesMartinSJ/status/1183021592206626817
So, when I saw this Facebook rant, I had to laugh.
Dear friends: This week the Siena Retreat Center in Racine, Wis., is hosting a retreat for gay priests, bishops, brothers and deacons. These men are living their vows of chastity, and promises of celibacy, in service to God and our church.
Nonetheless, LifeSite News, in an article that doesn’t deserve posting or retweeting or even reading, is calling this retreat the “Portal of Hell,” a “condemned, scandalous, deceitful, slanderous invitation to damnation.”
Let’s be clear: these men are living out the Catechism’s call for celibacy and have served for years as faithful ministers in our church.
How is it that he was so “unsure” of whether or not St. John Henry Newman broke his vow of celibacy, yet he was so positive the avowed “gay priests” who would be attending this retreat had, without a doubt, lived up to their vows of chastity and celibacy? What a crock. What proof did he have to offer in his conclusive statement? Does he know them all? Does he sleep outside their rooms? St. John Henry Newman didn’t ever acknowledge being same-sex attracted, nor did he acknowledge ever breaking his vow of celibacy, but somehow it was just peachy to imply this about Newman, yet condemning a “retreat for gay priests, bishops, brothers and deacons” made him give us assurances that all the priests in attendance were “living their vows of chastity, and promises of celibacy?”
Many of these men on this retreat have baptized your children, buried your loved ones, presided over your marriages, visited you in the hospital, taught you in schools, heard your confessions and celebrated countless Masses with you, all while living chastity and celibacy.
LifeSite is calling for a prayer vigil in “reparation” for this “sacrilege.” Imagine how you would feel as a gay priest living his promise of celibacy or vow of chastity, and looking to hear a word of comfort from God during a retreat, and encountering angry people protesting your very existence.
This is homophobia at its most malign.
In response, may I ask for your prayers for these men, who, as you can see, are targeted and persecuted even in their chastity and celibacy? And for the retreat directors and the Dominican sisters who are graciously hosting them?
Thanks for your prayers in the coming week. Let us face homophobia and hatred with welcome and love. And let us continue in peace.
That was four times he insisted all priests attending this were celibate and chaste. However, this retreat has ZERO to do with chastity and celibacy, as you will see from their own advertisement.
Now, Fr. Martin didn’t actually bother to put a link to the article he was ranting about, because he probably didn’t want you to notice a few things, but here it is: https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/prayers-needed-as-6th-gay-priests-conference-descends-on-wisconsin-next-week
Prayers needed as 6th ‘gay priests’ conference descends on Wisconsin next week
October 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — New Ways Ministry’s “Retreat for Gay Priests, Bishops, Brothers, and Deacons” AKA the Portal of Hell, will be occurring again this year at the Siena Retreat Center in Racine, Wisconsin, October 22 through 24.
Yes, “Portal of Hell.” What would you call it?
Hmmm…what would I call it? Maybe “Dissent-o-mania 2019?” I don’t know, I think I could come up with a pretty good list. Regardless, Fr. Martin actually fails to counter any of the points given in the article. He also doesn’t quite tell you that the sponsoring group has been denounced by the USCCB, and that’s saying something. http://www.usccb.org/news/2010/10-028.cfm He also “forgot” to tell you a few other things Lifesite points out. Comments in bold are mine.
. The authentic Catholic Church has always been luminously clear about the grave depravity she recognizes homosexual activity to be. (See The Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 2357, 2358, and 2359.) Before anyone whines, please note they said “activity.” As always, same-sex attraction is not a sin. Cannot believe we still need to point that out, but due to the Fr. Martins of the world who accuse us of saying same-sex attraction is a sin, we must clarify, clarify, and clarify again.
The Church recently reiterated (pp. 78–83) her longstanding rule that she “cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture.’” “Who am I to judge?”, to this date, did not change this teaching.
Per sociologist Fr. Paul Sullins, Ph.D.’s meta-analysis of data regarding clerical sex abuse, “the share of homosexual men in the priesthood rose from twice that of the general population in the 1950s to eight times the general population in the 1980s. This trend was strongly correlated with increasing child sex abuse.” And strongly correlated with seminarian abuse.
This retreat — the sixth of its kind — is sponsored by New Ways Ministry, an organization long condemned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. See link I provided above. This is not an approved retreat, despite the winks and nods going on. I would love to see bishops forbid their priests from any interaction with New Ways Ministry.
Looking at the proposed content of the retreat, there is nothing of reflection, renunciation, repentance, or reconciliation here. Self-pity, passive aggression, denial, slander, and deceit are the order of the day. (EXACTLY! While Fr. James Martin, SJ, mentions chastity and celibacy four times, it is not mentioned as part of the program.) On the retreat webpage we read:
“Some Catholics have been blaming the sexual abuse of minors on the presence of a gay men in ministry.” (That’s because an overwhelming amount of data makes it blisteringly clear this is the case.) I do find it interesting they narrowed the abuse to be only of minors. I suppose it’s a lot easier to say “Girls were abused too!” than try to whine their way out of the abuse of seminarians.
“Is our ministry welcomed by our church?” (If by “our ministry” you mean New Ways Ministry, then NO. See above USCCB condemnation.) I’d love to know what “ministry” they are talking about? They’re supposed to be talking about a priestly ministry.
“Can we feel welcomed by our church that regards a gay orientation as ‘intrinsically disordered?’” (Of course. But admission is not free. Like all us sinners, you must first deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow Christ. FYI: this is going to mean putting the kibosh on the “gay” stuff.) News flash! Each and every priest is a sinner just like the rest of us. And as Lifesite points out, you are not special. Same rules apply to all of us. Pick up that cross and struggle against whatever your temptations are.
“What does it take to create a community of welcome?” (Obedience. The Church welcomes anyone committed to obeying the commandments of Jesus Christ.) Silly me. All this time I thought we were the Body of Christ, and the way to build up that body was to perform the Spiritual and Corporal works of Mercy. Spiritual Works of Mercy: counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish the sinner, comfort the sorrowful, forgive offenses, bear wrongs patiently, pray for the living and the dead. Corporal Works of Mercy: feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, visit the imprisoned, bury the dead, give alms to the poor. Can you try starting there for once?
“What are we ready to sacrifice for such a community?” (How about sin? See previous two bullet points.) Uh, how about the same thing every other priest sacrifices?
“Why am I afraid to tell you who I am?” (Because you have lost sight of who you are. Being “gay” is not who you are. As local Milwaukee priest Fr. Nathan Reesman wrote last year about this retreat:
For the ordained Catholic priest, or for a man in vows, or also for a deacon, our most fundamental identity is our union with Christ’s own ministerial mission. Nothing else can get in the way of that core reality. ‘Gay priest’ is a confusing and incoherent label that is heavily laden with potentially dangerous internal contradictions as well as external mixed messages for our Catholic faithful. BAM! Here’s a complete statement from him. https://www.archmil.org/Blogs/Guest-Bloggers/NR-201808080.htm
- The leader for this year’s retreat is Fr. Peter Daly, a member of the leadership team of the notoriously heretical Association of U.S. Catholic Priests (AUSCP) and a prominent advocate for the elimination of priestly celibacy. Ahem, Fr. Martin. That celibacy thing would be gone if Fr. Daly had his way, so let’s not act like this is a pro-celibacy event.
This is curious because, heretofore, the “gay clergy” movement has justified itself on the premise that if a priest experiences same-sex attraction but remains celibate, there’s no moral violation and thus no cause for objection. As celebrity “gay priest” evangelist Fr. James Martin assured us in the wake of the McCarrick disaster: “What I mean by ‘gay priests’ is ordained priests with a homosexual orientation who are living their promises of celibacy (and in religious orders, their vows of chastity).” Yes, Fr. Martin parses the whole chastity/celibacy vow/promise thing all over the place. Never quite sure why. We’re all called to chastity, and as of now, priests are called to celibacy (Anglican convert priests, etc., excepted).
Then there’s the Milwaukee archdiocese’s own “gay priest” champion, Fr. Gregory Greiten:
There is no question there are and always have been celibate, gay priests and chaste members of religious communities. … By choosing to enforce silence, the institutional church pretends that gay priests and religious do not really exist. Because of this, there are no authentic role models of healthy, well-balanced, gay, celibate priests to be an example for those, young and old, who are struggling to come to terms with their sexual orientation. This only perpetuates the toxic shaming and systemic secrecy. There’s ZERO reason we have to know anyone’s inclination to encourage them to chastity and celibacy for their state of life. In short, we don’t need to look at YOU, we need to look at Christ.
And just last year, New Ways Ministry executive director Francis DeBernardo was quoted as saying, “The priests who come to our retreats are priests who are earnestly living their promise of celibacy” and “One of the primary goals of these programs is to help men who have made a promise or vow of celibacy to live out that commitment in healthy and holy ways.” Why would we ever believe this when a whole bunch of other people who are supposed to live chaste and celibate lives are considered victims because the Church teaches this? Fr. Martin cannot deny that New Ways pushes “same-sex marriage.” He just doesn’t prefer to mention it. https://www.newwaysministry.org/issues/marriage-equality/
Got it? So the argument goes: gay or straight, if the priest is celibate, there is no problem. Here’s the problem — the people making this argument are lying. They have zero interest in priestly celibacy or the Catholic priesthood…or, for that matter, the lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, and queers they purport to champion. These individuals are mere tools to be exploited by the cultural Marxists and craven opportunists orchestrating and funding the LGBTQ political movement, the current vanguard of the Sexual Revolution, of which the ultimate and only objective is Absolute Sexual License. The selection of an anti-celibacy activist cleric like Peter Daly to lead this retreat for “gay priests” makes this plain to see. Let’s just take a look at Fr. Peter Daly and New Ways.
https://www.newwaysministry.org/2015/10/28/priest-says-same-sex-marriage-improves-society-as-catholic-nations-commence-weddings/ – He says same-sex marriage improves society.
https://www.newwaysministry.org/about/ Fr. Peter Daly on the board of New Ways (once again, a group denounced).
https://www.advocate.com/politics/religion/2014/05/07/catholic-priest-challenges-church-hostility-gays If homosexuality had been important to Jesus, he would have said something about it?! Oy. And then there’s all those same-sex couples who married civilly who live devoutly? Somebody might explain the definition to him.
Consider the fate of the men participating in this retreat. Ordained men are — from Hell’s perspective — what the military calls “High Pay-Off Targets.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, “In the ecclesial service of the ordained minister, it is Christ himself who is present to his Church as Head of his Body, Shepherd of his flock, high priest of the redemptive sacrifice, Teacher of Truth.” Satan has every incentive to corrupt men who dare aspire to so lofty a role, for if successful, he not only gains their souls, but befouls the image of Christ in the eyes of the world through their misdeeds. Of particular delight to Satan, he is also likely to snag additional souls from the priest’s flock as they obediently follow their lost shepherd into the wolf-infested wilderness. Ponder, then, as St. Alphonsus Liguori does, “If instead of bringing souls to God, a priest is occupied in leading them to perdition, what punishment shall he deserve?” A-MEN!
A condemned, scandalous, deceitful, slanderous invitation to damnation opening up in the heart of the Church. “Portal of Hell” seems an apt description to me.
What can we do about it? PRAY: for the Church, for the priests attending this retreat, for the souls they are leading astray, for the Dominican sisters allowing their beautiful retreat center to be violated by this sacrilege. If you’re in Southeast Wisconsin, join Catholic faithful gathering to pray a Rosary of Reparation at Siena Retreat Center in Racine on Tuesday, October 22 from 4:00 to 5:30 P.M. For more information, contact Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jean at email@example.com.
Sadly, this order of Dominican sisters is lost. There is an insane list of retreats. Faithful is not a word I’d use to describe them.
Archbishop Listecki condemned this retreat last year, and since the organizers haven’t changed, the condemnation should be considered to remain in place. Maybe, just maybe, the bishops, priests, brothers and deacons thinking of attending might want to attend a Catholic retreat because this ain’t it says Archbishop Listecki. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archbishop-retreat-for-gay-priests-brothers-and-deacons-is-neither-approved
So, Fr. Martin, as usual you chose to focus on a phrase rather than the content. Why? Because you know you can rebut the point and you’re going for the usual “Look at them! They’re mean!” tactic you do all too often. Once again I’m going to have to point out the hypocrisy. If you don’t like “Portal of Hell” maybe you shouldn’t throw out “homophobia.”