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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
Every time I hear some new little statement from the “Pan-Amazonian Synod,” AKA Project Chaos, the hypocrisy is deafening.
First, a little history on the Jesuits in South America. In the 1700s, they actually built “reductions”, or missions, to protect the indigenous people from slavery, educated them, cared for them, taught them trades, etc. Maintaining the “indigenous culture” was not their focus. Teaching the indigenous to be self-sufficient, educated and, oh, Christian was their goal. Leaving them poor, enslaved and heathen was not. Due to political problems back in Spain and Portugal, though, they were overrun and driven out. Until then, they were THE missionary force in South America. All others paled in comparison.
These days, the Protestants are pretty much following the same model and kicking our collective Catholic behinds in missionary efforts. Catholicism there is in free fall and Protestantism on the rise. Meanwhile, the Jesuits there are so concerned about the indigenous culture that the Protestants are outscoring them on all points. My guess is some of them are even more Catholic than the Jesuits. Sigh.
So, when I hear quotes like this I want to say “Hold up!”
“If everything continues as it was, if we spend our days content that “this is the way things have always been done”, then the gift vanishes, smothered by the ashes of fear and concern for defending the status quo.”
Of course, this is going to be used as the reason why we need women priests, married priests and a variety of things. “We can’t possibly continue with the way it’s being done, because that won’t bring people to a burning love for God!” But, again, wait! When it comes to indigenous culture, haven’t we’ve been told that we must respect the way it’s always been done in the Amazonian culture first and foremost? Anyone see the hypocrisy there?!?!?! Church tradition bad. Amazonian tradition good. Uh, hello! Does anyone believe in converting pagans anymore??? (Well, besides the Protestants?!) Nope, we’re going straight for the syncretism condemned in Ecclesium Suam.
88. But the danger remains. Indeed, the worker in the apostolate is under constant fire. The desire to come together as brothers must not lead to a watering down or whittling away of truth. Our dialogue must not weaken our attachment to our faith. Our apostolate must not make vague compromises concerning the principles which regulate and govern the profession of the Christian faith both in theory and in practice.
An immoderate desire to make peace and sink differences at all costs (irenism and syncretism) is ultimately nothing more than skepticism about the power and content of the Word of God which we desire to preach. The effective apostle is the man who is completely faithful to Christ’s teaching. He alone can remain unaffected by the errors of the world around him, the man who lives his Christian life to the full.
Somehow looking like a member of the One True Church and bringing that faith to the indigenous people has now become proselytizing. It’s insane. Meanwhile, the non-Catholic groups that stole the supposedly old, broken down, Catholic model of looking like what you are, caring for people, educating them and bringing the faith to them while not engaging in syncretism are booming with conversions. Huh. Go figure. I’m sure if they had vocations, they’d be booming too.
Just as I was about to send this to One Mad Dad for editing, I ran across this piece from Fr. Longenecker. I thought it good. In it, he brings up Fr. Martin, SJ, who adheres to the epic failure that is the new Jesuit missionary tactic. I often think about the story Fr. Martin tells of his long time, same-sex “married” friend. All the “building of bridges” hasn’t brought this man out of the same-sex lifestyle. The outcome of the syncretism of his outreach has had the same outcome of the Jesuits’ modern-day missionaries. Sadly, all of these missionaries have ended up looking a lot more like the people they’re supposed to be bringing to the Faith than the other way around. Honestly, those of us trying to keep our kids Catholic know this is what happens. The more you try to look like the rest of society, the more you end up just like it, and it’s a huge tip-off to parents that it’s time to have some concern. There’s a difference between living in the world and being of the world. The Jesuits have lost that logic right along with the Faith. And this synod? It’s definitely lost that sight, too.
In case you didn’t see it, Archbishop Chaput sent out a warning in his column today on Fr. James Martin, SJ. Clearly, Archbishop Chaput has done his homework and researched Fr. Martin and read his book. Here’s the good Archbishop’s missive here. And then Bishop Paprocki sent out a statement backing Archbishop Chaput’s caution. Even Bishop Stika weighed in on Twitter. I don’t always agree with him on non-theological things but I thank him for this. I expect (or at least hope) more bishops will follow. Lastly, I woke up this morning to find Archbishop Chaput responded to the response.
Now that we’re all caught up, Archbishop Chaput’s caution probably ruined Fr. Martin’s day, so he quickly sent out a reply. I’m going to reply to Father Martin’s reply so you can see even more clearly that Archbishop Chaput was dead on.
Archbishop Charles Chaput graciously sent me his column today before publication, and I welcome this thoughtful response to my lecture at St. Joseph’s University this week. Here is my response:
The Peace of Christ!
Many thanks for sending your column ahead of time. I’m sorry that you felt the need to publish it.
There is a way to fix it, Fr. Martin, and I hope you will listen very carefully to Archbishop Chaput, who has clearly been very nice to you and is trying to give you the benefit of the doubt.
I think my main response is that it’s difficult to respond to critiques that I am “implying” things, when I am assiduous in my writings and talks about not challenging church teaching. I have written clearly about that here, among other places: https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2018/04/06/what-official-church-teaching-homosexuality-responding-commonly-asked-question
Saying you are not challenging Church teaching and then giving a wink and a nod to those that do is kind of the same thing. Here’s a few instances of you not really doing what you say you do. (Hat tip to LifeSiteNews.) https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/eight-extreme-things-fr.-james-martin-just-said-about-catholics-and
Briefly put, I mean and I’m no theologian, but, you know, for a teaching to be really, um, authoritative it is expected that it will be received by the people of God, by the faithful. So you look at something, like, say, the Assumption…people accept that. They go to the Feast of the Assumption, they believe in the Assumption. It’s received. From what I can tell, in the LGBT community, the teaching that LGBT people must be celibate their entire lives – not just before marriage as it is for most people but their entire lives – has not been received. Now, I say this and people go crazy. And this is simply based on LGBT people that I speak to. Now there are some that believe that – I would say it’s a very small percentage of people, right – but that’s a simple fact. You can say that they don’t agree with it. I would say the teaching therefore has not been received by the community to which it was largely directed. And so the question is, you know, what do we do with that? Now that’s the kind of question to circle back to your original question – that reflection, you know, what do we do with a teaching that has seemingly not been received by the community to which it was directed – is a theological question that bishops and LGBT people need to think about.” – Fr. James Martin, SJ
Church teaching is only authoritative if it is accepted by the faithful?!? Sigh. In other words, he’s saying that if you don’t believe it, then it’s not true. Yeah, no undermining of the faith there.
Why is it so terrible to go to a gay wedding, but it is not terrible to go to a Jewish wedding? You know, let’s say – seriously – if your daughter, let’s say if you decided to convert to Judaism and you married Andy who was Jewish, right, your parents would probably be disappointed, I would assume, you know, or confused, or whatever. But the idea that they couldn’t go or would refuse to go um, it’s very surprising to me. So I think Catholics need to see it in light of that, that it is a different tradition…different belief system than most Catholics are used to…but it’s supporting the person that you love. So it’s very sad to me that people still agonize over this. -Fr. James Martin, SJ
So much to unpack in this one. First, no, you should not go to the wedding of a Catholic marrying a non-Catholic. Now, what Fr. Martin is talking about, it seems, is an apostate to the faith – someone who says they are no longer Catholic and are now part of some other church. It’s a little fuzzier here, so maybe some sort of canonist can weigh in. Next, just in an effort to be clear, the Church does not bind non-Catholics to Canon Law so, of course, the Church recognizes the marriage of two Jews, unless the two Jews are a homosexual couple, because the Church is crystal clear that two men and two women are not proper matter for any marriage. It is not a marriage because, quite literally, no marriage can truly exist between two people of the same sex. There is only sodomy or masturbation, but the mutual self-giving and marriage of their bodies is absent. This can never be rectified as in an apostate marrying outside the Church. So, yes, it a terrible thing because you’d be witnessing a union that isn’t a union and can NEVER be under Natural Law or Canon Law.
I always say that LGBT people have more faith than, I think, straight people because of that. I mean imagine you – what you have just described is really interesting, Brandon. You have internalized rejection already. You don’t need to even be told that you’re rejected in the Church, you’ve internalized it and that’s very sad… A lot of the people that Jesus came into contact with did the same thing. Think of like the woman with the hemorrhage, right, who doesn’t even feel worthy to kind of stand up and greet him, she reaches down and touches the hem of the garment; or the Samaritan women, right, who comes to the well at noon in the heat of the day because… we think, she’s been married five times and she’s probably embarrassed. Maybe people didn’t know enough to tell her you’re not welcome to come out at the regular time when other women come; she comes because she is embarrassed and she kinda internalized that and that’s sad. So I hope in ten years you will be able to kiss your partner or, you know, soon to be your husband. Why not? What’s the terrible thing? And think of all the people in Church who have all sorts of other things on their conscience…it’s up to the institutional Church I think to make you feel welcome. -Fr. James Martin, SJ
I wonder why Fr. Martin didn’t offer this as proof he fully supports Church teaching and doesn’t seek to challenge it??? It’s never going to be OK for Brandon to kiss his partner in a romantic way, and he will NEVER have a husband. Your “assiduous” statements don’t look so assiduous when you contradict Church teaching repeatedly.
I would tend to agree with you because I would say that there – you could have some uh, hard and fast, and legitimate and reasonable theological objections [to same-sex marriage] in terms of the sacramentality, in terms of uh Biblical…and even though we shouldn’t read the Bible literally – Catholics don’t read the Bible literally – um…but I also think that, for the most part, I do find that there is a very high correlation between people who are against that [same-sex marriage] and people who are in fact homophobic. And so it’s that whole ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’ argument, I know it’s not exactly the same, but it reminds me of that in a sense – people say, well I can be against gay marriage and not be homophobic. But then when you hear a lot of people, they sound pretty damn homophobic. And I can say, ‘hate the sin and love the sinner,’ but when you listen to them, there’s no sense of love at all. – Fr. James Martin, SJ
Uh, so is he saying that he’s homophobic or is he saying he’s for re-defining marriage?!?! Geez. Of course, he’ll deny both. But let’s just say that’s true. If he’s managed to not be “homophobic” but against re-defining marriage, where in the world does he get off saying the rest of the Catholic Church can’t possibly do the same???
Look at Humanae Vitae. Humanae Vitae is still in effect, and as far as I can tell, the large majority of Western Catholics have made their peace with that. And yet that Church teaching has not changed. And that’s a much older Church teaching. I mean, in the sense that’s – Humanae Vitae’s 1968 and a lot of stuff we’re talking about is, you know, very new. -Fr. James Martin, SJ
You’re going with “It’s outdated and doesn’t apply” argument, Fr. Martin? Yeah, Humanae Vitae is SO Old Testament. All of this crud we’re dealing with now is so new. Really? The world has never dealt with homosexuality? The struggle is actually biblical, Father.
Also, the lecture at St. Joseph’s University this week, which prompted your article, is the same lecture that I presented at the World Meeting of Families in Dublin last year, the text of which was vetted and approved beforehand by the Vatican.
And? That isn’t really a defense of the points Archbishop Chaput made. The list of tragic speakers at the World Meeting of Families was long and probably why
One of the reasons that I don’t focus on same-sex relations and same-sex marriage, which I know are both impermissible (and immoral) under church teaching, is that LGBT Catholics have heard this repeatedly. Indeed, often that is the only thing that they hear from their church.
The problem is, as shown above, you have indeed suggested, implied, etc., that the Church’s teachings will change. You can almost hear the good old Jesuit “mental reservation”: “…are both impermissible (and immoral) under church teaching as it stands right now.” Sorry. Sometimes you don’t hold your tongue well enough. Your slip is showing. You want to be a savior to same-sex attracted people instead of leading them to the Savior. The Church has said far more and you disparage Her to them.
I’ve only included what could be found in one nice neat place, but if you delved into Fr. Martin’s social media pages, you would find much more evidence of Archbishop Chaput’s points. Fr. Martin consistently highlights groups that completely contradict the Church like Out@StPaul and New Ways Ministry without ever correcting their errors. He’s just hoping you don’t know that.
What I am trying to do instead is encourage Catholics to see LGBT people as more than just sexual beings, to see them in their totality, much as Jesus saw people on the margins, people who were also seen as “other” in his time.
Wow! That’s a stretch, because from where most of us stand, you appear to encourage people to embrace being a slave to their sexual inclinations. Jesus totally went after the people on the margins. He didn’t, however, leave them there wallowing in their sin. He met them, told them to repent and sin no more, and told them the way was narrow. He didn’t just hang out with them acting as if all was grand with their lives.
I remain grateful for your asking people not to engage in ad hominem attacks, and I appreciate the careful tone of your letter and have always appreciated your kind communications with me.
Thanks again for sending this.
Most attacks are not ad hominem, they are quite substantiated with your own words, “Jim”.
Before I start, I’d like to thank James Martin, SJ for providing the transcript for me. I hate having to find it on Youtube and hoping the transcription in there. Next, I’d like to say I love the beard your sporting these days. Good look on you, Fr. Martin. Now onto the not-quite-so-nice.
Homily for the LGBT Community | World Pride NYC 2019
Be tough. Be free. Be hopeful.
Homily: Pre-Pride Mass, Church of St. Francis of Assisi, June 29, 2019
Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (1 Kgs 19:16b, 19-21; Gal 5:1, 13-18; Lk 9:51-62)
What does it mean to be a disciple? What does it mean to be a Christian? What does it mean to be free? What might it mean to be all these things as a Catholic, as an LGBT Catholic, or as the family member or friend or ally of an LGBT Catholic?
While you don’t answer these questions in clear terms, Galatians totally does. It’s like you went from Kings to Luke and didn’t look at the true slavery defined in Galatians.
At first glance, you might not think that these readings would have much to say to us. After all, the First Book of Kings, was written in roughly 550 BC, when the Hebrew people were in exile in Babylon; St. Paul’s Letter the Galatians was written around AD 55; and the Gospel of Luke, the most “recent” of our readings, was written around AD 85. You might not think they would have much to say to contemporary Catholics, and maybe even less to LGBT people, but of course they do. The Bible is the Living Word of God and, if we are open to it, God’s voice will always be revealed when we read or hear these readings, no matter how ancient.
On the contrary! I think they say quite a bit to anyone struggling with sin and the temptations of this world. It’s kind of interesting that they fall in “pride” month, but that relatively lost on you.
Please read all three passages, but pay particular attention to Galatians, which James Martin, SJ, skipped almost completely. They all go together quite nicely and show how the “pride” movement leads people into slavery, not away from it.
13 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters;[c] only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence,[d] but through love become slaves to one another. 14 For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.
The Works of the Flesh
16 Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law.”
And for good measure and definition of what you so woefully try to keep from the faithful, let’s just throw in the next two verses which are rather inconvenient for you, Fr. Martin. What exactly are those works of the flesh that are opposed to the Spirit?
19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, 21 envy,[e] drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
The highlighted ones epitomize the “pride” movement. Now, lest Fr. Martin point how I don’t equally apply these verses to heterosexual people, I do. I apply them to you and me and everyone in between, but he’s the one always suggesting “loopholes” apply to one class because the teachings offend them or they are somehow not equally applied in his mind.
Let’s start with the Gospel, where Jesus confronts, head on, the demands of his ministry.
Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem, where he will meet his destiny—his passion, death and resurrection. Even before he gets there, he’s facing opposition, and he knows it. He has just passed through Samaria, where the people have rejected him. “They would not welcome him,” says Luke. Why? For religious reasons: the Samaritans had very different idea of what good Israelite was, and didn’t even recognize the Jerusalem Temple as the seat of God’s presence. In response to their rejection, his disciples want to punish the people of Samaria, but Jesus says no. He’s not going to punish them, but he’s also not going to be dissuaded.
Meh, not exactly. In the first verses, Christ had already told them what to do if the people wouldn’t listen. He told them to “shake the dust”, which is a rather big slam in that region even today.
5 Wherever they do not welcome you, as you are leaving that town shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 They departed and went through the villages, bringing the good news and curing diseases everywhere.
Fr. Martin goes on:
Then Jesus turns his attention to the demands of discipleship. And he is extremely blunt with the disciples. He fully understands the costs of discipleship and wants them to as well. “I’ll follow you,’ says one. “Really?” says Jesus. “You’re not going to have anywhere to sleep if you follow me.” Now, not all his disciples followed Jesus along the road—some stayed at home, like Martha and Mary—but many were indeed, like him, itinerant. That’s part of the deal, he’s saying. Two other disciples offer excuses based on family responsibilities: “I have to bury my father,” says one. “I have to say goodbye to my parents,” says another.
But Jesus sweeps these excuses aside. Now, does he really expect that dead people will bury dead people. No, he doesn’t. But he is not above using hyperbole to make a point. If you’re going to follow me, you’re going to have to be tough. And if you’re going to follow me, you can’t look back.
More like you’re going to have to set aside your temptations and proclivities and pick up your cross. It was a serious opportunity to teach, but a huge swing and a miss by Fr. Martin. Missed is generous. I can’t even say overlooked. It’s more like very purposely avoided because he can’t talk about denying oneself.
Jesus goes even further than the Old Testament prophets. In the First Book of Kings, we see Elijah anointing Elisha as a prophet, by throwing his cloak over him. But first Elisha says he needs to care for his father and mother. Once he does so, he follows Elijah.
Jesus goes beyond that. No, he says, no using your family as an excuse. Nothing comes before following me, not even duties to your family. Jesus makes that point elsewhere in the Gospel, when his family comes from Nazareth to the Sea of Galilee to confront him. We don’t talk about that episode very much because it shocks many Christians. But the Gospel of Mark reports that his family thinks that Jesus, who has just started his public ministry, is “out of his mind.” So his extended family travels all the way from Nazareth to Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee, where he is living, to “restrain” or “arrest” him. But when Jesus is told that his mother and brother and sisters are waiting outside his house, he says, “Who are my mother and brothers and sisters? Those who do the will of God.” Ties to God are more important than ties to the family.
(In my greatest TV narrator voice) Also starring in the role of “extended family”, Father James Martin, SJ. And yet he seems to have missed that.
Finally, to drive his point home, Jesus uses an image that people in this agrarian society would have known well: once you put your hand to the plow don’t look back. Because what happens if you take your eyes from the team of oxen? They will plow in the wrong direction. Stay focused.
Riiiigggghhhhhttt! You, however, Fr. Martin, are the one who is distracting. One of my readers very well described Fr. Martin’s tactics as “whataboutisms.” “Look over there! And over there! And over there!” Look anywhere but to your own sins and shortcomings which is where we should all be focusing.
Now, each of these readings, though ancient, has a great deal to say to all of us today, especially LGBT Catholics. Let me suggest three things.
I would like to point out, once again, that he’s just about completely ignored Galatians.
1) Be tough. The last few years have seen many positive steps for LGBT Catholics. And there are two big trends. The first can be summarized by two words: “Pope Francis.” His five most famous words are still, “Who am I to judge?,” which was first a response to the question of gay priests and then expanded to LGBT people. Francis is the first pope ever to use the word “gay.” He has LGBT friends. And he’s appointed many LGBT-supportive cardinals, archbishops and bishops. Another trend is that as more and more Catholics are coming out and being open about their gender identity, they and their families are bringing their hopes and desires into their parishes, and slowly the culture of the church is being changed.
I would consider that quote as infamous, not famous. Regardless, it seems interviews and quotes are only highlighted if they promote the “pride” agenda. The pope compares gender ideology to a nuclear weapon and we get crickets. Martin? Martin? Bueller? Anyone?
Yet it’s also a hard time to be an LGBT Catholic. Catholic schools are still firing LGBT employees who are civilly married when many other straight church employees, who are also not following various church teachings, have no problem keeping their jobs. Church leaders publish documents, issue statements and offer quotes to the media that betray not the slightest evidence that they have listened to the experience of LGBT people or their families. And of course on the local level, we still find in some places homophobic pastors, pastoral workers and parishioners.
Insert the eye-roll of a professional teenager. Hey, I’m all for cracking down on anyone who publicly flaunts their sins against the Church teachings on morality. GO. FOR. IT. Not that I really think that’s what Fr. Martin is going for, but hey, I’d agree to that. Fr. Martin would have you believe that every sinner posts it on social media. I’d have to think most don’t. Privacy means something to most people. Yes, there are the twits who want to tell you exactly what’s going on in their bedrooms, but I have many secular friends and they don’t all run up to me to tell me what birth control they are using. (Thank goodness.) If they did, I’d probably suggest they not be allowed to teach in a Catholic school either.
All the more reason to be like Jesus: that is, tough. And to, first of all, claim your rightful place in your church. Look, if you are a baptized Catholic and you are LGBT or are an LGBT parent or family member, you are as much a part of the church as the Pope, your local bishop, your pastor, or me. Root yourself in your baptism and claim your place in your church.
Enter god-complex. The difference between us and Christ is that he was God. (I know Fr. Martin sometimes has issues with this but, I promise, it’s true.) We are sinners. He is God. “Our place” in the Church is kind of irrelevant. Anyone else think of James and John who were worried about where they should sit?! Every time I hear Fr. Martin say, “claim your place,” I think of this. Ironically, Christ’s response was the same as it is in the Sunday readings at the heart of the homily. Be a slave to everyone else and don’t let your sins enslave you by rejecting the cross.
But make no mistake, Jesus is telling us: sometimes it’s going to be hard. Sometimes your family may misunderstand you, as Jesus’s family did. Sometimes you’ll feel unwelcome in places, as Jesus did in Samaria. Sometimes it won’t feel like you have a home, like Jesus felt when he had to sleep by the side of the road. Sometimes you’ll find that your friends disagree with you, as Jesus did when he told the disciples that revenge was not his way. But it’s all part of the journey. It’s part of being with him.
Question: If we’re all struggling to do as Christ demanded – denying ourselves, refusing to be enslaved by sin, and taking up our cross – why would anyone feel these things? Answer: It’s our sin that is enslaving us. Our freedom is in our rejection of sin. You, sadly, are not encouraging that. You’re just whining about those who get away with sin as if it somehow excuses those who are not. It’s, well, sick.
Throughout all this, Jesus invites you to be tough. Claim your place in your church. Be rooted in your baptism. Know that you are fully Catholic. You know, lately I’ve been hearing that it’s not enough for the Catholic church to be “welcoming” and “affirming” and “inclusive.” And I agree. Because those are the minimum. Instead, LGBT people should fully expect to participate in all the ministries in the church. Not just being welcomed and affirmed and included, but leading. But to do that you have to keep your hand to the plow and you have to be tough.
What EXACTLY do you mean by welcomed, affirmed and included, Father? I think you’ve been ambiguous enough. SPELL. IT. OUT. Do you think we should affirm, welcome and include peoples’ sins? No, thank you, and the first one that does that for me and my sins should be proverbially shot.
2) Be free. A second lesson from today’s Gospel is Jesus’s supreme freedom. Look again at what the Gospels say about Samaria: “They would not welcome him.” But Jesus doesn’t care if Samaria rejects him. Certainly, he would like the Samaritan people to hear his word. We know this because, in the Gospel of John, he speaks at length to a woman from Samaria, the famous “woman at the well,” and she later shares their encounter with the people of Samaria. But if the Samaritans don’t want to welcome him, fine. He’s free. He moves on.
Uh, Jesus’s supreme freedom? That’s what He gives, not what He gets. He’s God. That’s found in carrying our cross and being a slave to others. It’s not fine for us to reject Him and have Him move on. It’s our complete and utter destruction.
Jesus is free from the need to be loved, liked or approved of. He is free from the need to be loved by the Samaritans. He is free of the need to be liked by the disciples, as when he rebukes James and John. And he is free of the need to be approved of by his family, who early on think he’s crazy. He is supremely free. And what is he free to do? To follow the Father’s will.
Many people in the LGBT community feel unwelcome, like Jesus felt, as well as excluded, rejected and sometimes, as Jesus was, persecuted. It can be painful and enraging. And it’s okay to feel those things. It’s human and it’s natural, and sometimes those feelings should stir you to action on behalf of people and groups who are being persecuted! But, ultimately, Jesus asks us to be free of the need to be loved, liked or approved of. And to be confident in who you are.
I’m not really sure how many times I can say this. He is God. We are not. Rejection of our sinful acts is not persecution. It’s love. Once again you are trying to confuse the rejection of sin and the rejection of the sinner. It’s still not the same no matter how many times you say it.
Notice that Jesus is also free of the need to punish. James and John wanted to “call down fire from heaven” to destroy the Samaritans who rejected Jesus. But Jesus “rebukes” his disciples for this. That’s not his way. He is free of the need for revenge. So be like Jesus. Be free.
Are you really suggesting that no punishment is coming for those who reject the teachings of Christ? Again, that’s not revenge. The question is, do we want to suffer here on earth or do we want to suffer for eternity.
3) Finally, be hopeful. The life of Christian discipleship is not simply a hard row to plow, it’s not simply tough, it’s not simply a chore. As St. Paul says in today’s reading, “For freedom Christ set us free.” Isn’t that beautiful? The Christian life is not some terribly burden or “yoke” as St. Paul says, echoing the plow imagery of Jesus. No, it’s an invitation to live in freedom. Just as Elijah covered Elisha with his cloak, so all of us, LGBT or straight, who accept Jesus’s invitation are wrapped under what the theologian Barbara Reid calls the “protective cloak of his spirit.” We live in freedom. And in joy!
Your definition of “freedom” doesn’t resemble what St. Paul said. You might have noticed it if you actually bothered to quote it.
And in hope too! It’s tempting for LGBT Catholics and their families to look at the present reality of the church and say, “This will never change.” Or “I feel unwelcome.” Or “I have no place here.” But that is not the only place Jesus wants us to dwell. The future will be so much fuller than the present, and Jesus knows this. We keep our hands to the plow not only so that we don’t lose our way, but so that we don’t take our eyes off the horizon.
To my SSA friends, please note that you are welcome in the Church, and I would love to struggle along with you in overcoming our sins. Please see Fr. Martin’s babbling as what he intends it to be – discouraging and divisive. Our true happiness will come from overcoming temptation. Let’s do it together and don’t let anyone tell you that it is impossible or that the Church wants less for you than everlasting life.
“Sometimes LGBT Catholics say that they’re done with the church, with the faith and with God. Yet when looking for Christ in the church often they’re only seeing the present. But suffering and death are not the only things that Jesus experiences in Jerusalem. They’re not even the most important things. The most important thing is the Resurrection. And the Good News of the Resurrection is that hope is stronger than despair, suffering is never the last word, and love always triumphs over hate. Love always wins. So be hopeful!”
Fr. Martin, I know you like to downplay this, but none of us can get to the Resurrection without first taking up our crosses. I mean, for heaven’s sake, look up the verse that you halfheartedly referred to.
You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?
That’s the problem. You don’t ever explain what “drinking the cup” means. You’re leading people to believe that it’s freely indulging in sin. That is so wrong.
These readings, so ancient, so different, so seemingly far away, are actually tailor made for us today, for all of us who are called to encounter God. In these readings we hear God say to us: Be tough, be free, be hopeful. Be proud to be Catholic. And for my LGBT brothers and sister and siblings, be the LGBT Catholic whom you are called to be by Jesus Christ himself.
You’re giving them stones when they ask for bread. Hopefully they will come to feast, despite your best efforts. #pridebeforethefall
Dear friends at Church Militant/St. Michael’s Media, LifeSiteNews.com and Tradition, Family and Property, who write articles, start online petitions and organize protests whenever I speak: Let me save you some time and effort. Because, lately, here’s what usually happens when you do this.
Awwww…Isn’t this sweet?! Fr. Martin’s just trying to help out his friends. It’s so nice that he’s trying, out of the goodness of his heart, to help people “save some time and effort.” I should probably return the favor. People resisting your efforts, Fr. Martin, don’t care about their time, they care about souls. I’m reasonably sure that even people who agree with you are reading this accolade to yourself and giving it a big ol’ facepalm. I can’t believe you’re going with “You’re all really great people but people love me to death and lavish me with accolades so please go away!” My feeling is that the laity are a little too successful for you, so you’re forced to pump up the speeches to the choir and the events where the majority of the attendees are your age or older. I get it, but you have to admit it looks a little ridiculous when you’ve got to write a really long Facebook post to give yourself a big pat on the back. Seriously, it goes on and on. Lest you doubt me…
It would seem, from this really needy post, that maybe people are actually making a bit more headway in the “Please keep Fr. James Martin, SJ, from misleading the flock!” movement than Fr. Martin wants you to know.
It begins as follows: I am invited by a Catholic organization (school, parish, retreat center) who knows full well of my ministry to LGBT people. So, the organizers are already aware of this one aspect of my Jesuit life, and are, in most places, either neutral about it or openly supportive of it.
This is especially the case when I am invited to speak about LGBT Catholics per se. Obviously, the organizers support this LGBT ministry, and they often invite me with the support of the local bishop, as with the LGBT family retreat at the Jesuit Spiritual Center in Wernersville, Pa.
Eventually, you all get wind of it and write articles about my supposed “heresy” and overall awfulness as a priest, complete with photos and memes of me. Then one of you organizes an online petition, using misleading information, slanderous words and sometimes outright lies.
If you’re going to accuse someone of lying, slandering, and misleading, why don’t you at least give examples, Father? I would think that’s the least you should do. Why don’t you? Maybe it’s because people are quite meticulous when they talk about your heretical statements. They list them line by line. And, really, are you one to talk? You make misleading comments all the time. Here’s one for example.
As you can probably tell, Fr. Martin is clearly working super hard to make you think the efforts are fruitless. I can assure you they are not. Please see here , here. here, and here. I’m sure we can find some more if we look around some more, and I know more pushes to cancel are in the works. So you see, Fr. Martin, we don’t lose hope when some liberal institution doesn’t block your efforts.
For good measure, you label me with names like “heretic,” “sodomite,” “false priest,” “homosexualist,” homoheretic,” “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and “celebrity gay priest.” I’ve lost count of how many names I’ve been called by you. It’s like being in a junior high school cafeteria.
People in glass houses, Father. I will once again remind you that you are not exactly one who should bring up name-calling. https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/28/update-from-a-hater/ And no, people aren’t hatemongers because they think you are wrong. https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/03/with-love-the-hatemongers/ We just think you’re wrong and leading people to the same errors. We got it. This doesn’t please you and silencing us is your goal. Good luck with that.
I will say, though, that I try to stay away from giving you anything to whine about. Using a myriad of words to describe you simply isn’t necessary. I will say that I’m pretty sure that you have espoused heresy a time or two, and I think that people have done a good job spelling out why they believe so:
Soon the number of signatories to the online petition goes sky high, usually in the tens of thousands (with no proof offered) and you egg on your followers to contact the organizers and demand that their invitation be rescinded, and to organize protests on their own on the day of the event.
Ab-so-lute-ly! A good number of Catholics know you are a danger to the Faith. They are rightly exercising Canon 212. I realize you totally hate that and it gets in your way, but, well, too bad.
The organizers field some angry phone calls (usually by a receptionist who has no clue what they are talking about) and they dutifully report them to me, apologize, and assure me that I’m more welcome than ever. Sometimes they put out public statements in support of LGBT ministry.
Well, as shown above, that doesn’t always happen. I’d also like to point out to bishops that Fr. Martin is also really getting into webcasts. That may kind of skirt the regulations of who is allowed to speak. In our lovely age of technology, you might actually have to button down the ability to webcast speakers. While a speaker may not be able to violate “safe environment” protocols, it doesn’t mean they can’t still harm souls. As I’ve said to many, many good bishops, establishing a speakers’ bureau to vet anyone actually speaking would eliminate many of your problems.
Needless to say, I don’t cancel (why would I?) and neither do they. Sometimes, in fact, their resolve is strengthened and it is seen as an important opportunity for them to stand more solidly with the LGBT Catholics in their community (school, parish, and so on) and the LGBT community at large.
Needless to say, I’ve already proven you are wrong. And, some people finally realize that you might be leading people astray.
On the day of the event, a few protesters will show up, perhaps a dozen, sometimes fewer, sometimes more, including children. They hold up the same signs at every event, detailing how terrible I am (“Father Martin’s Bridge to Hell”) and pray the Rosary (against me, I’m assuming) and leave.
You would have a problem with people praying the Rosary, wouldn’t you? And, of course, YOU would make sure you point out how futile you think that is. That said, we know otherwise. God bless those who protest against you.
Usually only a few people see the protesters (I rarely do), and if they do, they are hurt or offended, because most people these days know LGBT people. At the Loyola New Orleans graduation last year, some LGBT graduates saw the signs and made their displeasure known.
So what you’re saying is that those who do what’s right are completely stupid unless hundreds show? Mighty wrong of you, but hey, thanks for the consistency.
Occasionally the controversy around the talk, especially if the talk is about LGBT Catholics, finds its way into the local media, and dramatically increases the size of the crowd, and their sympathy for LGBT ministry, as happened recently at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Ct.
So, again, you’re saying we should only do what’s right when we have the numbers? Why didn’t anyone tell that to Christ as he hung on the Cross. Honestly, Father. Your protests while saying “It really doesn’t bother me!” are especially lame. It’s about as convincing as you proclaiming “Oh, I’ve never denied Christ’s divinity nor contradicted the Church teachings on marriage!”
Then I give my talk, lecture, retreat or commencement address. Afterwards, especially after parish talks or lectures at colleges and universities, I often sign books and meet people, 99% of whom are kind, gracious and supportive. Almost every person in line will share a story from their faith journeys, which moves and consoles me.
Yes, everyone loves you. You’re a superstar. You’re the only loving person who knows what same-sex attracted people go through. Etc., etc., etc.
From time to time, however, there is one angry person, waiting at the end of the line, arms folded, ready to conduct their inquisition of me (which they often film). They are usually disappointed when I say, as I always do, that I am not going against any church teaching.
But again, as shown above, you do. You just don’t think you’re going to get caught. You don’t even attempt to speak in some dioceses because you don’t dare crossing the lines in the sand with some of the bishops. You know you will get a smack down. They’ve already spoken out against you and you haven’t even made that attempt.
But except for that one angry person, they are people who are grateful that someone is talking about LGBT Catholics in a positive way, or they are parents of LGBT children who have felt excluded from their own church, or they are LGBT Catholics themselves who hug me and thank me.
Oh, there are myriads of people who want to think sins (i.e., homosexual ACTS) are actually not sins, and you’re ever so ambiguous with your statements so these people can keep on saying they’re not sinning. Look at one of your favorites, Out at St. Paul, to see that.
After people share their stories, they sometimes cry in front of me, or we pray together, or they give me a little gift or card, or they show me a photo of their LGBT child (or grandchild, or brother or sister, or nephew or niece). Whenever they do, my resolve to continue this ministry with so many others in this field grows.
Oh for heaven’s sake, stop with the over-the-top sob stories. Just what the heck are they saying and what the heck are you telling them? Do you EVER bother to tell them about living the CHASTE and celibate life? Or are you just continually filling them with hopes of kissing their partners at Mass and marrying? How about you answer the tough questions once in a while? It might make you a tad more credible. Ambiguity doesn’t fly here.
In other words, feel free to continue to protest, but please don’t expect that either I or the organizing bodies will cancel anything. And please don’t doubt that your protests only increase the size of the crowds, embolden organizers to be more supportive and deepen my resolve.
Except, again, some of your talks have been cancelled. Oh, yeah. There’s that reality. Oops. How pesky is that? I, personally, will resist you at ever turn no matter who is with me. I will totally feel free to protest, and I’m reasonably sure I won’t be alone.
Because what usually happens is not my pulling out of the event, not the organizers cancelling the event, and not people staying away, but something like this, as at yesterday’s graduation at Xavier University. (See photo.)
Dude! It’s a Jesuit school. I’d really be shocked if they didn’t cancel because, as a whole, the Jesuits are lost. (Thanks always to the faithful ones!) We’re supposed to be utterly amazed when a Jesuit school does something stupid? It’s supposed to just make the laity fall in line? Please. Are you that prideful??? I guess no answer needed. Do you not think that we realize you bothered posting this in the first place because you are deflated? The choir backs you up, so we’re supposed to say “Well, I guess we were wrong!” Keep dreaming.
In short, your articles, petitions and protests don’t bother me. (Truly: ask any of my friends.) Feel free to continue them, but also know that I won’t be cancelling anything as a result of them, and neither, if history is a judge, will most of the organizers.
I don’t expect you to cancel. It’s quite clear your ego wouldn’t let you make a humble move. Got it. That said, we will ALWAYS make your mission difficult because it leads souls astray and WE love our friends suffering from same-sex attraction.
My brothers and sisters, I hold no grudge against you at all, do not wish any ill upon you, but have also ceased to care about the articles, the petitions and the protests. I send you my peace. As well as my thanks for the big crowds.
You have no peace and you will have none until you fully embrace the teachings of Christ and His Church. When that happens, we will be cheering you on! As long as you continue to twist the truth and undermine the teachings of the Church (the Catechism for one) in an effort to make truth what YOU want it to be instead of what it truly is, people will continue to oppose you no matter how much you cry about it or tell us how futile it is.
I’m starting to think Susan isn’t a parody account after all, but probably just Fr. Martin’s alter ego.
It’s just another day to call out Fr. Martin on the ridiculous suppositions he tries to float. Let’s just look at his novel’s worth of tweets and all the bunk found in them.
First of all, before you start ranting along with me, please take note that this is a typical Fr. James Martin, SJ, tactic. He frames an argument that doesn’t exist, spins reality on its ear, then hopes that nobody notices. Do the research, people.
This had nothing to do with feeling closer to Our Lord and Our Lady. It had everything to do with using an adored image in Poland to protest the Church. How do I know? Because the people behind it said so! (empasis mine)
“The Warsaw Freedom Activists had already earlier explained why they had conducted an action with the Mother of God of Equality in Płock,” wrote Łukasz Grzegorczyk in Polish.
“In a letter sent to the Na Temat editorial office, they wrote that the rainbow Mary, which they stuck to the walls and sidewalks near the church of St. Dominic, is supposed to be an expression of opposition to the stigmatization of non-heteronormative people by the clergy.”
So, Fr. Martin might say “it looks a lot less like a protest,” but sadly he’s just trying to fool you. The instigators admitted it was. He’s just hoping you won’t find out about that.
So then he makes the argument nobody’s making:
“But the larger question is this: Why shouldn’t LGBT Catholics be able to feel close to Mary and Jesus? And why shouldn’t they have art that enables them to do so, as do other groups in the church?”
This is just made to tug at the heartstrings and really has no merit, but it would still be lame even if it were true. Let me answer it anyway.
Last time I checked, Our Lady raised her son knowing He would sacrifice Himself for us and she watched his Passion and death on the cross. Our Lord died on the cross for ALL our sins (you know, the ones Fr. Martin probably isn’t sure exist). Why would you need to change an image held dear to the faithful in Poland (or anywhere else for that matter) to feel close to Mary and Jesus? They made the ultimate sacrifice for ALL, but altering an image of them is necessary for you to feel close to them? If Christ’s death and resurrection failed to hit the mark, I’m pretty sure a little Photoshop isn’t going to do it.
Fr. Martin might have also wanted to notice that Black Madonna of Częstochowa doesn’t look like the vast majority of Poles. They didn’t seem to need to change that image to revere and adore her, did they?
“In short: Are Mary and Jesus only for straight people?”
Seriously? I’m not sure YOU know who or what Mary and Jesus are for. You seem overwhelmingly confused, or at least you’re trying to confuse the masses and you’re quite willing to use any method to do so.
I really don’t know much about Bishop Schlert other than he’s got a problem with abuse cover-up accusations. Honestly, I’m not sure where the truth lies, but I’m sure some readers will chime in. Regardless, his allowing Fr. Martin to speak in his diocese – all the wishy-washy claims of not endorsing Fr. Martin notwithstanding – seem to bolster the idea that he likes to play middle of the road and not deal with the hard issues.
With permission, I am re-posting a letter from a reader to Bishop Schlert regarding allowing Fr. Martin to speak in his diocese, followed by the bishop’s response. Bishop Schlert is quite right that other bishops around the country have chosen to protect their flock when it comes to Fr. Martin. Unfortunately, he is choosing the wimpy path. The diocese will know who my reader is, and he’s willing to accept the consequences should people find out, but I’m going to blot out his name. If the diocese is going to throw him under the bus, that’s on them, but I would hope that others in the Diocese of Allentown will vigorously support this reader and send their own letters of protest. In fact, I’d love to see a presence at the diocese until the invitation is rescinded. That diocese has enough problems without encouraging the very ambiguous “welcoming spirit” of Fr. Martin that’s advocated by his favorite groups like “Out as St. Paul.”
So here is the text of the letter our friend sent to Bishop Schlert (emphasis and interjections mine):
Dear Most Reverend Alfred A. Schlert, Bishop of Allentown,
As member of the diocese, who has been deeply troubled by the abuse allegations that have occurred and continues to attend mass, entrust my child to the diocesan school system, and provide financial support for many initiatives. I am extremely troubled by your recent decision to allow Father James Martin, SJ to speak at Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth on April 27, 2019.
This decision is wrong on many levels. The first being the Diocese has gone to great lengths to protect our youth and has instituted many programs to protect them from physical harm as well as mental harm in the form of bullying. To this I ask if you are sincere in your will to protect God’s Children? I ask this question due to the events that unfolded in January of this year at the March for Life in Washington, D.C., and the massive media bullying of the youths of Covington Catholic High School. Social media condemned these youths well before the facts were known. Unfortunately, the Catholic Church was part of the lynch mob. Father James Martin was one of the first within the church to take to social media to condemn the teens.
Oh, yes, he was, and he refused to ever apologize to them. The good old “I apologize if I was wrong but…” doesn’t do it.
The same person who preaches tolerance and acceptance for the LGBTQ community, isn’t it ironic? To make matters worse, Father Martin issued a “so-called” apology on social media. I would ask you to read his apology to see if this is a person who is truly remorseful or has any regret for the danger in which he put the youths and their families. I thank the Lord these kids had great teachers along their development. While I am disappointed in Father Martin for his wrongful hate-filled actions, I am disappointed in the Diocese. I called the diocese to ask if the diocese would be issuing any type of statement of support and spoke with the communication director who said the diocese had no interest in supporting these youth, even after the facts were clear that the Covington Kids were the victims. I was saddened that we have a chance with the next generation of Catholics to stop the culture of abortion and now infanticide, yet the diocese takes no action. I understand that the diocese sent representatives and transported individuals to the event, but I will remind you of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King as it relates to this incident. Dr King woke our social conscience when he stated, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in the moment of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” The diocese lost an opportunity to be bold in our faith and convictions.
The rush to judgment and failing to protect the Covington kids AND the incredible “I’m sorry but…” should be reason enough to disqualify Fr. Martin, but there are soooooo many more reasons.
The second reason that Father Martin should not be provided a podium to speak within the diocese is very simple. Father Martin does not provide clarity on the Church’s position regarding homosexuality but rather seeks to confuse. I am sure you are aware that Father Martin has openly stated that Pope Frances supports the “homosexual agenda” with his remarks made at Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice in 2018. I would have hoped that Father Martin would have provided substance to this statement. Church doctrine is clear “homosexual acts are acts of grave depravity and intrinsically disordered, and under no circumstance can they be approved.” Father Martin is recorded as saying the church will learn from the youth regarding transsexual and nonbinary genders! This is a direct conflict with our doctrine. He also implies that the church does not welcome those members of same sex attraction, which is falsehood.
Exactly! Why is it that Bishop Schlert feels the need to “allow” Fr. Martin any time at all to speak in his diocese? Does Fr. Martin somehow fill a need in the Church? Does the Church not already welcome all sinners (myself included) no matter what the sin? Does the Church need completely dissenting groups like “Out at St. Paul” to be seen as welcoming? Remember, Fr. Martin has said that this is one of his favorite groups. Thankfully they don’t try to hide their agenda in the least and don’t play the ambiguous card Fr. Martin does.
And if you doubt the veracity of my claims that Out at St. Paul is one of Martin’s darling groups…
This is a time of great challenge for the church, especially here in Pennsylvania. I am partaking in the “Healing our Church” program which you have instituted. I am doing so because I am disappointed with the leadership of the church. The Church has been a large part of my life, even at times when I was not a regular practicing member. My parents where devout Catholics, I attended 12 years of Catholic School, with 2.5 year of high school at St. Joseph’s Preparatory Seminary in Princeton NJ, as well as 2 years at Alvernia College. The program is helpful in uniting with other parishioners passionate on moving the church forward. One thing that stands out is the materials you have chosen for use on this topic. You seem to have a bias towards the positions of Father James Martin and Cardinal Tobin, both whom are well known as pro-gay clergy, who are cited in the materials and by the course leaders.
I question if we are to toss aside the gift of reason for a politically correct message regarding this church crisis The John Jay report indicates that over 80% of the victims were males, and post pubescent males (post age 14), we do not need confusion. The church’s stain was largely caused by homosexual or bisexual priests, this is fact. We may choose to engage in theoretical positional studies, but the facts are clear and one cannot ignore them or spin them. Doing so would be unjust to the victims and does not allow healing. Sexual abuse is not unique to the Catholic Church, it happens in all religions. What is uniquely Catholic is the amount of same sex abuse.
Again, I don’t know Bishop Schlert’s position, but I can say that, at best, he’s just trying to avoid stepping on anyone’s toes. Again, wimpy.
I hope you reconsider your position regarding allowing Father Martin a platform in our diocese. I understand from discussion with my pastor that you have barred Father Martin from advertising in the AD Times. One wonders if this is such a worthy event and Father Martin is the right priest to shepherd this event, then why not be bold? What is there to hide? Surely you know that Father Martin used his large social media platform to announce that the event was “being held with the written approval of the Most Reverend Alfred A. Schlert, Bishop of Allentown.” I was informed that you communicated that Father Martin is told not to deviate from church doctrine. Given Father Martin’s past statements of deceit on church doctrine, his seeds of confusion, and his affinity for the limelight of being the celebrity pro- gay Jesuit, one must wonder how has this trust been earned?
Bingo! Bishop Schlert is allowing a person he says he does not endorse and won’t even let advertise in his diocese to speak in his diocese. Really? This is, again, fence-sitting at best.
“When I was a high school student at St. Joseph’s former Cardinal McCarrick was Bishop of Metuchen and would visit the school. Pope Benedict in his wisdom placed sanctions on McCarrick’s pastoral duties, only to have Pope Francis remove those sanctions, to the embarrassment of the faithful. Should we not learn from this lesson? The Catholic Church is a wonderful institution which performs many good works. In this time of crisis, we need clarity from our leaders to call out those who led us astray and distort the teachings of Church. Our church is a compassionate church but its teaching on homosexuality is clear, from the old testament, through the new testament to the words and writings of the saints, including Saint Paul the first convert.
If Bishop Schlert wants to truly be welcoming AND compassionate (one without the other isn’t really either), then he should order all of his priests to reach out with love and compassion and make those struggling with same-sex attraction feel welcome and supported in their daily struggles against sin like the rest of us. Throwing an ambiguous bone isn’t love. It’s checking off a box so you don’t have to hear about it anymore.
I plea with you to stop this madness. I am far from the perfect catholic. However, I refuse to stay silent. I am reminded of Elie Wiesel who said, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” The Church is at a crossroads. We can act with clarity and compassion or be cowards.
I hope you consider my plea. I can promise you, I will not relent, nor will I forget, I will not be silent. The Bishops Annual Appeal is underway. I would find it unfortunate that I would have to pass on articipating this year, due to your cowardice on protecting the faith.
And here is the bishop’s response (recipient’s name withheld at my discretion).
2 April 2019
Thank you for your 27 March 2019 correspondence regarding the presence of Reverend James J. Martin, S.J. at the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth, Wernersville on 27 April 2019, where he will present a public lecture entitled A Good Measure: Showing Welcome and Respect for LGBT People and Their Families.
I am profoundly grateful for your genuine concern for the Church and her teachings. I have made it very clear that his message is to be one of ‘welcoming.’ My desire that all be welcome in our parishes does not imply that I am ‘soft’ on the moral teachings of the Church. Welcoming does not suggest that all may approach the Sacraments, or that someone will not hear a challenging message in a homily. Welcoming that does not lead to the truth is a false accompaniment.
Well, of course nobody wants to be considered soft. So don’t allow Fr. Martin to speak, Bishop Schlert! Your whole action on this issue is just a Pontius Pilate move. Just what is Fr. Martin welcoming? You know quite well he is ever so ambiguous on that point. I agree with your assessment on what welcoming should be, but every time Fr. Martin whines about somebody being fired, barred from sacraments until confession, etc., he is most certainly engaging in false accompaniment.
Permit me to provide some additional background on the specific matter that you reference in your letter. In the Fall, the Jesuit Center scheduled New Ways Ministry and Reverend Tony Flannery to be present for a similar weekend. I directed to rescind his invitation since Father Flannery was a suspended Irish Priest and New Ways Ministry has been banned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. At my request, they withdraw his invitation.
Let me just stop and give complete kudos to you for withdrawing the invitation for New Ways Ministry. I’m going to give you a lot more credit than some bishops in the U.S. would get from me. However, that is a separate incident, and you’re now erasing all the good you did by allowing someone who gives accolades to New Ways Ministry and who has received awards from them to speak. https://www.newwaysministry.org/2016/09/06/fr-james-martin-to-receive-new-ways-ministrys-bridge-building-award-old/ Can’t you see a wee bit of a problem with this? Maybe you didn’t know? Well, now you do.
They informed me at that time that they invited Reverend James J. Martin, S.J. for a Spring 2019 conference. Regarding Father James J. Martin, S.J., please know that I have given clear direction to Father Martin, his Regional Provincial, and the Rector of the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth that Father Martin is not permitted to create confusion or obfuscation among the faithful concerning the constant teachings of the Church regarding moral and sacramental theology. His presence presumes that Father Martin will present a message of welcome and accompaniment to those with Same Sex Attraction in accord with the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.
Bishop Schlert! Confusion and obfuscation are Fr. James Martin, SJ’s middle names! Are you trying to tell us that not one priest in your diocese can fulfill the job of accompaniment that you’ve defined???
My permission for him to be present at Wernersville does not infer my endorsement of Father Martin. I will be closely following the content of Father Martin’s presentation. It is my hope that the Conference assists people in how the Church can be more welcoming in line with the authentic teachings of the Church. Should his content create division, confusion, or obfuscation, please know that I will respond accordingly.
Fr. Martin causes division wherever he goes just by his mere presence. Refer back to the Covington issue the member of your flock wrote you about. And, really, how many times in the last few weeks has he dissented against the diocese that had to fire employees whose scandalous relationships have come to light? As I’ve said, confusion and obfuscation is his normal method of operation and you know it, so allowing him to speak really can’t NOT be seen as an endorsement. It’s just an endorsement while you try to wash your hands of it.
I have enclosed a letter for your information that I sent to all the priests and deacons of the Diocese that provides a greater context of the event.
With appreciation for your kind letter and with the assurance of my prayers for a blessed Season of Lent, I am
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Alfred A. Schlert
Bishop of Allentown
So let’s look at this information he enclosed.
14 March 2019
My dear Brother Priests and Deacons,
As some of you may be aware, Reverend James J. Martin, S.J. will be present at the Jesuit Center, Wernersville, on Saturday, 27 April 2019 to offer a conference on welcoming and respect for those with same sex attraction and their families. Father Martin has presented a letter of good standing from his Religious Superior, serves as a Consultant, Dicastery for Communications, and was invited by His Holiness, Pope Francis to speak at the World Meeting of Families in Dublin, Ireland.
Actually, Bishop Schlert, the Jesuits are exactly what you get when you hang your hat on a false sense of welcoming. They’ll take anyone as long as they don’t embrace an authentic version of Catholicism. They bounce the good ones unless they can somehow keep their heads down. Again, just what is being welcomed?
I realize that some Bishops in the country have not allowed Father Martin to speak in their Diocese, and I too have prayerfully considered this decision. I would like you to know that I have made it very clear to Father Martin and his Superiors that the permission I give is for him to speak only on welcoming all of our Catholic brothers and sisters into the life of the parish. This permission does not extend to his obfuscating or confusing the authentic moral and sacramental teachings of the Church. Please be assured that should his content create division, confusion, or obfuscation, please know that I will respond accordingly.
Honestly, Bishop Schlert might just be naïve, but has he bothered ever to watch Fr. Martin in action? He knows how to say much without really saying anything at all. Let me tell you what most of his talks end up like. He pretty much never mentions sin. He starts out with how those suffering from same-sex attraction have been marginalized and treated badly by the big ol’ mean meanies in the Catholic Church and that they’re children made in the image and likeness of God. Yeah, no sowing of division there. Come on. He creates martyrs and then tells them what most in the Church have said time and again but with nothing said about lifestyle, celibacy and chastity. He focuses on celibacy for a very good reason but leaves chastity in the dust. He never tells people to struggle against sin, so people get the idea that sodomy and masturbation are on par with lying about your weight on your driver’s license. Seriously! Find me a link where he doesn’t do just that.
Since my permission is not at the same time an endorsement, The A.D. Times is not accepting advertisement for this event in our diocesan newspaper. However, the Jesuit Center may reach out to you with a proposed bulletin announcement regarding this Conference. I leave it your pastoral judgment as to its inclusion in your local parish bulletin.
Insane. Your permission is your permission. You can’t see a problem with this? What if I, say, permitted my kids already struggling with the faith to hang out with the atheists? What am I to say when they follow them? “Well, I didn’t endorse them becoming atheists!” And, of course, you have given your permission to put in in their Church bulletins. No endorsement of authentic Catholicism there. Clearly authentic Catholicism isn’t required.
Please know of my prayers for your pastoral work and for your personal priestly life as together we seek to do God’s Will of feeding the flock of Christ entrusted to us.
Fraternally yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Alfred A. Schlert Bishop of Allentown
Pastoral? You’re not even be pastoral in this Martin debacle. Like I said, the Pontius Pilate move isn’t going to get you very far.
Dear bishops inclined to take the same tactics, it’s up to you but you’re simply throwing the sheep to the wolves to avoid bad press and many of us know it.
Please drop Bishop Schlert a note, tweet, or make a call. I’d give you an email address but he, apparently, doesn’t want to make it too easy on people to get a hold of him. I encourage all of you in the Allentown Diocese to take a stand. Your diocese has been hit particularly hard in so many areas. It’s not going to stop until you demand it.
OFFICE OF THE BISHOP
4029 W. Tilghman St.
P.O. Box F
Allentown, PA 18105-1538
Phone: (610) 437-0755
Fax: (610) 433-7822
I’ve been watching Fr. Martin’s wailing and gnashing of teeth on twitter over this one. https://www.kansascity.com/living/religion/article227148974.html
Before we look at the situation in Kansas, let’s just take a gander at James Martin, SJ’s tweet on the situation and highlight his lack of logic.
This is baloney. There are all sorts of parents who do not conform to Catholic teaching and whose children are enrolled in Catholic schools: divorced and remarried parents, divorced parents, parents who use birth control, parents who use IVF, etc. As well as parents who do not conform to the deeper Catholic teachings of following the Gospels overall, and who fail to forgive, fail to love their enemies and fail to give to the poor. The only Catholic teachings that seem to matter are those applying to LGBT people and their sexual morality. In this case, these rules are being applied selectively and used to target LGBT people specifically, as well as punishing the child. They are an example of what the Catechism calls “unjust discrimination” against LGBT people.
Can anyone tell me why this isn’t unjust discrimination? Anyone? Oh, let me.
When you see a heterosexual pair present themselves as little Johnny’s parents, do you know if they are divorced and remarried? Do you know if they use birth control? Do you know if they have used IVF? Do you know if they’ve failed to forgive, failed to love their enemies, failed to give to the poor? Nope.
Now, when you see a same-sex pair present themselves as little Johnny’s dads or moms, can you tell there’s something wrong without knowing a single thing more? Yep.
Fr. Martin is insisting that public and private sins are the same, but they are not. A kindergartner isn’t going to look at a heterosexual pair holding hands with each other, giving each other a kiss, etc., and know they’re not married unless somebody tells them. This is not the same with a same-sex couple. And I’m talking REAL marriage as the Church defines it, since we are talking Catholic school kids.
Fr. Martin is all too on board with having Catholic schools completely set up to either fail or be overwhelmed them with drama and lawsuits. His goal is to fill the schools with homosexual couples and their children, and should they be rejected, he’ll use them as martyrs.
Has anyone pointed out what will happen when a school accepts children of same-sex couples and dares to teach Catholicism?! The liberals have. They will then have ready-made martyrs, because how in the heck is that going to make the child of lesbian parents feel? But who is really doing the martyring? Talk about subjecting your child to pain. Of course, it’s just priming the whole system for lawsuits.
Archbishop Naumann was either going to pay now or pay later. He chose to pay now and protect the rest of the students from scandal, as well as protect this child from the inevitable ill-feelings they are going to have hearing that their two dads’ lifestyle goes against the teachings of the Church. It’s super sad for little Johnny to be the child of a same-sex couple, pure and simple. This is why the Church opposes both IVF and “gay adoption.” Inevitably, the child will be harmed, but it’s not by the Church. That is not the fault of the other students in the class nor the Catholic Church. It is from insisting on having little Johnny attend a school that runs counter to his home life. That is selfish of the parents, not the rest of the world.
JoCo Catholic school bans gay couple’s kindergartner. Hundreds of parents protest
BY KATY BERGEN
UPDATED MARCH 07, 2019 06:53 PM
A Prairie Village Roman Catholic grade school this year denied enrollment to a kindergartner who is the child of a same-sex couple. Now almost 1,000 people have signed a petition asking church leaders to reconsider.
The petition over St. Ann Catholic School on Mission Road is addressed to Archbishop Joseph Naumann and school Superintendent Kathy O’Hara. About half of the people who signed it are members of St. Ann.
The members of St. Ann’s apparently aren’t catechized very well, or else they’ve simply allowed their heart-strings to be tugged and haven’t thought of the outcome of allowing a child of a same-sex couple into their school. If you think it’s sad that a child can’t attend a school, imagine how sad it will be when the child is forced to hear Catholic teaching. The horrors! I mean, how dare a Catholic school teach the Catholic truth if it’s going to upset a child! The school, upon admission, would simply be forced to give up their Catholic identity. Certainly, all children must be denied the truth of the Catholic Church because we must make sure that no child is ever sad about their family situation!
“Respectfully, we believe that the decision to deny a child of God access to such a wonderful community and education, based on the notion that his or her parent’s union is not in accordance with the Church’s teaching in Sacramental marriage, lacks the compassion and mercy of Christ’s message,” the petition reads.
You know what goes against the teachings of the Catholic Church? Not telling someone the truth because their feelings might be hurt! It’s not a “notion that his or her parent’s union is not in accordance with the Church’s teaching on Sacramental marriage.” It’s a FACT! Telling someone that life is just peachy when it’s not is where the lack of compassion comes in. The compassionate one here is the archdiocese in sticking to their guns and avoiding an increasing conflict.
But in a statement to The Star on Wednesday, O’Hara said the “Church’s teaching on marriage is clear and is not altered by the laws of civil society.” Catholic doctrine recognizes marriage “as a sacrament entered into between a man and woman.
“The Church teaches that individuals with same sex attraction should be treated with dignity,” the statement read. “However, the challenge regarding same sex couples and our Catholic schools is that same sex parents cannot model behaviors and attitudes regarding marriage and sexual morality consistent with essential components of the Church’s teachings.”
Amen, Kathy O’Hara! It’s just another instance of scandalizing children. Just because the parents are going to do what they are going to do and put their child in a miserable situation doesn’t mean the archdiocese has to be blackmailed into scandalizing anyone else.
Many parents learned of the decision last month, when St. Ann’s pastor, the Rev. Craig J. Maxim, sent a letter home to families.
Maxim told them he had sought guidance from the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas when the same-sex couple asked to enroll their child in kindergarten this year. He wrote that the school must adhere to the archdiocese on the “application of Church doctrine.
The archdiocese advised against accepting the child, he said, because the parents could not “model behaviors and attitudes consistent with the Church’s teachings.”
This creates a conflict for those children and what is experienced at home,” Maxim wrote. “It also could become a source of confusion for other school children.”
Again, duh! Anyone with a heart doesn’t want their child to be the center of conflict. Sadly, parents who want to be social justice warriors tend to never have their children’s best interests at heart. They are simply pawns. If these parents truly cared about their children, they might have considered that there would be a problem and have enrolled their child in some other private school that agreed with them so their children wouldn’t ever have to hear that their parent’s lifestyle was a sin, but no. They chose to try to enroll their child in a school where they KNEW the core teachings were in conflict with their lifestyle. So please, save it. The only villain here is the couple who’s probably just trying to bring a personal injury lawsuit and bank the cash.
While some dioceses across the country allow children of same-sex parents, the local archdiocese’s stance applies to all of its schools.
Again, thank you, Archnishop Naumann!
The petition against the decision, which was written and circulated this month by another couple, points out that the school already accepts students who are not Catholic. It also asked the archdiocese to consider the many ways — including divorce, vasectomies, remarriage without annulment and fertility treatment — that “modern marriages may be inconsistent with the Church’s teaching.”
Well, somebody has been advised by Fr. James Martin. No, you don’t get to play this lame card. There’s a difference between a private sin and a public sin. Heck, every parent is the school is a sinner, right? You’re a sinner. I’m a sinner. I don’t walk around saying, “Accept my sin or you’re a great big meanie!” That’s exactly what’s going on here, though. Some of us have a conscience and feel shame. We don’t walk around bragging about our sins, but this couple has ZERO problem with it. In fact, they chose to compound it by scandalizing a child.
Maxim directed requests for comment to O’Hara. But he wrote to parishioners and school families that he had been “distressed over the division this sensitive and complex issue has caused within our school and church.
“These parishioners and I plan to continue dialog with each other and the Archdiocese,” Maxim wrote. “This is not an attempt to undermine Church doctrine but to find common understanding to meet the ever-changing landscape of our society.”
I have no idea where the pastor is going here. The only common understanding that can be reached to allow this child to attend is for the parents to no longer live as a couple and join the rest of us in struggling against our attachment to sin. Once we move into the “Yep, I’m a sinner, accept my sin!” mode, the archdiocese can’t accept that.
Nationwide, other Catholic dioceses have grappled with questions over how much — if at all — they should adapt to changing attitudes about gay marriage and gay clergy.
Last year, a priest on Hilton Head Island would not allow the children of a married lesbian couple to enroll in Catholic school, prompting backlash from other parents and calls of discrimination. That diocese, based in Charleston, S.C., did not have a policy for children of same-sex couples and left enrollment decisions up to individual priests.
Yeah, that’s totally wrong. The archdiocese should be Catholic and they should back their priests and guide them with an official policy.
In Massachusetts after a similar incident, the Archdiocese of Boston ultimately approved a policy saying Catholic schools would not exclude “any categories of students.”
I wouldn’t expect anything different from the Archdiocese of Boston. They’ve been a mess forever.
Pope Francis has also signaled a willingness for the church to expand the conversation on LGBTQ members, even as it opposes gay marriage.
“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” he famously said in 2013.
Taken out of context again, as usual. Still, there is no problem with conversing with anyone. There is a problem acquiescing to sin.
The news from St. Ann comes one week after another denomination, the United Methodist Church, found itself divided over religious doctrine and the drive to become more inclusive.
That church voted at a worldwide conference to strengthen its ban on same-sex marriage and the ordination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender clergy. The decision led several Kansas City-area church leaders — including Adam Hamilton of Leawood’s Church of the Resurrection, the largest Methodist church in the country — to talk of breaking off from the group.
Presbyterian and Episcopal church leaders have faced similar divisions.
Good for them. And, when you dissent from your church you really should go start your own group instead of suing like crazy in hopes of breaking the bank and getting your way.
The archdiocese’s statement said it “respects that some may disagree with essential elements of our moral teaching,” and indicated that it would remain firm in its stance.
We do not feel it is respectful of such individuals, nor is it fair, loving or compassionate to place their children in an education environment where the values of the parents and the core principles of the school conflict,” it read. “For these reasons, the Archdiocese has advised against the admission into our Catholic schools of children of same sex unions.”
See? They thought it through and considered the best interest of ALL the children. This is what should be done in every diocese of the entire world. Put the children first! How hard of a concept is this? Stop using the children as your poker chip in a social justice game. If you don’t buy the doctrines of the Church, don’t send your kid to a Catholic school and expect the school just to give you thumbs up on scandalizing children.
I’m sure any diocese that instills this policy will face lawsuits. Guess what? You’re in a no-win situation, bishops and cardinals. You will likely be sued if you do (assuming you’re planning on actually teaching Catholicism, which will make little Johnny sad because his parents don’t care if he feels bad as long as they can win their little game) and sued if you don’t. At least in the former scenario, thousands of other kids are kept from being scandalized.
So, one more time, we’re talking public sin versus private sin. If you’re willing to expose your children to your personal sins and champion them as if they are good, yeah, think about another school to send your kids to and stop acting as if the religious organization who runs the school is evil because they follow their doctrines.
Please take the time to drop Archbishop Naumann a line of support.
Fr. James Martin, S.J.: To be a saint, just be who you are
James Martin, S.J.
February 08, 2019
Geez! All this time I thought to be happy with God in Heaven, I had to know Him, love Him, and serve Him! So glad to find out I just had to be me. Easy peasy!
Honestly, it’s in the little things where Fr. James Martin, LGBTQSJ, always seems to lead people astray. It’s a really subtle betrayal: a quote out of context, a misquote, a slight mischaracterization, moral ambiguity, incomplete teachings, etc. “The devil is in the details” explains it perfectly when it comes to Fr. Martin.
First, let’s look at the title and theme of this little piece: “To be a saint, just be who you are”. Wrong. I’m sure that Charles Manson was THE BEST Charles Manson anyone could be. I bet Kermit Gosnell was THE BEST Kermit Gosnell he could be. The problem is that these two men were/are evil. They never understood self-denial, putting God first, or love. They understood hate, death, and murder. Would you ever tell these two, “To be a saint, just be who you are.”?! Please.
Last week, we talked about the saints as both our patrons and our companions. They both pray for us from their posts in heaven and serve as our models. But sometimes people feel that the saints are so far away from them, that their ways of life are unattainable, and so they couldn’t possibly be their models. People say, “Oh, I could never be Mother Teresa and work in a hospice in Calcutta and take care of the sick and dying!” But of course you’re not meant to do exactly what Mother Teresa did, or even be who Mother Teresa was. Now, you might be called to work with the poor, and maybe in a slum, and maybe even in India, but you’re not called to do it exactly like her. You’re not supposed to be Mother Teresa.
You won’t hear me say this often about Martin, but I agree completely. We tend to say, “I can’t be like that so I won’t try to do anything.” All saints were different. They weren’t all called to do things the same way but the end game and means to get there were the same. They took up their crosses, they denied themselves (aka avoided sin), and truly loved.
But here’s where the wheels come completely off. This is what Fr. Martin does best: he spreads a bit of truth and then completely twists it.
Too often we short circuit God’s plans for our own holiness by comparing ourselves to some other saint or saying that we can’t possibly be a saint in our own daily lives. People say, “I’m just a student.” “I’m just a teacher.” “I’m just a grandparent.” But you’re not “just” anything, because God has created you as a beautiful and unique person. So you’re called to be a saint in your own way. As the Trappist monk Thomas Merton said, “For me to be a saint means to be myself.” So maybe it’s time to stop trying to be like someone else. Stop looking at someone else’s roadmap to holiness. Because all the directions you have are inside your heart. As St. Francis de Sales said, “Be who you are and be that perfectly well.
First of all, I looked around for the quote from St. Francis de Sales. I found it in a few places, but Martin’s quote seems rather misworded and out of context from the original. If someone can find these words in context from St. Francis de Sales, please feel free to share, but this is what I found when trying to find this quote anywhere. From this quote below, you can see Fr. Martin’s usual tactics in play.
Don’t sow your desires in someone else’s garden; just cultivate your own as best you can; don’t long to be other than what you are, but desire to be thoroughly what you are. Direct your thoughts to being very good at that and to bearing the crosses, little or great, that you will find there. Believe me, this is the most important and least understood point to the spiritual life. We all love according to what is our taste; few people like what is according to their duty or to God’s liking. What is the use of building castles in Spain when we have to live in France? ~St. Francis de Sales
Hmmm… Fr. Martin seems to have omitted a key part of the super cool quote he found in wikiquotes. Let’s look at it one more time:
Believe me, this is the most important and least understood point to the spiritual life. We all love according to what is our taste; few people like what is according to their duty or to God’s liking.
Even the quote given by Fr. Martin from Thomas Merton is severely lacking the context which was all too important. For my readers, it comes from his description of our true self compared to the false self, in “New Seeds of Contemplation.”
For me to be a saint means to be myself.
Here’s the whole shebangg. (Source picked for accurate context and nothing else. Don’t know anything about them.)
And here’s the quote surrounding Fr. Martin’s cherry-picked quote, and as you can see, his soundbites are hugely deceptive, as usual:
We are not very good at recognizing illusions, least of all the ones we cherish most about ourselves—the ones we are born and raised with and which feed the roots of sin. For most of the people in the world, there is no greater subjective reality than this false self of theirs, which cannot exist. A life devoted to maintaining and expanding this false self, this shadow, is what is called a life of sin.
All sin starts from the assumption that my false self, the self that exists only in my own egocentric desires, is the fundamental reality of life around which everything else in the universe is ordered. Thus I use up my life in the desire for pleasures and the thirst for experiences, for power, honor, knowledge, feeling loved, in order to clothe this false self and construct its nothingness into something objectively real. And I wind experiences around myself and cover myself with pleasures and glory like bandages in order to make myself perceptible to myself and to the world, as if I were an invisible body that could only become visible when something visible covered its surface.
To be a saint means to be my true self. Therefore the problem of sanctity and salvation is in fact the problem of finding out who I truly am and of discovering my true self, my essence or core.
For a priest who seems to claim Merton a hero, Fr. Martin, LGBTQSJ, sure promotes a misread of him. “God made you this way!” is his favorite message to those suffering from same-sex attraction. Seriously, leaving out the distinction of true self and false self is crucial, yet Fr. Martin CONSTANTLY contradicts this teaching of Merton by teaching everyone that we are our sins and proclivities, i.e., LGTBQSJ Catholic. He encourages people to embrace their “false self.” To be a saint, according to Merton, you need to be your “real self.”
To become a saint is to learn to love and sacrifice DESPITE ourselves. Fr. Martin, you were on track when you said not to compare your life to, say, Mother Teresa and throw in the towel because you are not there. However, you were so wrong when you said that being yourself is good enough. That’s kind of arrogant. You could have really said something valuable if you honestly quoted St. Francis de Sales. Here’s a gem:
It is not those who commit the least faults who are the most holy, but those who have the greatest courage, the greatest generosity, the greatest love, who make the boldest efforts to overcome themselves, and are not immediately apprehensive about tripping.
Now that’s the real untwisted St. Francis de Sales. So, just as a recap. Fr. Martin is saying that we ARE the sum total of our sins and proclivities which, as usual, is wrong. We are made in the image and likeness of God. God is not sin and proclivities. If you really were a fan of Thomas Merton or St. Francis de Sales, you wouldn’t quote them out of context. It’s simply a dishonest twisting of their teaching.