Yeah, neither can I.
I’ve been happily doing the mom thing, preparing for Thanksgiving, and rather ignoring the blogging stuff when I saw this appear on my Twitter page. https://www.change.org/p/archbishop-christophe-pierre-stop-appointment-of-fr-james-martin-sj-as-archbishop-of-philadelphia
First, a disclaimer, I have zero confirmation on whether this is or is not credible, but I AM NOT WAITING TO FIND OUT! I feel like it’s not, because the most credible rumors up until now were that Bishop McElroy or Cardinal Cupich (which also seems like more of a lateral move so not likely either) were being groomed for this spot. If this latest rumor is indeed being floated, it seems more like a “Trump move.” You know, float something so over the top that it gives them negotiating room, and then we all feel a sense of relief when it’s not Martin. “Whew! Thank goodness it’s only Bishop McElroy and not Fr. Martin!” In reality, another petition should be started to request an Archbishop Chaput-like replacement. After all, we never thought anyone would replace Cardinal George with the then Bishop Cupich and, those of us familiar with him, never thought anyone would be crazy enough to put Bishop McElroy anywhere. So, again, we should take all threats seriously.
Next, why do I say “Cardinal James Martin, SJ?” I say that because, up until Archbishop Chaput, the last people put in that spot have eventually been elevated to cardinal. Sadly, Archbishop Chaput wasn’t elevated before the current regime, so he is the exception, but, likely, whoever lands there will get that hat. Let that sink in a bit. Did you all sign the petition before reading end of this question?
Let’s look at the wording of the petition:
There is a credible report that Fr. James Martin, S.J., is being considered for appointment as Archbishop of Philadelphia. He would replace retiring Archbishop Charles Chaput, who recently found it necessary to warn that Fr. Martin should not be relied upon to accurately present Catholic doctrine on sexuality. Archbishop Chaput issued a statement detailing five points on which Fr. Martin clashes with Church teaching. For example, he says that Fr. Martin “inspires hope that the Church’s teachings on human sexuality can be changed.” http://catholicphilly.com/2019/09/archbishop-chaput-column/father-james-martin-and-catholic-belief/.
After Archbishop Chaput’s warning, other bishops also weighed in: “https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/after-chaput-warning-bishops-weigh-in-on-fr-james-martin-28020. Fr. Martin responded that he never contradicts Church teaching. That might be literally true, but Archbishop Chaput points out that that is not enough: “[T]he point is not to ‘not challenge’ what the Church believes about human sexuality, but to preach and teach it with confidence, joy, and zeal. Biblical truth liberates; it is never a cause for embarrassment.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/after-chaput-warning-bishops-weigh-in-on-fr-james-martin-28020.
It’s not even close to literally true. He’s contradicted Church teaching in writing, in word, often in deed with his promotion of organizations in open opposition to Church teaching, such as New Ways Ministry and Out @ St. Paul. (Two of his favs.) Here’s just a small sampling of Catholic publications who have called out Fr. James Martin, SJ, for heresy, dissent and error, as well as for his smarmy smoke and mirrors routine, using his own words.
https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com (Just use search box.)
As I said, this is just a few of the Catholic publications who have called out his heresy, dissent, and error. On the other hand, I can come up with three American “Catholic” publications that have NOT called him out for anything: America Magazine, National catholic Reporter, and…and… Nevermind. Guess I can only come up with two. Fr. James Martin, SJ is THE most called out priest in this country. If you’re going to object to the sources against him, make sure you are able to debate the citations given, otherwise it’s just an ad hominem attack and you look stupid.
We need bishops who are clear and strong teachers of the whole of the Catholic Faith. There is a trend to appoint to major sees in the U.S. men who are supporters of the homosexual agenda, such as Cardinal Cupich in Chicago and Cardinal Tobin in Newark. Can anyone doubt that an Archbishop Martin in Philadelphia would follow their lead and very soon be given the red hat that was denied to Archbishop Chaput?
Truth is loving. Cardinals Cupich, Tobin, Bishop McElroy, etc. are ambiguous at best and deceitful at worst. They’re denying the faithful the beauty of the Church’s teaching on sexuality.
Sign this petition and tell the papal nuncio, Archbishop Pierre, who is reported to be collecting references on Fr. Martin, that his appointment would be intolerable. Tell him we want worthy shepherds who will be leaders in teaching and practicing the fullness of Catholicism, not more men who will obfuscate and obscure and avoid the inconvenient truths.
Please do. Wild rumor or not, we shouldn’t wait until the ink is dry to respond to this insane idea. And, petition writers, you might also want to get one going expressing your dismay that Cardinal Cupich or Bishop McElroy would be in the running.
Finally, not only should you sign the petition, you should contact the nuncio directly and let him know that if he’s going to suggest any of these gentlemen, he’s going to have a HUGE headache dealing with the aftermath of that appointment. This appointment likely could be THE final straw.
Archbishop Christophe Pierre
Apostolic Nunciature in the United States of America
3339 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008-3610