This Beautiful Week in Review

I’ve started about five articles in the past week, but all seemed a bit passé two seconds after the final edit was done.  (Sorry to my editor!) There’s been rapid fire goodness and I just couldn’t keep up!  In short, it’s been a very good week in the faith. Why? Well, it’s certainly not because everyone is getting it right.  It’s because people are correcting what is wrong.  Here are some of the great articles of the week. (Sorry if I missed any.)

On the topic of Cardinal Blase Cupich’s errors and, apparently, the buzz phrase talking points all good liberals are repeating – “paradigm shift”:

https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2018/02/21/cardinal-cupichs-revolutionary-conscience/

https://www.crisismagazine.com/2018/cardinal-cupich-misreads-vatican-ii-conscience

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2018/02/16/worried-about-cardinal-cupichs-paradigm-shift-just-stick-to-the-teaching-of-the-church/#.WocU2t4Kxoc.twitter

https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2018/02/16/cupich-and-conscience/

http://www.catholicworldreport.com/2018/02/16/those-cupich-seminars-why-now/

https://www.crisismagazine.com/2018/cardinal-cupichs-modernist-view-family#.WocgnO-Smqk.facebook

http://www.catholicworldreport.com/2018/02/15/on-cardinal-cupichs-problematic-convenient-conscience/

https://www.crisismagazine.com/2018/clarity-cardinal-cupich#.WoRjnrkvhIQ.facebook

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2018/02/14/cardinal-cupich-lecture/

And, of course, all these articles point to the fact that Cardinal Cupich is THE last guy who should ever be doing this: http://www.catholicworldreport.com/2018/02/12/cardinal-cupich-launches-amoris-laetitia-seminars-for-us-bishops/

I’m hoping with these next two items, that we’ll move on to “Rebuke Fr. Martin Week” or “Rebuke Cardinal Mahoney Year”.  My preference? Let’s go with Martin now that one of his heroes (Cardinal Roger “Religious Education Congress” Mahony) has crawled back into the hole from whence he came.  It might have been nice if he had never been invited, but then again, I’m sure that some were hoping the Chile scandal would never come to light and remind us all what Cardinal Mahony did during his tenure.

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/disgraced-cardinal-cancels-appearance-representing-pope-after-locals-vow-to

https://dwightlongenecker.com/correcting-fr-james-martin/

Last week’s spotlight on Cardinal Cupich should be the norm for these guys leading souls into error.  I was thrilled to see it.  Sunlight is a great disinfectant, as they say.  For too long, the Catholic world took the “If we ignore them, they might go away!” attitude.  Up to now, the liberals have been encouraged, and clearly, they’ve got a Rolodex of writers, albeit really bad ones, in their back pockets.  The secular people LOVE scandal and they love it no place better than the Catholic Church, so they will gladly eat up the goop given to them by the Martin Minions.

Honestly, while some were offended at Faggioli’s “Cyber Militia” comment, I was thinking “I soooooo want to be in that club.  It’s about darn time!”  If I had to guess, there’s probably some cyber meetings going on right now about how to go forth after the ridiculous barrage of articles that came when poor old Fr. James Martin, SJ, spontaneously combusted (But he’s at peace. Really, he is.) a few weeks back over one more cancellation notch in the Catholic Cyber Militia’s belt.  If so, yay for finally organizing.  Every little comment should be met with a swift correction.

Lastly, I saw this.  Let the whining and crying resume!

whiningtony

Rather than war on Pope Francis, I think they represent a “total war” on Fr. Spadaro, Cardinal Cupich, and all of the other little minions roaming the world seeking the ruin of souls.  Make no mistake, Tony Annett, it is a battle we’re in. If you think we’re dropping the armor because YOU call for an interdict, guess again.  We couldn’t care less about your silly characterizations. You want to call it a war?  BRING IT ON! This isn’t a jockeying for position in the hierarchy of the Church for us.  It’s for the souls of our children.  Again, BRING. IT. ON!

Keep pouring on the disinfectant, fellow militia members.  The bacteria definitely needs a major beat back!  Forward!  Forward and forward again!  That’s something we can all do.

#MeetTheLaity #CatholicCyberMilitia

 

 

 

 

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What Color is the Pill You’re Taking?

Bahaha!  This is gonna be good! I’m gonna pop some popcorn and watch the fireworks. Methinks Fr. Martin has called in some favors after his latest dis-invite.  I have a whole other piece on Fr. Martin awaiting an edit but I could not help but jump on this one when a reader sent it to me.

Meet the Blogger Priest Firing Red Pills At the Vatican

Posted on February 1, 2018, at 11:17 a.m.

 Joseph Bernstein

BuzzFeed News Reporter

Last January, a Catholic asked a priest for spiritual guidance. Upset by the progressive direction Pope Francis has taken the church since his election in 2013, the person wondered whether it was a sin to pray for the pontiff to abdicate, or even, to die.

“No,” the priest, Father John Zuhlsdorf, replied. “It is not necessarily sinful to pray for the end of a pontificate, one way or another … Popes come and go. In our prayers, we can, without sinning, discuss with God about His time table.”

It’s polite to put <snip> in there when you cut out something this BIG.  So here’s how it really went:

“Given the rate things are going for this current pontificate, would it be sinful to pray that, if it be God’s will, that the pope either abdicates or dies and a new pope of a more conservative leaning is elected?”

I get this often.

No.  It is not necessarily sinful to pray for the end of a pontificate, one way or another.

However, it depends on why and on your attitude.  I urge people not to have hate in their hearts for the person of the Holy Father.  He deserves our prayers.  That doesn’t mean that we have to like him or what he does.  We do NOT worship the Pope.  Popes come and go.  In our prayers, we can, without sinning, discuss with God about His time table.

Just a wee bit different sentiment.

It’s no secret that the Jesuit pope has angered conservative Catholics with his criticism of the church’s fixation on abortion, same-sex marriage, and birth control; and with his promotion of progressive pastors. But still, it was a shocking answer — an ordained Catholic priest sanctioning prayer for the untimely death of Christ’s earthly representative.

Dear Buzzfeed guy and moral theologian, please tell me exactly how this goes against Church teaching.  And, btw, adding “untimely” is all you.  Let’s say a person says “Hey God!  It’s getting kind of scary down here.  If the Holy Father is blowing it, can you please open his eyes or close them?” Where is the lack of charity in that?  Wouldn’t this person be praying for God’s will to be done?

It is not necessarily sinful to pray for the end of a pontificate, one way or another.

And?  I’m still waiting for the BuzzFeed moral theologian to answer us.  Surely there has been more times in history where someone felt the current pope was hurting the Church.  Surely Mr. BuzzFeed knows there were some pretty bad popes out there.   Of course, after you read the rest, you might come to the conclusion he doesn’t know much.

What was even more shocking: This conversation didn’t happen in a confession booth or a rectory. Fr. Z, as he’s known, posted the exchange on his blog to a devoted readership of many thousands. He had pulled the question from his email. He chose to answer it publicly.

Shockers of shockers!  He says in public what he would advise in private.  What’s the point here?

And though he would later apologize for angering readers, a year later, he hasn’t changed his answer.

I think Fr. Z is a litte more worried about other things than angering readers.

“Frankly,” Fr. Z told BuzzFeed News, “It’s not a sin.”

Well, Mr. BuzzFeed moral theologian?  Is it a sin?  Do tell. Some may not feel comfortable with it but the question is, is it a sin?  You seem to be saying “yes” but you also have skipped a lot and around in your quoting of Fr. Z.

The 58-year-old, Madison, Wisconsin–based Fr. Z is a leader in the thriving online community of conservative American Catholics who have used the Trump era to ratchet up their criticism of what they perceive to be a liberal Church establishment, and liberal culture in general. Fr. Z, who has over 40,000 Twitter followers, considers the 12-year-old blog, What Does the Prayer Really Say, his ministry. The site, which Fr. Z told BuzzFeed News is the largest English language Catholic blog run by an individual, has received more than 85 million visits since 2006, per Statcounter. According to Father Z, What Does the Prayer Really Say gets more than a million unique visitors a year.

Is her arguing with the stats?  Not sure what the point is but then he goes onto this which is complete commentary:

And it draws just as much from the gospel of Roger Ailes as it does Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John — a pro-Trump, anti-Francis hybrid of personal blog, Latin translation, Christian scholarship, scriptural interpretation, and Fox News. (A sidebar on the blog describes it as “a fusion of the Baroque ‘salon’ with its well-tuned harpsichord around which polite society gathered for entertainment and edification and, on the other hand, a Wild West “saloon” with its out-of-tune piano and swinging doors, where everyone has a gun and something to say.”) Together with sites like Church Militant, a kind of Catholic-themed Breitbart that the Church has officially distanced itself from, Fr. Z is waging an online culture war that is deeply informed by the greater American political context.

And this is how I know this guy likely knows Fr. James Martin SJ. It’s no secret that Fr. Martin is a bit upset about his dis-invites from various institutions.  He’s waged war on his Twitter feed and I’m thinking this is his next step.  He wants the faithful Catholic blogosphere silenced.

“They think the liberal Catholic establishment must be dismantled,” said Massimo Faggioli, a professor of theology at Villanova University. “And anything that can get to that goal is fine.”

Really?  Anything Massimo?  How about bloggers like us just call it like we see it?  Every once in awhile the “liberal Catholic establishment” (I thought it the “faithful Catholic establishment” that mattered but that might be just me.) gets it right.  Personally, I have actually given Fr. Martin kudos for his comments on the unborn.  Yes, I have to question his motives for doing so but, well, yay!  When he spews the ridiculous and ambiguous that leads people into, say,  sodomy, I’ll comment on that too.  So, Massimo, while your goal may be to win “it” for the liberal Catholics, some of us are trying to win souls with truth.

 Indeed, the sometimes shockingly antagonistic attitude of Fr. Z and his ilk toward the Vatican and liberal culture has invited comparisons to the alt-right, another group obsessed with waging a culture war against a supposedly liberal bureaucracy. Fr. Z, for his part, says he’s part of a “brutal” polemical tradition in the Catholic church that dates back millenia. More broadly, the popularity of Fr. Z’s blog and the power of his online following suggests that in 2018, even the longest-lasting institution in the Western world isn’t immune to the strains of the social internet.

Sorry, sweetie.  We’re sarcastic.  Deal.  While Fr. Z is sometimes really “in your face” he’s not trying to take down the “longest-lasting institution in the Western world.”  He’s trying to defend it.

“Thanks in no small part to the online world, the degree of open criticism of the Pope and church hierarchy is far greater than ever before,” said Mark Silk, the director of the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life. “It would have astonished people 50 years ago.”

 Well, isn’t it shocking that Mark Silk had something to say about Fr. Martin’s being dis-invited to events?  https://religionnews.com/2017/09/25/religious-cyber-vigilantism-on-the-rise/ Duh!  You guys might want to keep your connections a bit more distant.  If you doubt the Fr. Martin connection with this Fr. Z hit piece, please put on your independent thinking cap.

“The comparisons with the alt-right are loose. There’s no direct connection between Fr. Z and that movement, which he told BuzzFeed News he had to Google when it was first applied to him. The alt-right, which draws on the reflexive atheism of message board culture and dabbles in the forms of neo-paganism associated with white nationalism, has no coherent stance on religion. Much of the alt-right is ambivalent, if not supportive, of homosexuality, which Fr. Z has called “unnatural” and “disordered.” (Oh for heaven’s sake.  Bothered to read the teachings of the Catholic Church, Mr. Buzzfeed?) Fr. Z has explicitly condemned anti-Semitism, which has dogged various factions of the alt-right (as well as the schismatic Catholic right.) And the comments under his blog posts are far from a Breitbartian vortex of invective; there are often long and thoughtful — albeit extremely conservative — discussions of faith, ritual, history, and bourbon.”

Oh ho!  “Fr. Z has no obvious connections to alt-right groups but we’re going to mention it just so you put the two in the same sentence.”  Can you say “Jumping the shark?!”

Wait for it!

But Fr. Z’s tone, politics, and tactics bring to mind the online mobs of Trump supporters who helped turn the current moment so divisive. Rhetorically, he’s a creature as much of the comment section as the canon, having honed his blogging style since the early 1990s, when he moderated CompuServe’s Catholic forum. He regularly rails against “libs,” “edgy social justice figures” and the “homosexualist agenda.” He has coined Trumpian epithets for his adversaries, referring to the progressive National Catholic Reporter as “fishwrap” and the “National Sodomitical Reporter” and liberal Catholics as the “Red Guard.” He casts himself as a defender of Western civilization and culture; In a recent post, he encouraged followers to buy Defeating Jihad, by the far-right former Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka. And his blog links to a webstore where he sells mugs and T-shirts reading “Holy Mass: Turn Towards the Lord Again” in the ubiquitous #MAGA font and color scheme.

Sorry. I cannot stop snickering.  “He has no connection to the alt-right peeps but he does!”  BTW, I’m for defeating Jihad too.  And the Fishwrap?  Many of us call it that and, guess what?  I didn’t even vote for Trump.  Some things are just common sense.  I also call it the National Catholic Distorter, National catholic Reporter, and probably ten other things. Whaaa!

Also, his critics say, he has rallied his followers to carry out harassment and no-platforming campaigns that directly recall the alt-right. In September 2017, in a post entitled “Should a seminary headline a homosexualist activist as a speaker?” Fr. Z alerted his audience to an upcoming speech by the progressive Jesuit priest Rev. James Martin at Catholic University, shortly after the publication of a new book by Martin urging dialogue between the Church and LGBT Catholics. Following Fr. Z’s post, and denunciations by other popular conservative Catholic and schismatic websites, Martin became the target of an online harassment campaign, including threats of violence. And two days after Fr. Z’s post, Catholic withdrew its invitation to Martin, citing “increasing negative feedback from various social media sites.”

“For me the saddest thing about Father Z’s blog is how cruel it is,” Martin told BuzzFeed News. “It’s astonishing to me that a priest could traffic in such cruelty and hatred.”

AND HERE’S WHAT THE WHOLE ARTICLE IS REALLY ABOUT.  Seriously, Fr. Martin has to turn to BuzzFeed because he’s never going to find a FAITHFUL CATHOLIC site to go after Fr. Z.  Honestly, I like to comment as I read but you could see this coming from the beginning of this piece.   Sadly, Fr. James Martin is in such a tail-spin he’s getting desperate.

So please, Mr. Buzzfeed, you’ve make a whole lot of accusations here.  Let’s see the harassment and violence threats.  Sure you must have nice screen captures of them.  I mean, I’m still holding onto Fr. Martin’s totally loving tweet:

 martinhater

Put up or shut up, Mr. BuzzFeed.

Fr. Z told BuzzFeed News that it was not his intention to sic the Zedheads — as he affectionately calls his readers — on Martin, and added that though he did not think it was appropriate for Martin to speak, he, too, had been disinvited from similar engagements for his views.

“I don’t whine about it though,” said Fr. Z. “This isn’t bean bag.”

What?!  No martyr complex?  All the priests have them.

Indeed, Fr. Z’s response to liberal priests who object to his rhetoric is, more or less, Snowflake! In 2014, he told the Jesuit magazine America, “No one forces anyone else to get involved online. If we are going to descend onto the sands of the arena, we had better buckle it on … the notion that everyone has to play verbal patty cake all the time is a rather new idea, both in the church and in the public square.”

EXACTLY!  We’ve all been called “haters” by Fr. Martin, Rosica and Reese at one point or another and we simply laugh because, well, we’re faithful Catholics. Christ was hung a cross and we should whine and cry about being, what, flogged on the internet? Boo hoo!

And Fr. Z buckles it on in the public square with astonishing frequency. In December 2017, Fr. Z posted 141 times, an average of 4.5 posts a day. His detractors are quick to point out the irregularity of his priestly circumstances. Though Fr. Z lives in and blogs from Madison, he was incardinated — basically, given the right to perform the duties of a priest — in an Italian diocese. That, according to several church sources, is highly unusual. Though Fr. Z has faculties in the Madison diocese, his blog comprises the vast majority of his ministry.

Really?  We’re going to go there?  I’m sorry, have you checked Fr. Martin’s Twitter feed?  And what the heck does “Italian” have to do with absolutely anything?  You better batten down the hatches, Mr. BuzzFeed.  I’m relatively sure you’re going to hear from my Italian brothers and sisters in just a sec.

All of this has given Fr. Z the image of a rogue blogger-priest, accountable to an obscure authority, firing red pills from his digital pulpit at a hidebound institution that is unprepared to deal with the new age of online dissent.

Why can’t I get a cool nickname like “rogue blogger-priest?”  Jealous.

Dear Mr. BuzzFeed, you are really a patsy.  You might want learn just a smidgen more about the man before you listen to Fr. Martin.  I’m really starting to feel a bit sorry for you now.  I do believe even Fr. Martin’s cohort publication, America Magazine, has done a better job of researching Fr. Z. https://www.americamagazine.org/content/all-things/catholic-blogosphere-qa-father-john-zuhlsdorf

“Our assumption used to be that [the internet] was a new community, a new way of becoming connected,” said Faggioli, who added that the Church has no regulations to deal with internet priests. “We now know that it has fostered new kinds of divisions. These Catholic blogs play a very important role in this. They tend to speak to a particular kind of audience, against a particular kind of church.”

Um, Massimo, I’m sure there’s some sort of mirror in your house.  Please look into it every once in awhile.

And thanks to the reach of the internet and social media, the message of what Mark Silk called “religious entrepreneurs,” like Fr. Z, can find and consolidate a politically and culturally homogenous audience in a way a parish priest never could.

It’s a point not lost on Fr. Z, who sees himself in a tradition of Christian leaders evangelizing through technology. (A tradition that includes Martin Luther, who could not have spread the seeds of Protestantism without the printing press, but also Father Coughlin, who used the radio in the 1930s to spread his fascist political beliefs to tens of millions of listeners from the tower of the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Detroit.)

Oh my gosh!  Is Mr. BuzzFeed serious? The innuendos abound!  How many time can you say “He’s a Nazi but I’m not saying that!” in one piece.  LOL!  

“The church has always made use of the best means of communication,” Fr. Z told BuzzFeed News. “I’m one little guy, but this blog is my force amplifier.”

That force multiplier has allowed Fr. Z to turn What Does the Prayer Really Say into an enterprise. For the spiritual and cultural succor on offer, many of the blog’s readers donate money — on both one-off and monthly subscription bases — and Fr. Z invites them to lavish him with gifts. In exchange for a monthly subscription, Fr. Z wrote in 2015, “you wind up regularly on my list of benefactors for whom I pray.” And the second widget from the top on the blog’s sidebar, below only a search box, is a plea for readers to do their Amazon shopping through his affiliate link.”

The practice has drawn critics, who say that soliciting money directly from his readers inappropriately insulates Fr. Z from Church pressure. But in the context of internet publishing, even on Fr. Z’s low-tech blog, it’s on trend. From YouTube stars to writers crowdfunding projects, content creators across a range of internet media are finding that a devoted audience can support a subscription model. And who is more devoted than a group of parishioners?

And?  Fr. Martin hocks a bunch of bad books and has multiple organizations backing him in his pocket.  Oh, yeah, I forgot.  All of Fr. Martin’s money goes to the Jesuits and he practically lives in a homeless shelter. Please.

“I’m a free market guy,” Fr. Z told BuzzFeed News. “If I put something out there and people want to drop money in my hat, so be it.” He added that he’s not paid a salary by the church: “I kill what I eat.”

Oh, come on, Fr. Z!  Now you’re just baiting the anti-hunting crowd!

The subscriber model produces a fascinating question in the clerical context: If Fr. Z relies on the generosity of his audience, rather than the support of the Church, how much does he have to tell them what they want to hear?

So Mr. BuzzFeed is saying what?  It’s better to take money from the Church so that you’ll say whatever the people want you to say?  That’s quite a twisted logic.  How about you make your own money AND are a faithful priest?  Supposedly Fr. Martin is supported by the Jesuits.  How’s that working out for the Church?

Perhaps that explains his shifting perspective on Donald Trump. Though Fr. Z told BuzzFeed news that he’s not interested in politics, he blogs about national affairs regularly. In January 2016, during Republican primary debate season, Fr. Z approvingly reposted a blog by the conservative priest and cultural commentator Robert Sirico that compared Trump to a laxative and concluded that “I cannot figure out the alleged white-evangelical attraction to Trump.” As the general election got underway, Fr. Z found more and more to like about the GOP candidate, specifically that he recorded a video message for Catholics and was not Hillary Clinton, who he called “treasonous” and “the criminal candidate for the Part of Death.”

Yeah, I’m pretty sure many Catholics went with the lesser of the two evils approach. 

Since the election, Fr. Z has gathered signatures to thank President Trump for defunding “Big Business Abortion” — Planned Parenthood — contrasted Trump flatteringly with President Obama, whom he called “arrogance incarnate,” and most recently, posted President Trump’s remarks at January’s March for Life.

And this is because he raises his own support money?  Might it be, and I’m going out on a limb here Mr. BuzzFeed, because Trump defunded “Big Business Abortion” and spoke out for the unborn at the March for Life?  Oh, your right.  Got to be those donations he brings in.  (insert rolly eyes)

More surprisingly, Fr. Z seemed to endorse President Trump’s travel ban, a decision the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops called “un-Catholic” and protested with an amicus brief filed in the Supreme Court. It was a position that seemed to hew closer to Steve Bannon, the President’s former chief adviser, who has claimed that the Church favors illegal immigration because it has an economic interest, than to Church leadership. Indeed, in 2016, Pope Francis said that Trump’s position on immigration made him “not Christian.” And so Fr. Z found himself, a Catholic priest, warning his audience about the perils of letting immigrants into America, three days after he wrote that it wasn’t a sin to pray for the Pope to die.

Just going to point out, for what it’s worth, there aren’t actually any quotes here.

Said Faggioli, “Fr. Z is much more convinced about the Christian character of Donald Trump than of Pope Francis. That’s remarkable.”

Wow!  Can’t answer for Fr. Z on that one but, hello, you might think that Faggioli would have provided some quotes for that one!

I’m sure the Fr. Martin crowd is gleeful about this one but the rest of us are laughing at the audacity of the level of conjecture and insinuation found in this screed.  I suppose desperate times calls for desperate measures for some.

Here’s Hoping the Darkness is Dispelled!

Whoa!  Whoa!  Whoa!  What in the heck is happening?!  I’m sure that most of you saw the news but if you didn’t, here it is.

Fr. Weinandy’s note of explanation:

At the end of this past May I was in Rome to attend a meeting of the International Theological Commission, of which I am a member.  I stayed at Domus Sanctae Marthae.  Since I arrived early, I spent most of the Sunday afternoon prior to the meeting on Monday in Saint Peter’s praying in the Eucharistic Chapel.  I was praying about the present state of the Church and the anxieties I had about the present Pontificate.  I was beseeching Jesus and Mary, St. Peter and all of the saintly popes who are buried there to do something to rectify the confusion and turmoil within the Church today, a chaos and an uncertainty that I felt Pope Francis had himself caused.  I was also pondering whether or not I should write and publish something expressing my concerns and anxiety.  On the following Wednesday afternoon, at the conclusion of my meeting, I went again to St. Peter’s and prayed in the same manner.  That night I could not get to sleep, which is very unusual for me.  It was due to all that was on my mind pertaining to the Church and Pope Francis.  At 1:15 AM I got up and went outside for short time.  When I went back to my room, I said to the Lord: “If you want me to write something, you have to give me a clear sign.  This is what the sign must be.  Tomorrow morning I am going to Saint Mary Major’s to pray and then I am going to Saint John Lateran.  After that I am coming back to Saint Peter’s to have lunch with a seminary friend of mine.  During that interval, I must meet someone that I know but have not seen in a very long time and would never expect to see in Rome at this time.  That person cannot be from the United States, Canada or Great Britain.  Moreover, that person has to say to me in the course of our conversation, “Keep up the good writing!”

So, does ANYONE have a problem with his worry and actions thus stated?  I’m not sure a day has gone by in the last few months that someone in my Catholic world hasn’t asked, “What is going on?!?!?!?!”

So many times we just have to act on a wing and a prayer, and much more often than not we simply have to pray to the Holy Spirit and hope we get it right.  Quite frankly, I’m going to have to remember to put in some seriously detailed requests for validation after reading this.  Probably won’t get a sign like this, but you never know. Maybe I should have a little more faith that I will! Now, “Who is the sign really from?” will likely be the next question asked by those who don’t like Fr. Weinandy’s letter.  Whatever.  Again, all we can do is throw up a prayer and hope we got it right and I think that is what Fr. Weinandy did.

The next morning I did all of the above and by the time I met my seminarian friend for lunch what I had asked the Lord the following night was no longer in the forefront of my mind.  However, towards the end of the meal an archbishop appeared between two parked cars right in front of our table (we were sitting outside).  I had not seen him for over twenty years, long before he became an archbishop.  We recognized one another immediately.  What made his appearance even more unusual was that because of his recent personal circumstances I would never have expected to see him in Rome or anywhere else, other than in his own archdiocese.  (He was from none of the above mentioned countries.)  We spoke about his coming to Rome and caught up on what we were doing.  I then introduced him to my seminarian friend.  He said to my friend that we had met a long time ago and that he had, at that time, just finished reading my book on the immutability of God and the Incarnation.  He told my friend that it was an excellent book, that it helped him sort out the issue, and that my friend should read the book.  Then he turned to me and said: “Keep up the good writing.”

Asked for a sign, and taking him at face value, he got it!

In the light of Jesus fulfilling my demanding “sign,” I want to make two comments.  First, I decided to write Pope Francis a letter, which I intended then to publish unless he adequately addressed the issues I raised.  Almost two months after having received my letter, I did receive an acknowledgement from Vatican Secretariat of State informing me that the letter had been received.  This was simply an acknowledgement and not a response to my concerns.  Second, I find it significant that not only did the Lord fulfill my demand for a sign, but also did so in, what I believe, a very significant manner.  He accomplished it through an archbishop.  By utilizing an archbishop, I believe, that Jesus’ fulfillment of my request took on an apostolic mandate.

I have no way of validating whether he got the sign right or wrong, and neither can you or anyone else, for that matter.  It’s really between him and God.  I’m glad he gave the reason he made the decision, but really, those who are willing to accept the method he employed will. Those who hate it won’t accept it and will likely label his interpretation demonic, which is kind of ironic since I’m not too sure some of those folks actually believe in Satan.

On to the actual letter:

Fr.Weinandy’s letter to Pope Francis:

Your Holiness,

I write this letter with love for the Church and sincere respect for your office.  You are the Vicar of Christ on earth, the shepherd of his flock, the successor to St. Peter and so the rock upon which Christ will build his Church.  All Catholics, clergy and laity alike, are to look to you with filial loyalty and obedience grounded in truth.  The Church turns to you in a spirit of faith, with the hope that you will guide her in love.

So, to the people trying to paint this as a Lefebvre situation, don’t.  Nobody is saying anything or anyone isn’t valid.  Like Burke, Brandmueller, Caffara, and Meisner, they all recognize and respect Pope Francis as Pope Francis and only he can fix it.  They all appealed to the Pope to use his authority to bring clarity.  They aren’t trying to start a parallel Church and usurp authority they don’t have.

Yet, Your Holiness, a chronic confusion seems to mark your pontificate.  The light of faith, hope, and love is not absent, but too often it is obscured by the ambiguity of your words and actions.  This fosters within the faithful a growing unease.  It compromises their capacity for love, joy and peace.  Allow me to offer a few brief examples.

Let’s pause. It is his pontificate and there is great confusion.  There is no denying it, and while it’s not always his ambiguity that causes that (we also can’t say that the liberals paraphrase him crazily on a regular basis and most of the time out of context), he’s not offering correction and clarification to most who are doing that.  This has ZERO to do with me being a “hater” and everything to do with being a simple fact.

First there is the disputed Chapter 8 of “Amoris Laetitia.”  I need not share my own concerns about its content.  Others, not only theologians, but also cardinals and bishops, have already done that.  The main source of concern is the manner of your teaching.  In “Amoris Laetitia,” your guidance at times seems intentionally ambiguous, thus inviting both a traditional interpretation of Catholic teaching on marriage and divorce as well as one that might imply a change in that teaching.

Just as I can’t tell you whether or not Father Weinandy’s sign is genuine, I can’t tell you whether the Holy Father is intentionally ambiguous.  I really don’t need to know his intentional, or unintentional and there most definitely have been traditional interpretations as well as those that imply a change in Church teaching.

Now, there can be no denial that there are disputes and there is confusion, although I’ve heard some try.  They say that everything is crystal clear and the problem is with those who think there is confusion.  What???  When you’ve got two bishops with dueling interpretations on a crucial issue, there’s confusion.  When you have a boatload of them duking it out on the barque, it’s mass confusion.  That’s where we are.  Can we deal with reality, people? THERE IS CONFUSION.

There are many different opinions on why there is confusion.  Great.  I have mine, you have yours, etc.  The finger pointing is endless.  Personally, I don’t care.  I simply want clarity, and I REALLY don’t think that it’s wrong to ask for it.  I mean, how many of us pray for ambiguity and confusion?  I’ve appealed to the Vatican for situations in my locale and I got help.  This is a Church-wide issue today.  Appeals for clarity are necessary.

As you wisely note, pastors should accompany and encourage persons in irregular marriages; but ambiguity persists about what that “accompaniment” actually means.

Yes. Yes, it does.  We’ve heard the diverging interpretations of “accompaniment”. We just want to know which one is correct, and we want EVERYONE to know which is correct.  There can’t be two correct interpretations. Some of us have families and need to have teaching to be clear for our children, grandchildren, etc.!  If wanting our kids to have correct teaching is “rigid”, color me rigid!

To teach with such a seemingly intentional lack of clarity inevitably risks sinning against the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth.  The Holy Spirit is given to the Church, and particularly to yourself, to dispel error, not to foster it.  Moreover, only where there is truth can there be authentic love, for truth is the light that sets women and men free from the blindness of sin, a darkness that kills the life of the soul.  Yet you seem to censor and even mock those who interpret Chapter 8 of “Amoris Laetitia” in accord with Church tradition as Pharisaic stone-throwers who embody a merciless rigorism.

Pope John Paul II had people coming after him all the time.  He didn’t go after them with ad hominem attacks.  There was no name calling of anyone.  Neither was there with Pope Benedict XVI.  If there was a problem, they took “legal” action and at least tried to speak in filial language.  They didn’t use the media to call out their “enemies.”

This kind of calumny is alien to the nature of the Petrine ministry.  Some of your advisors regrettably seem to engage in similar actions.  Such behavior gives the impression that your views cannot survive theological scrutiny, and so must be sustained by “ad hominem” arguments.

I’m always wondering what the heck the “advisors” are telling the Holy Father that he would throw out such monikers.  I know the Holy Fathers have all lived in somewhat of a bubble as soon as they assume the papacy.  However, I’d like to think with the dawn of the internet they wouldn’t be so insulated, but we really see Pope Francis scanning the blogs?  Nah.  Now, one could say he picked the kind of advisors he wanted.  Who knows?  I’m not really sure how the heck you can keep the stupidity of some of the appointees a secret.

Second, too often your manner seems to demean the importance of Church doctrine.  Again and again you portray doctrine as dead and bookish, and far from the pastoral concerns of everyday life.  Your critics have been accused, in your own words, of making doctrine an ideology.  But it is precisely Christian doctrine – including the fine distinctions made with regard to central beliefs like the Trinitarian nature of God; the nature and purpose of the Church; the Incarnation; the Redemption; and the sacraments – that frees people from worldly ideologies and assures that they are actually preaching and teaching the authentic, life-giving Gospel.  Those who devalue the doctrines of the Church separate themselves from Jesus, the author of truth.  What they then possess, and can only possess, is an ideology – one that conforms to the world of sin and death.

Well, doctrine is truth and the truth will set you free.  I think I’ve heard that somewhere.

Third, faithful Catholics can only be disconcerted by your choice of some bishops, men who seem not merely open to those who hold views counter to Christian belief but who support and even defend them.  What scandalizes believers, and even some fellow bishops, is not only your having appointed such men to be shepherds of the Church, but that you also seem silent in the face of their teaching and pastoral practice.  This weakens the zeal of the many women and men who have championed authentic Catholic teaching over long periods of time, often at the risk of their own reputations and well-being.  As a result, many of the faithful, who embody the “sensus fidelium,” are losing confidence in their supreme shepherd.

THIS!  But, again, what’s more is that some of us have families to protect and some of these bishops are trying to lead our kids astray.  Do you know how many emails I get from families who are trying to get their kids to live the chaste life and carry their crosses only to have bishops like Bishop McElroy negate that message???  I’m in the mom zone.  I hear from people like trying to raise their kids in this world.  It is painful.  All we want is for our kids to get to heaven and we’re exhausted from fighting Satan on a daily basis in the secular world, and now we have to fight some of our own bishops for the souls of our children?! My main job is to get my family to heaven so if anyone wants to throw a rude nickname my way, go ahead.  I’ve got far more to worry about than that.  I’ll gladly accept Catholic Cyber Militia.  Think that bothers me?  Heck, I’ve already had it slapped on a t-shirt!  I DON’T CARE! That said, fear of being branded will likely silence the less activist minded people who have been dealing with bad bishops for years.  That saddens me because they have children too and they’re being beaten to silence by the ad hominem attacks.

Fourth, the Church is one body, the Mystical Body of Christ, and you are commissioned by the Lord himself to promote and strengthen her unity.  But your actions and words too often seem intent on doing the opposite.  Encouraging a form of “synodality” that allows and promotes various doctrinal and moral options within the Church can only lead to more theological and pastoral confusion.  Such synodality is unwise and, in practice, works against collegial unity among bishops.

Moral relativism does this, too, which is what priests like Martin, Cupich, and McElroy love and promote.

Holy Father, this brings me to my final concern.  You have often spoken about the need for transparency within the Church.  You have frequently encouraged, particularly during the two past synods, all persons, especially bishops, to speak their mind and not be fearful of what the pope may think.  But have you noticed that the majority of bishops throughout the world are remarkably silent?  Why is this?  Bishops are quick learners, and what many have learned from your pontificate is not that you are open to criticism, but that you resent it.  Many bishops are silent because they desire to be loyal to you, and so they do not express – at least publicly; privately is another matter – the concerns that your pontificate raises.  Many fear that if they speak their mind, they will be marginalized or worse.

They’re definitely losing jobs left and right.  Thanks to those who continue to speak up on behalf of our families.  We’re tired of our children being used like chips in a high stakes poker game of who will fold first.

I have often asked myself: “Why has Jesus let all of this happen?”  The only answer that comes to mind is that Jesus wants to manifest just how weak is the faith of many within the Church, even among too many of her bishops.  Ironically, your pontificate has given those who hold harmful theological and pastoral views the license and confidence to come into the light and expose their previously hidden darkness.  In recognizing this darkness, the Church will humbly need to renew herself, and so continue to grow in holiness.

The premise that God decided to give us a period of very clear light and dark is probably a really good guess.  We’d have to be naïve to think that these forces weren’t around during the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI.  They were but they were much subtler. I’m glad they’re out there for all to see, I just wish they didn’t occupy a position of authority, which makes it much easier for them to lead people astray by offering them exactly what they want to hear instead of exactly what they need.  I’m hoping this is paving the way for a very strong pope who will take on filial correction as an art form.

Holy Father, I pray for you constantly and will continue to do so.  May the Holy Spirit lead you to the light of truth and the life of love so that you can dispel the darkness that now hides the beauty of Jesus’ Church.

Sincerely in Christ,

Thomas G. Weinandy, O.F.M., Cap.

July 31, 2017

Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Apparently, Fr. Weinandy is no longer at his job at the USCCB and it’s being framed as political and a pre-VII vs. post-VII thing.

November 1, 2017

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following statement on the nature of dialogue within the Church today.

Full statement follows:

“The departure today of Fr. Thomas Weinandy, O.F.M., Cap., as a consultant to the Committee on Doctrine and the publication of his letter to Pope Francis gives us an opportunity to reflect on the nature of dialogue within the Church.  Throughout the history of the Church, ministers, theologians and the laity all have debated and have held personal opinions on a variety of theological and pastoral issues. In more recent times, these debates have made their way into the popular press. That is to be expected and is often good.  However, these reports are often expressed in terms of opposition, as political – conservative vs. liberal, left vs. right, pre-Vatican II vs Vatican II.  These distinctions are not always very helpful.”

Uh, where does Fr. Weinandy mention any of those things???  Until yesterday, I had never heard his name (maybe I should have) so I Googled.  I didn’t see one put down by Fr. Weinandy of Vatican II.  In fact, I saw him quoting docs from it.  And, really, who in the world would work for the USCCB who took the pre-Vatican II stance?  I’m reasonably sure he would have been gone long ago.

Christian charity needs to be exercised by all involved. In saying this, we all must acknowledge that legitimate differences exist, and that it is the work of the Church, the entire body of Christ, to work towards an ever-growing understanding of God’s truth.

I agree, but it doesn’t seem like you’ve exercised by this missive.

As Bishops, we recognize the need for honest and humble discussions around theological and pastoral issues. We must always keep in mind St. Ignatius of Loyola’s “presupposition” to his Spiritual Exercises: “…that it should be presumed that every good Christian ought to be more eager to put a good interpretation on a neighbor’s statement than to condemn it.” This presupposition should be afforded all the more to the teaching of Our Holy Father.

This, of course, is just a partial quote. Let’s look at the whole thing.

It should be presupposed that every good Christian ought to be more eager to put a good interpretation on a neighbor’s statement than to condemn it. Further, if one cannot interpret it favorably, one should ask how the other means it.  If that meaning is wrong, one should correct the other person with love; and, if this is not enough, one should search out every appropriate means, through which by understanding the statement in a good way, it may be saved.

Dubia, letters, dubia, letters.  Anyone? Bueller? This has been attempted on many occasions by many people.  They’re trying to solve the problems with Amoris Laetitia by seeking clarification, but they have gotten repeatedly kicked in the face for it!

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is a collegial body of bishops working towards that goal. As Pastors and Teachers of the Faith, therefore, let me assert that we always stand in strong unity with and loyalty to the Holy Father, Pope Francis, who “is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful” (LG, no. 23).”

Where is the lack of loyalty coming from?  Is it coming from all the letter and dubia authors???  Puh-lease!  Doesn’t he understand that bishops’ conferences all around the world are coming up with different interpretations of Amoris Laetitia???  How well does that work for unity?  For heaven’s sake, how about we read Lumen Gentium in its totality?  This is why so many of our clergy are appealing to the pope.  I’m sure for every query sent to the Holy Father there are thousands we haven’t seen.

This statement from Cardinal DiNardo is really, really weird in general and I’m kind of shocked it was made by him.  By all means, good cardinal, let’s discuss dialogue in the Church today but maybe we could not slander a seemingly good priest while we’re doing it because what he wrote and his characterization of it are completely different things.

Update:  Within hours of this going up I had more than one person who has knowledge of Fr. Weinandy say they were totally shocked that he wrote this and that he’s not really considered a staunch conservative when it comes to the Faith.  Like I wrote above, I couldn’t find anything showing a disposition portrayed by Cardinal DiNardo.

 

Fr. Martin – Pouring Gas on the Bridge and Lighting it on Fire!

Oh my ever-loving goodness!  More honesty than usual!  Hat tip to Joseph Sciambra for posting this one:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfbYRJN-jWE

Fr. James Martin has become emboldened by his new-found (and maybe just in the plan of the Holy Spirit’s plan) appointment hat we’re not backing down despite his best efforts to tell us we really suffer from same-sex attraction and that we’re insecure in our sexuality.  Um, 20-something years and a bunch of kids later, Fr. Martin, I can assure you that isn’t true. Oh wait, honey, sorry to tell you….  The idea that people who disagree with you must be paranoid that they are SSA is ridiculous.  Nice try though. Classic move.  Reality is, we just think you kind of stink. (I’m hoping I get time off of purgatory for not using the crass version of what I really think!)

First, he can’t really decide whether or not he’s a theologian. Every other day he’s saying he is or he’s saying he know something about it.  Sorry, Father Martin, who it is and who it is not accepted by is irrelevant.  Might read a little on the Reformation.

At the 3:53 minute he’s actually admitting something he’s not before. He’s admitting that he thinks “gay marriage” will become a reality.  Praise the Lord!  Can we now silence him?  Pope Francis!  Did you catch that one?  This is your mouthpiece and heresy is kind of a no-no.

And somewhere around 5:31 he says we shouldn’t take the bible literally.  I could agree with that in some areas where the Church gives its interpretation but, hello!  How any time have we heard this guy and his buds spew “Judge not lest ye be judged????”  Only about a million.

And, of course around 5:41 he states the majority of us are homophobic.  There’s a shocker.  Let me clue people in as I have so many times before.  I do not fear people suffering from same-sex attraction.  I fear the “gay lifestyle”, “gay activities” and what it’s doing to society, to the Church and too many friends!  Listen, unless we all get on board with struggling with our personal temptations, we are all doomed as a society.  Deal.  I’m not going to candy coat it.  Of course, God wins in the end but it can be hell on earth until that happens.

Around 6 minutes in, he basically says he can say “Love the sinner, hate the sin!” but if we say it, there’s no love.  Let me clue you in, Fr. Martin. We are angry and justly so because you’ve led people to believe the Church is going to change i’s stance on marriage because some don’t receive it.  Is there love? You betcha!  If we didn’t love the person suffering from SSA we wouldn’t care less about them or you.  This is why we counter your crud at most turns.  It has little do with us and everything to do with those we care about.

Around 6:16 he says most of those opposed to his book think we know no “gays” or we only know “former gays.”  Really, Fr. Martin? Get a stinking grip.  While a minority, you don’t have to join the “Fr. Martin Fan Club” to know someone suffering with same-sex attraction.  Yeah, we’re not “snide” as people are referred to.  Although, quite frankly, I’m probably a huge eye-roller when it comes to people mentioning because it makes me so angry that you cause so much division and that you lead so many souls astray.  I can only reassure my friends, relatives, co-workers, etc. that I have no ill will towards you and that I wish you join me in the struggle against Satan that I’m waging where my temptations lie.  Fr. Martin?  He wants your accolades and couldn’t give a darn what whether or not you’re in a SSA relationship and get hit by a bus tomorrow.

At 7:10 Fr. Martin, once again, promotes the fear idea.  This, as usual, is his way of saying we are great big meanies and we’re only it if for ourselves.  How about you build a bridge my way Fr. Martin.  Maybe you should spend a whole lot more time with people who worry about their immortal soul and those of others before you bother to write a book.  How about that idea?  I’d surmise that we’ve spent a whole lot more time with those suffering from SSA than you have spent with those whose primary focus is the everlasting life with God!

And new?  Please! There were people struggling with SSA when I was in high school (and quite frankly, probably earlier).  While I’m not as old of you, it has been a part of my life for many, many a year.  Get over yourself.

Around 7:35 he talks of those who bring in the hopes and desire of their “LGBT” family members.  Let’s just stop for a second and thin about why that’s happening.  Oh yeah, it’s you, Fr. Martin.  While you should be encouraging people to struggle, you’re encouraging them to dream that their wishes will someday become true.  How totally and utterly sad.  How about you teach them to take up their cross like the rest of us, no matter what it is, and join us in seeking everlasting life?  I guess you’d have to buy into Truth before that happens.

8:35,  Fr. Martin tells us that if we knew “gay couples” we wouldn’t be able to deny that people reached out to people in the margins to which we give a hearty “Duh!” to Fr. Martin.  That said, Christ did what he refuses to do.  Christ told them to “Go and sin not more!”  You don’t even mention sin, Fr. Martin, unless it’s the false sin of judging actions.  And, let me be blunt, we don’t see Jesus in sodomy and masturbation. Another “Duh!”

At 9:35, commentator tells us we’re against “all things homosexual.”  Again, please.  We are not against homosexuals.  In fact, apparently, they’re the reason I blog as of late. We are against the ACTIVITIES of any person engaging in activities that are harmful to their souls.  So, think about this people suffering from SSA.  Either Fr. Martin doesn’t believe in the teaching of the Church or he does and he’s willing to throw you under the bus in hopes that they are changed by consensus (which cannot happen).

At 10:03 interviewer tells us that theological teaching “does have to come into contact with the state of things on the ground.  And, in the U.S., the shape of things on the ground, is such that a lot of Catholics do support gay marriage.”  Fr. Martin then goes out to say that in sub-Saharan Africa you’d be run out of town.  Then he goes onto allude that theologians (which he always says he is not) would agree with him and that “Church leaders” would not despite that the people of God are being led by the Holy Spirit. The Church leaders resist that and then he goes back to the “reception of teaching” which he never actually gives Church teaching on.  (Did we really expect him to?) Hmmmm…Why would that be?  Oh, maybe it’s because the Deposit of Faith doesn’t lie with us!

Near 11:35 he brings up Humanae Vitae.  How nice of him to admit it’s still in effect.  Gee thanks.  I’m not sure what “Made their peace” with it means as far as the majority of the laity.  You can’t really have peace when you are thwarting God’s laws but, whatever.  He then goes on to talk of the divide between the “theological world and the Episcopacy.”  Uh, translation:  The divide between Fr. Martin and cronies and the Church.

At 12:31 Fr. Martin asks why it is so terrible to go to a “gay wedding” but it is not terrible to go to a Jewish wedding.  Well, Fr. Martin, if you’d have a clue, you’d know that A) a “gay wedding” is never considered valid in the eyes of the Church and that a b) Jewish wedding would be considered valid in the eyes of the Church as long as one of the parties was not Catholic and that the Jewish religion considered it valid.  If someone was an apostate (converted to Judaism) they are not longer bound by the Catholic law.  I would think that a priest in the Catholic Church would kind of know that, and I’m rather sure he does.  These are two TOTALLY different scenarios.  Of course, Fr. Martin then goes on to tug at the heartstrings and talk about “people that you love.” Fr. Martin, if I loved a person I wouldn’t want their temporal happiness in lieu of their everlasting happiness.  Wanting the latter is TRUE LOVE!

And, as he’s done before, he tugs at the heartstrings at 13:25 in regards to people losing their jobs after posting pictures of their weddings  Hello!!!!! How about people losing their immortal souls????  A little more important than people losing their livelihoods, wouldn’t you say?

Then he asks at 13:35 how it’s worse to go to a civil wedding than a Jewish wedding?  Uh, one condones sodomy/masturbation and the other does not?  How’s that for starters?  Then he puts for the premise that “it’s worse to be a Christian and gay than to reject Jesus.”  Uh, you aren’t really practicing the Christian faith if you are an active homosexual.  At least being an apostate is a little more honest.  Neither or good but when you are an apostate, you are not bound to the Canon Law.

At 14:45 Fr. Martin thinks it’s a beautiful story that the interviewer’s parents are walking him down the isle at her non-Catholic, “gay wedding.”  How ridiculously sad is this?  They keep talking about them “coming around.”  Coming around to what? Had a conversion to what?  A union full of sodomy and masturbation?  How beautiful.  And then the biggie.  Fr. Martin states “This is what Jesus does.” Isn’t it interesting how the Fr. Martins of this world never use “Go and sin no more” woman but the women at the well.  Reality is that the scenario is rather the same but they just can’t see it that way. Christ holds us accountable for our sins.  The Fr. Martins of this world would like you to miss that.

15:29 Fr. Martin talks about how beautiful it is that this guy’s parents can celebrate his love with his same-sex partner.  Really?  Maybe I should clue Fr. Martin in.  You do understand that it means she will be engaging in masturbation and/or sodomy, right?  I mean, I’m pretty sure he does but I just have to ask so he can obfuscate a bit more. It’s fun watching him twist pretzels.

15:45 Martin then has the utter audacity at ask “how could God not rejoice in that kind of reconciliation and bridge building?”  You know, the kind where you jump off a spiritual cliff and reject the teachings of Christ’s Church?  Yeah, that reconciliation.  Honestly, I kind of want to vomit about the lack of Truth going on in this conversation.  I swear, when they were handing out millstones, Fr. Martin shoved people out of the way to claim his.  Here’s hoping he truly figures out those aren’t diamonds.

At 16:20 Fr. Martin suggests that those who can’t come to this guy’s wedding have more of a clue than you, Fr. Martin.  Then, of course, he goes onto compare it to those that refuse to come to a wedding based on race.  Just when you think he can’t get any more stupid. Sigh.

The Vilification of the Dastardly Distorters

I really have no time this week but I can tell when a blog post is just going to write itself, and this one will!

First off, I really thought Fr. James Martin, SJ was doing a stellar job managing his own martyr complex.  I mean, seriously, he really had no need for help on this front.  He’s got that locked up.  Now, maybe Bishop McElroy is sad everyone’s pretty much ignoring him, except those who can’t.  (Sorry, San Diego faithful!)  This was a probably a frantic attention grab.  “Look at me!  I’m over here and I’m a cool Catholic too!”

That said, it’s been a really bad few weeks for Fr. Martin.  Maybe the troops are just trying to re-inflate his ego after Cardinal Sarah, revoked invitations here and here, a smack-down of the “canonical approval” of his book idea– and who could forget his own misstep at Fordham where the entire panel, including him, admitted he wasn’t being candid because being a priest and Jesuit precluded him from being so.  (How stupid I felt after all of these years thinking that’s what a priest/Jesuit was supposed to do!)

Here’s Bishop McElroy’s public shaming of the meanies: 

Father James Martin is a distinguished Jesuit author who has spent his life building bridges within the Catholic Church and between the church and the wider world.

When did “notorious” and “distinguished” become synonymous?  And, wait!  “Building bridges WITHIN the Catholic Church?!?!”  I can only remotely see that being said if “building” includes a complete demolition of the Church first.

He has been particularly effective in bringing the Gospel message to the millennial generation.

Oh, he’s bringing a message to the millennial generation, alright, but it’s not quite from the Gospels unless we’re going with some sort of Gnostic Gospel.

 When we survey the vast gulf that exists between young adults and the church in the United States, it is clear that there could be no more compelling missionary outreach for the future of Catholicism than the terrain that Father Martin has passionately and eloquently pursued over the past two decades. There are few evangelizers who have engaged that terrain with more heart and skill and devotion.

I think I must have missed Fr. James Martin, SJ becoming a millennial rockstar who’s packing the churches full of millennials.  Please.  Can we be just a little honest here?  Fr. Martin, SJ reaches those who believe in an active homosexual lifestyle and those who sympathize with active homosexual lifestyles.  Now, apparently, Bishop McElroy thinks that all or most millennials are concerned with the Catholic Church and her attitude toward homosexuality.  Yeah, not so much.  Most are just worried about their lifestyle choices being accepted by whoever.  To say that millennials at large are screaming like Beatles fans over Fr. Martin, SJ is to be suffering from SJW (social justice warrior, for those not up with the current shorthand) delusions of grandeur. How about you walk up to the nearest millennial and ask them if they even know who Fr. James Martin, SJ is? 

Last year Father Martin undertook a particularly perilous project in this work of evangelization: building bridges between the church and the L.G.B.T. community in the United States. He entered it knowing that the theological issues pertaining to homosexuality constituted perhaps the most volatile element of ecclesial life in U.S. culture.

And here’s where I think Bishop McElroy is totally out of touch.  He actually thinks that this is the be all and end of all of Catholic life.  “If only we could span this active homosexual/Church doctrine divide with a bridge, our churches would be full again!”   Sorry.  You want to see THE “most volatile element of ecclesial life in the U.S. culture?”  Try birth control. Try IVF.  Try cohabitating.  Try sex outside of marriage.   Take your pick.  Bishop McElroy, Fr. Martin, and their little club don’t realize that the rest of the Church is focused on other things.

It was this very volatility that spurred Father Martin to write his new book Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the L.G.B.T. Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion and Sensitivity. Using a methodology that is fully consonant with Catholic teaching, employing Scripture, the rich pastoral heritage of the church and an unadulterated realism that makes clear both the difficulty and the imperative for establishing deeper dialogue, Father Martin opens a door for proclaiming that Jesus Christ and his church seek to embrace fully and immediately men and women in the L.G.B.T. community.

Wow!  I thought that the Church’s teaching was constant with Catholic teaching but, hey, whatever.  Why is it that Fr. Martin, SJ feels the need to open a door for any of us?  Who are all of these people saying anything different than “Jesus Christ and his church seek to embrace fully and immediately men and women in the L.G.B.T. community?”  Please don’t fall for the “If I say it enough it’ll be true!” tactic of Martin, Cupich, McElroy, and club.  They know quite well we’re begging those suffering from SSA to embrace the Church because we love them  In short, while we tell them the Church loves them, we also tell them what the Church teaches and how the Church has helped us to struggle with our own sins.  Fr. Martin and fan club don’t want that to get out, so they’ll try to convince as many others as they can to join in the martyr complex.

Building a Bridge is a serious book, and any such work invites substantive criticism and dialogue.

If I had been drinking, my keyboard would be toast.  How did he type that one with a straight face?  I believe Cardinal Sarah just gave you plenty of substantive criticism and dialogue, along with MANY others.  It apparently fell on rather deaf ears so let me just remind you, Bishop McElroy: http://catholicherald.co.uk/news/2017/09/01/cardinal-sarah-critiques-fr-james-martin-on-homosexuality/

This is particularly true with a complex subject like the relationship of the L.G.B.T. community and the church. Many analyses of Father Martin’s arguments have pointed to important problems that do not have easy answers and to the reality that dialogue must always proceed both in respect and in truth.

Wouldn’t this be quite similar with any group struggling with sin?  Hey, here’s an idea: how about some generic homilies on overcoming temptation and sin?  Oh wait.  I think you’d actually have to use the words temptation, sin, struggle, etc. and those words are so judge-y.  Silly me.

But alongside this legitimate and substantive criticism of Father Martin’s book, there has arisen both in Catholic journals and on social media a campaign to vilify Father Martin, to distort his work, to label him heterodox, to assassinate his personal character and to annihilate both the ideas and the dialogue that he has initiated.

How can you distort something that’s already distorted?  That was on Fr. Martin.  While there are some people out there with evil intent, there are many out there with VERY just anger!  We have friends who suffer.  We have friends whose kids suffer, etc.  We don’t live in the SJW ivory tower.  We live in the real world.  We get to live with the very real effects of a world that gives up its struggle against sin.  So, please, drop the proxy martyr complex.  And, by the way, Fr. Martin assassinated his character a long time ago.

This campaign of distortion must be challenged and exposed for what it is—not primarily for Father Martin’s sake but because this cancer of vilification is seeping into the institutional life of the church. 

I can hear the violins now.  Let’s break out a little honest, shall we?  The cancer in the Church is not those of us angry with sin, it’s those who placate sin.  That kind of means you, Bishop McElroy.  You speak of distortion but you don’t even bother to offer evidence.  So who is really the one distorting what’s going on here?  Is it you or, say, Cardinal Sarah? Let me guess.  Your position as a priest and bishop limits you to ambiguous accusations, right?

Already, several major institutions have canceled Father Martin as a speaker. Faced with intense external pressures, these institutions have bought peace, but in doing so they have acceded to and reinforced a tactic and objectives that are deeply injurious to Catholic culture in the United States and to the church’s pastoral care for members of the L.G.B.T. communities.

Bravo “major institutions!”  Your stance for clear, concise Catholic teaching in the case of Fr. Martin is laudable!  Your aid to those of us who struggle with sin, and in this case particularly those struggling with same-sex attraction, is appreciated.  Go Catholics!

The concerted attack on Father Martin’s work has been driven by three impulses: homophobia, a distortion of fundamental Catholic moral theology and a veiled attack on Pope Francis and his campaign against judgmentalism in the church.

Oh, ho!  Not good enough to be a proxy martyr for Fr. Martin, now it’s Pope Francis?  And judgmentalism?  Uh, hello!  Judge away, as far as sin goes, people!   Here’s a nice little section of the catechism on judgement.  Not shockingly, it’s in the conscience section and, also not shockingly, Bishop McElroy and pals seem to hope to keep you hopelessly in the dark to its existence with their nice little vilification (a word Bishop McElroy is fond of) of judging.

1795 “Conscience is man’s most secret core, and his sanctuary.  There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths” (GS 16).

1796 Conscience is a judgment of reason by which the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act.

1797 For the man who has committed evil, the verdict of his conscience remains a pledge of conversion and of hope.

1798 A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful.  It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator.  Everyone must avail himself of the means to form his conscience.

1799 Faced with a moral choice, conscience can make either a right judgment in accordance with reason and the divine law or, on the contrary, an erroneous judgment that departs from them.

1800 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience.

1801 Conscience can remain in ignorance or make erroneous judgments.  Such ignorance and errors are not always free of guilt.

1802 The Word of God is a light for our path.  We must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice.  This is how moral conscience is formed.

 

The attacks on Building a Bridge tap into long-standing bigotry within the church and U.S. culture against members of the L.G.B.T. community.

Or it’s a load of hooey.  I vote that.

The persons launching these attacks portray the reconciliation of the church and the L.G.B.T. community not as a worthy goal but as a grave cultural, religious and familial threat. Gay sexual activity is seen not as one sin among others but as uniquely debased to the point that L.G.B.T. persons are to be effectively excluded from the family of the church. Pejorative language and labels are deployed regularly and strategically. The complex issues of sexual orientation and its discernment in the life of the individual are dismissed and ridiculed.

 Prove your case, Bishop McElroy, and stop with all of the ambiguous accusations.  I realize it’s just easier to say “There’s a boogeyman under your bed!” but wouldn’t it be nice to treat people like they have half a brain?

Now, Bishop, I know you’re hoping that people are just going to take your word for it but I am going to actually put the link to the teaching: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm

Yeah, I know many have seen this before but I see a whole lot of other “offenses” against chastity listed there.  I see some for married folk, single folk, and same-sex attracted folk.  What I always find a bit ironic is that, while you seem to think same-sex attracted people deserves special treatment when it comes to their sins, you also claim offense that the Church has a special section right before the special section for married folks.    Also, did anyone see the part of Church teaching which dismisses or ridicules the complex situation of sexual orientation?  Yeah, me neither.

The coordinated attack on Building a Bridge must be a wake-up call for the Catholic community to look inward and purge itself of bigotry against the L.G.B.T. community. If we do not, we will build a gulf between the church and L.G.B.T. men and women and their families. Even more important, we will build an increasing gulf between the church and our God.

Well, that IS funny.  I so wish we could have a coordinated attack against anyone leading those suffering from SSA into sin but, sadly, we have a lot of fronts we’re fighting. Wait!  Did I just not get the call?  Come on guys!  I know I’m small time but could you just clue me in everyone once in a while????

  The second corrosive impulse of the campaign against Building a Bridge flows from a distortion of Catholic moral theology.

Oh my.  He is a bit paranoid, no?  Honestly, Bishop, there is no campaign. There’s just a whole lot of us who think the book stinks and will further lead people to ditch the struggle in hope that Truth conforms to their will.  No big conspiracy, although I’m totally going to be bummed if I found out there is one and nobody let me in on the secret handshake!

I think this is the third time or so I’m going to call you on your accusation, Bishop.  I mean, I, as well as many others, have happily quoted Fr. Martin, SJ as our evidence time and again.  Might you do the same in regards to the grand conspirators?

The goal of the Catholic moral life is to pattern our lives after that of Jesus Christ. We must model our interior and exterior selves on the virtues of faith, love, hope, mercy, compassion, integrity, sacrifice, prayerfulness, humility, prudence and more. One of these virtues is chastity. Chastity is a very important virtue of the Christian moral life. The disciple is obligated to confine genital sexual activity to marriage.

But chastity is not the central virtue in the Christian moral life. Our central call is to love the Lord our God with all our heart and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Many times, our discussions in the life of the church suggest that chastity has a singularly powerful role in determining our moral character or our relationship with God. It does not.

What the what???  Nice try, Bishop McElroy.  Are you purposely trying to confuse people?  Why are you mixing commandments and virtues?  Chastity falls under the CARDINAL virtue of temperance.  Again – READ. THE. CATECHISM.  Do not take anything at face value.  I will happily link to avoid “distortion:” http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm

By the way, if you gander at this link, you will find chastity a vocation to all.  Meh. Small potatoes.  (Sarcasm alert!)

Now, what is a Cardinal Virtue, you might ask (or at least Bishop McElroy should)?  “The four principal virtues upon which the rest of the moral virtues turn or are hinged. http://www.newadvent.com/cathen/03343a.htm

No biggie.  Oh, by the way again, it’s mighty hard to achieve the commandments of Christ you so confusingly stated without these virtues.  But yeah, chastity isn’t central at all.  It’s just a little itty-bitty footnote under the Cardinal Virtue of temperance.

This distortion of our faith cripples many of our discussions of sexuality in general and homosexuality in particular.

Oh, I totally agree on this.  Too bad you are part of the problem and not part of the solution.

The overwhelming prism through which we should look at our moral lives is that we are all called to live out the virtues of Christ; we all succeed magnificently at some and fail at others. Those who emphasize the incompatibility of gay men or lesbian women living meaningfully within the church are ignoring the multidimensional nature of the Christian life of virtue or the sinfulness of us all or both.

OOOhhhh!  This is actually kind of a good analogy you stumbled upon, Bishop McElroy.  The geeky, science-loving girl is going to point out that when you look through a prism, it refracts or distorts!  Maybe that’s your problem.  Get a good pair of glasses and stop looking through prisms!  You’re the one who supposedly hates distortions.

Evangelicals More Catholic Than Fr. James Martin, SJ

Oh my gosh!  The protestants have made James Martin, SJ come unglued!  To our “separated brethren,” a good deal of Catholics thank you!  There’s a thing here or there I might have changed but I’m not going to quibble on those since that has nothing to do with Fr. James Martin, SJ’s twitter rant, which of course, was kind of giant red-herring because it had little or nothing to do with the “Nashville Statement.”

So, let’s look at the statement:

https://cbmw.org/nashville-statement

Preamble

Evangelical Christians at the dawn of the twenty-first century find themselves living in a period of historic transition. As Western culture has become increasingly post-Christian, it has embarked upon a massive revision of what it means to be a human being. By and large the spirit of our age no longer discerns or delights in the beauty of God’s design for human life. Many deny that God created human beings for his glory, and that his good purposes for us include our personal and physical design as male and female. It is common to think that human identity as male and female is not part of God’s beautiful plan, but is, rather, an expression of an individual’s autonomous preferences. The pathway to full and lasting joy through God’s good design for his creatures is thus replaced by the path of shortsighted alternatives that, sooner or later, ruin human life and dishonor God.

This secular spirit of our age presents a great challenge to the Christian church. Will the church of the Lord Jesus Christ lose her biblical conviction, clarity, and courage, and blend into the spirit of the age? Or will she hold fast to the word of life, draw courage from Jesus, and unashamedly proclaim his way as the way of life? Will she maintain her clear, counter-cultural witness to a world that seems bent on ruin?

We are persuaded that faithfulness in our generation means declaring once again the true story of the world and of our place in it—particularly as male and female. Christian Scripture teaches that there is but one God who alone is Creator and Lord of all. To him alone, every person owes gladhearted thanksgiving, heart-felt praise, and total allegiance. This is the path not only of glorifying God, but of knowing ourselves. To forget our Creator is to forget who we are, for he made us for himself. And we cannot know ourselves truly without truly knowing him who made us. We did not make ourselves. We are not our own. Our true identity, as male and female persons, is given by God. It is not only foolish, but hopeless, to try to make ourselves what God did not create us to be.

We believe that God’s design for his creation and his way of salvation serve to bring him the greatest glory and bring us the greatest good. God’s good plan provides us with the greatest freedom. Jesus said he came that we might have life and have it in overflowing measure. He is for us and not against us. Therefore, in the hope of serving Christ’s church and witnessing publicly to the good purposes of God for human sexuality revealed in Christian Scripture, we offer the following affirmations and denials.

Article 1

WE AFFIRM that God has designed marriage to be a covenantal, sexual, procreative, lifelong union of one man and one woman, as husband and wife, and is meant to signify the covenant love between Christ and his bride the church.

WE DENY that God has designed marriage to be a homosexual, polygamous, or polyamorous relationship. We also deny that marriage is a mere human contract rather than a covenant made before God.

Article 2

WE AFFIRM that God’s revealed will for all people is chastity outside of marriage and fidelity within marriage.

WE DENY that any affections, desires, or commitments ever justify sexual intercourse before or outside marriage; nor do they justify any form of sexual immorality.

Article 3

WE AFFIRM that God created Adam and Eve, the first human beings, in his own image, equal before God as persons, and distinct as male and female.

WE DENY that the divinely ordained differences between male and female render them unequal in dignity or worth.

Article 4

WE AFFIRM that divinely ordained differences between male and female reflect God’s original creation design and are meant for human good and human flourishing.

WE DENY that such differences are a result of the Fall or are a tragedy to be overcome.

Article 5

WE AFFIRM that the differences between male and female reproductive structures are integral to God’s design for self-conception as male or female.

WE DENY that physical anomalies or psychological conditions nullify the God-appointed link between biological sex and self-conception as male or female.

Article 6

WE AFFIRM that those born with a physical disorder of sex development are created in the image of God and have dignity and worth equal to all other image-bearers. They are acknowledged by our Lord Jesus in his words about “eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb.” With all others they are welcome as faithful followers of Jesus Christ and should embrace their biological sex insofar as it may be known.

WE DENY that ambiguities related to a person’s biological sex render one incapable of living a fruitful life in joyful obedience to Christ.

Article 7

WE AFFIRM that self-conception as male or female should be defined by God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption as revealed in Scripture.

WE DENY that adopting a homosexual or transgender self-conception is consistent with God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption.

Article 8

WE AFFIRM that people who experience sexual attraction for the same sex may live a rich and fruitful life pleasing to God through faith in Jesus Christ, as they, like all Christians, walk in purity of life.

WE DENY that sexual attraction for the same sex is part of the natural goodness of God’s original creation, or that it puts a person outside the hope of the gospel.

Article 9

WE AFFIRM that sin distorts sexual desires by directing them away from the marriage covenant and toward sexual immorality— a distortion that includes both heterosexual and homosexual immorality.

WE DENY that an enduring pattern of desire for sexual immorality justifies sexually immoral behavior.

Article 10

WE AFFIRM that it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism and that such approval constitutes an essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness.

WE DENY that the approval of homosexual immorality or transgenderism is a matter of moral indifference about which otherwise faithful Christians should agree to disagree.

Article 11

WE AFFIRM our duty to speak the truth in love at all times, including when we speak to or about one another as male or female.

WE DENY any obligation to speak in such ways that dishonor God’s design of his imagebearers as male and female.

Article 12

WE AFFIRM that the grace of God in Christ gives both merciful pardon and transforming power, and that this pardon and power enable a follower of Jesus to put to death sinful desires and to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.

WE DENY that the grace of God in Christ is insufficient to forgive all sexual sins and to give power for holiness to every believer who feels drawn into sexual sin.

Article 13

WE AFFIRM that the grace of God in Christ enables sinners to forsake transgender selfconceptions and by divine forbearance to accept the God-ordained link between one’s biological sex and one’s self-conception as male or female.

WE DENY that the grace of God in Christ sanctions self-conceptions that are at odds with God’s revealed will.

Article 14

WE AFFIRM that Christ Jesus has come into the world to save sinners and that through Christ’s death and resurrection forgiveness of sins and eternal life are available to every person who repents of sin and trusts in Christ alone as Savior, Lord, and supreme treasure.

WE DENY that the Lord’s arm is too short to save or that any sinner is beyond his reach.

Before I move on, Fr. Martin.  What above do YOU disagree with?  Let’s be specific and stop all your usual ambiguity, shall we?  Come on.  Pick it apart!  We know you can’t which is why you take to twitter with the ridiculous responses.

And now let’s look at the twitter rant of Fr. James Martin, SJ (Clearly he’s feeling the 140 character limit. I’m not even going to try to screen capture this one since it’s SEVERAL tweets long.) My comments inserted in bold:

http://northcountydailynews.com/seven-simple-ways-to-respond-to-the-nashville-statement-on-sexuality/

Re #Nashville Statement: I affirm: That God loves all LGBT people. I deny: That Jesus wants us to insult, judge or further marginalize them. Nice red-herring, Fr. Martin.  Can you point to the part of the statement that was anything but loving?

I affirm: That all of us are in need of conversion. I deny: That LGBT people should be in any way singled out as the chief or only sinners. Well, you single them out at the group that needs special privileges and acceptances. If you don’t want them singled out, stop doing it.

I affirm: That when Jesus encountered people on the margins he led with welcome not condemnation. I deny: That Jesus wants any more judging.  I’ll link in a minute to a nice mic drop on your muddling of Jesus’ teachings but, for now, who is condemning?

I affirm: That LGBT people are, by virtue of baptism, full members of the church. I deny: That God wants them to feel that they don’t belong Poppycock.  It has nothing to do with people not feeling welcome and everything to do with you wanting their sin accepted as moral.  Can we stop with the charade?

I affirm: That LGBT people have been made to feel like dirt by many churches. Well that’s what you keep telling them.  How about you point out where that’s happened in the Nashville Statement?   I deny: That Jesus wants us to add to their immense suffering.  Christ wants them to take up their cross and follow him.  You want everyone get a pass in this life with no thought to the immense and EVERLASTING suffering of sinners who don’t repent.  Thank God the Church calls ALL to repentance.   That’s a little fact you’d like to overlook in your little “I’m OK, you’re OK!” scenario.    

I affirm: That LGBT people are some of the holiest people I know. OK, let’s make some distinctions.  I actually know a few who have embraced the heavy cross and who are amazing and I know some who have embraced sodomy and are not.  I’ll happily make the distinction.  Will you?  I deny: That Jesus wants us to judge others, when he clearly forbade it.  Stop the stupidity, Fr. Martin. You and I both know that there is quite a bit of difference between judging someone’s immortal soul and judging sinful actions.  Where did Christ ever condemn the latter?  Like I said, mic drop coming.  You know the answer very well.  You just prefer to confound and confuse.  I will say again with no regret that you are a predator of souls.  Your “come into my parlor said the spider to the fly” methods are disgusting.

I affirm that the Father loves LGBT people, the Son calls them and the Holy Spirit guides them. I deny nothing about God’s love for them.  At this point I have to ask if you actually read the Nashville statement.  I posted it above.  Give it a looksie.

Really – did you expect him to actually address the statement?  Of course not, he simply takes the tactics he always takes.  Let’s just tell people what was said and hope they believe it.  Facts?  Irrelevant!

Now for the very eloquent tongue lashing.  It’s incredibly sad that the Presbyterian grasps more of Catholicism than you do, Fr. Martin:

 

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Frobert.a.gagnon.56%2Fposts%2F10159417456825045

It is not surprising that Francis’s communication adviser, James Martin, has decided to attack the Nashville Statement, and even less surprising that the WashPost has published his tweets about it. Beware of doing the bidding of the WashPost. Martin’s tweets confirm the by-now widely held perception, reinforced repeatedly by Martin himself, that his raison d’etre involves undermining the Catholic Church’s upholding of Jesus’ teaching on a male-female foundation for sexual ethics, upon which Jesus’ teaching about the binary character of marriage is based. Martin is more brazen than ever.

Contrary to Martin’s repeated claims, the Nashville Statement (NS) does not deny God’s love for persons who gratify sinful same-sex desires or sinful denials of one’s birth sex. Rather, consistent with the witness of Jesus and Scripture generally, it manifests love by calling such persons away from intrinsically self-dishonoring and God-abhorring desires to an authentic self in keeping with their creation in God’s image.

Contrary to Martin’s claims, Jesus’ statement about not judging was never intended by Jesus to be a denial of all judgment, particularly since 40-50% of all of Jesus’ sayings are accompanied by some motif of warning about a coming judgment. Martin himself makes a judgment of those who signed off on the NS, though he appears to be unaware of the inconsistency. Presumably even Martin holds the line on some moral standards, which means that he himself doesn’t construe Jesus “don’t judge” statement absolutely.

Indeed, in the context of Jesus’ ministry “don’t judge” has to do with not majoring in minors, with not being introspective about one’s own sins, and not reaching out in love to reclaim the lost by leading them gently out of sin. According to both Luke 17:3-4 and Matthew 18 Jesus urged rebuke of those engaged in egregious sin, with communal discipline of those who fail to repent. The warning about cutting off offending members that could get one thrown into hell appears in Matthew 5 in the midst of warnings about the importance of sexual purity.

Jesus clearly based his view of marital monogamy and longevity on God’s creation of two and only two complementary sexes, “male and female,” as established in Gen 1:27; reiterated in Gen 2:24 as the foundation for marital joining of two halves into a single sexual whole. This is a “judgement” made by our own Lord: an inviolate standard that the Church must hold at all costs.

Like many who seek to promote homosexual unions and gender identity confusion, Martin wants to make the “don’t judge” statement a canon within the canon, falsely treating it as an absolute injunction while applying it selectively.

Jesus did challenge those he encountered who were engaged in egregious sin. When Jesus encountered the woman caught in adultery he did tell her to “no longer be sinning” with the inference that otherwise something worse would happen to her, not merely a capital sentence in this life but loss of eternal life.

Yes, we are all in need of conversion but Martin doesn’t want to convert people out of a homosexual or transgender life. He wants the Church to affirm the sin or to cease to take a stand against it.

The issue all along is the attempt in the broader culture and in sectors of the church from people like Martin to promote acceptance of behavior abhorrent to God and self-dishonoring to the people who practice it. It is people like Martin who are singling out homosexual and transgender behavior for exemption from the commands of God. He is not truly welcoming the sinner but rather affirming the sin. He wants the lost son to remain lost in the deepest sense, for one is “found” only when one returns in repentance.

Moreover, Scripture does treat homosexual practice as a particularly grave sexual offense precisely because of its intrinsically unnatural character and violation of God’s starting point for marriage as a union between “male and female” or “man” being “joined” to a “woman.” It is not the “chief” of sins but it is a grave sexual offense nonetheless.

Infant baptism does not innoculate an individual against the judgment of God for failing to lead a transformed life. There is no sin transfer to Christ without self-transfer; no living without dying to self and denying oneself. Paul’s warning of the Corinthian community’s tolerance of an adult-consensual union between a man and his stepmother is a case in point. Is it not those inside the church that you are to judge, Paul asked rhetorically. The answer to that question is not “no” (as Martin seems to think) but “yes.”

The Nashville Statement does not claim that persons who engage in homosexual practice are complete moral werewolves. We all compartmentalize our lives. But the areas we are good in do not validate the areas we are bad in.

Bottom line: Martin is using his office to undermine what for Jesus was a foundational standard for sexual ethics. He has to go.

BOOM!  Sir, we assuredly have our differences but our abhorrence of Fr. Martin’s dastardly deeds is not one of them.  I’ve said the same thing on many occasion but I thank you for the extremely eloquent echo of those sentiments.  

Anyone else think many of the signers will embrace the teachings of the Church in their fullness long before Fr. Martin?  Yeah, me too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Eclipse of the Doctrine

As many, many, MANY people did this past week, my family and I headed toward totality in Oregon.  It was a grand geekfest that homeschoolers revel in without a doubt.

Now, when we hit the road for vacation each year, it’s a veritable crap shoot what kind of Mass we’re going to get.  We step out of our comfort zone and just hope for the best.  It’s a 50/50 shot at best.  This year was no different.  We’re used to the usual happy-clappy sort of thing but it does get a wee bit annoying when it’s just out-and-out heresy.  I mean, who wants to go to Mass and feel like you’d like to give the priest a good tongue lashing.  So what did we get?  We got the Fr. James Martin, SJ wannabe.  (Insert exasperated sigh.)  I guess the priest just wanted to take the opportunity he had with his congregation doubled in size by eclipse watchers to go for broke.

Not all of the priest’s comments were heretical. Some were just ridiculous but let’s just look at them shall we.

  • It was the gospel on the Canaanite woman.  This priest’s big take away was that Christ had to learn to deal with people who thought differently than them instead of marginalizing them.  (As if Christ didn’t know his messianic mission and who that extended to.)
  • Next, the priest said that the Church is going through this today with, for example, women. He said that the Church didn’t know what to do with us.  Accept us, reject us or “SEND US TO THE BACK OF THE BUS.”  No joke, he said it.  What was totally ironic is that the church was named after Mary.  Uhhhhhhhhh….
  • Then, of course, the prayers of the faithful basically went on to allude to ALL of the other marginalized that the Church has forgotten. Gag!  That was his homage to all of those in sin who want to keep sinning.
  • And then there was something about him being shocked to find out, as a newly ordained priest, that he was expected to be obedient to his bishop.  The horrors!

I quickly leaned over to my husband and pointed to the side door.  “That’s our exit after Mass, honey!”  Again, I’m on vacation.  We loaded into the car and quizzed all the kids who sat through the Mass with a confused look on their face because, well, even they know lunacy when they hear it.  I’m sure my older children were probably just praying we didn’t have to hang out too long after while mom gave father what for.  We had fun to get to, after all.  Yeah, the kids were able to zero in on the heresy right away.

We had friends with us and I mentioned to one of them that I was relatively sure that this priest must own the whole Fr. James Martin, SJ library.  I was not off in any way on assumption because the very next day Fr. James Martin, SJ broke Catholic Twitter with this one:

Frmaring100

What?!?!  Is there a part of the Dark Web from which they all get their talking points?!  Were they all in the same class?   Brothers from another mother, perhaps?  Really, the cultish ways are kind of scary.

And…

frmartin200

Gotta find this rather hysterical that Father “Look how mean and judge-y people are to me!”  and who claims not to be a theologian would throw out the heresy accusation.  Oops.  I mean, that’s right up there with him calling people “haters” awhile back.  Let’s stop to pause and think about the fact Fr. Martin almost weekly gives a “mean tweets” reading and he goes and calls those who follow the Catechism heretics.  I don’t think the hypocrisy gets any better than this.

It seems that some rather faithful priests/people decided to call him on his heretical views (and came to the same conclusion as the kids camping with us). What a riot!  https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/priests-scold-celebrity-jesuit-fr.-james-martin-for-ignorance-arrogance (Hysterical list of responses not to miss!) and here’s another rebuttal by ChurchPOP.  https://churchpop.com/2017/08/21/no-jesus-did-not-learn-to-overcome-prejudice-from-the-canaanite-woman/

Ironically, Fr. Martin likes to say WE do not see Christ as truly human and truly divine but he’s the one who denies the divinity thing.  Let me let you in on a not so secretive idea.  God doesn’t contradict himself,  Fr. Martin.  While, yes, God placed Himself on the human timeline in the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, this didn’t lead Him to ever be contrary to His divine nature.  In other words, Christ understood His messianic mission while He needed to learn how to walk as a toddler as pointed out by the Catechism and many a good priest.  Fr. Martin, SJ.?  Well, he’s, oh, so fond of the fully human side (a la’ the Last Temptation of Christ type of human) but he is the one who seems to buy into Nestorianism on the fully divine issue.  I’m sure he’s fully aware and understands the doctrine on the matter.  I think he just prefers to lead people astray.

Now, why does Fr. Martin and his ilk persist putting forth this silly notion?  Well, this was shown quite clearly in the “homily” I had to endure.  It’s to put forth their social agenda.  If they get people to think Christ didn’t know how to deal with the marginalized but learned that he was wrong, shouldn’t we have to achieve that to be Christ-like?  (Can you even believe they are trying to float this? It’s simply a narcissistic play to the rest of the congregation.) Problem. This isn’t what Christ did.  Does he believe people are that gullible?  Well, I guess they are or he wouldn’t have a following.

Nice try Fr. Martin and cult.  Nice try.