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Gotta admit, I thought this was coming days ago. James Martin, SJ must have been busy celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday. Not surprisingly, albeit delayed, he took to Facebook and Twitter to whine about this one in his usual theologically incorrect way.
Judge Smolenski, 62, was baptized at St. Stephen. She and her nine siblings attended the church’s school from first through eighth grade. Her parents were married in the church in the 1940s. In other words, the judge has been a parishioner for 62 years.
Fr. Martin, apparently, thinks Judge Smolenski has some claim to ownership due to her years there. I would think that acting like royalty in the Church might be a little repugnant to him, but I guess not if said “royalty” agrees with him.
As with all these sad cases, the question is: Why are only married LGBT people being singled out? Is Communion denied to all parishioners who are not following church teachings? That is, married couples using birth control or IVF? Or young people engaging in premarital sex?
For those who missed the story on the latest “martyr” Fr. Martin is referring to, here’s a recap. Thanks to Rod Dreher for the in-depth.
As usual, Fr. Martin is blurring the line between public obstinate sinners and private sinners. I’m pretty sure he’s heard it before, but he’s still going to insist on confusing the laity on the issue. So let me ask him again. Fr. Martin, when you look the average couple in the pew, do you know: 1) if they are even married; 2) what their sexual practices are; 3) if they are divorced and “remarried”; 4) engaging in premarital sex; 5) if they conceived their children via IVF, etc., etc. etc.? Nope. Can look at a same-sex couple and know that relationship is objectively disordered? Yup. Can you look at a judge who PUBLICLY advocates for same-sex marriage, abortion, etc., and deny him/her Communion? Yup. These are all public actions. As I’ve said before, most of us don’t broadcast our sins as something of which to be proud. Those who do move into the PUBLIC sinner arena, which has the added bonus of spreading scandal.
And why are parishes focusing only on issues of sexual morality? Are there no other issues in the moral life? Are those who refuse to pay a living wage to employees denied Communion? How about those who do not give to the poor? Those who do not care for the environment?
Don’t you have any new material, Fr. Martin? You’re getting a tad bit repetitive, so I have to get a tad bit repetitive. First of all, are you in the pews at Fr. Nolan’s parish? How do you know that he doesn’t cover these? Besides, whether he does or not, they do not all carry the same weight. You’re promoting the creepy Cardinal Bernadin seamless garment theory again. I’m reasonably sure that, as with most good priests, Fr. Nolan doesn’t just talk to the laity about what goes on in the bedroom. Honestly, to hear Fr. Martin, you’d think that Fr. Nolan’s parish hears a homily on sodomy every Sunday. Please. Any priest that’s going to give a homily about traditional marriage or sodomy is probably going to cover the variations of the big seven: lust, greed, gluttony, envy, anger, pride, and sloth.
Also, if you want to get a small peek at life in a parish, you should check out their bulletin. Fr. Martin might want to note their help for the poor and refugees. Here’s the current one: http://bulletins.discovermass.com/download.php?bulletin=wn7iTp8iuQ1f1G%2FecBp6eztOMtvxFRE2uqV%2FECO6vnQaDFMz761n57q0YNksU2ZldwDN9quh2g2MjLx6R6yJzmzJwfGKuhnEw5B7aAztLgc%3D
And, here are the recent archives: https://discovermass.com/church/st-stephen-east-grand-rapids-mi/#bulletins Oh my gosh! How does this parish do it? They actually address social AND moral issues! All this time Fr. Martin would have you believe it had to be one or the other! I think the real question should be is why Fr. Martin never addresses sodomy and masturbation?
Moreover, why is it only a “public” act that bars someone from receiving Communion? If pastors chose to, they could easily ask married couples if they are using birth control, or ask young people if they are engaging in premarital sex. Of course, they choose not to.
Well, it seems like he can’t totally ignore the public sin thing. But, uh, what?! Fr. Martin actually suggests a witch-hunt here. That’s not the role of the priest, at least outside the seal of confession and requested spiritual direction. Priests often ask follow up questions to help the penitent make a thorough confession. For instance, if one making the confession says “I watched porn”, the priest might ask, “Were there any other sinful acts involved while viewing this?” Still, all under the seal of the confessional.
All priests are bound to follow Canon Law, and Canon 915 states:
Can. 915 Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.
Nowhere in Canon Law does it state that a priest has to go around asking people to spill all their sins. And as far as those who confess sins…
Can. 983 §1. The sacramental seal is inviolable; therefore it is absolutely forbidden for a confessor to betray in any way a penitent in words or in any manner and for any reason.
- 2. The interpreter, if there is one, and all others who in any way have knowledge of sins from confession are also obliged to observe secrecy.
Can. 984 §1. A confessor is prohibited completely from using knowledge acquired from confession to the detriment of the penitent even when any danger of revelation is excluded.
- 2. A person who has been placed in authority cannot use in any manner for external governance the knowledge about sins which he has received in confession at any time.
Also, the Catechism states:
1467 Given the delicacy and greatness of this ministry and the respect due to persons, the Church declares that every priest who hears confessions is bound under very severe penalties to keep absolute secrecy regarding the sins that his penitents have confessed to him. He can make no use of knowledge that confession gives him about penitents’ lives. This secret, which admits of no exceptions, is called the “sacramental seal,” because what the penitent has made known to the priest remains “sealed” by the sacrament.
And let’s see what Aquinas had to say about public vs. private sinners…
A distinction must be made among sinners: some are secret; others are notorious, either from evidence of the fact, as public usurers, or public robbers, or from being denounced as evil men by some ecclesiastical or civil tribunal. Therefore Holy Communion ought not to be given to open sinners when they ask for it. Hence Cyprian writes to someone (Ep. lxi): “You were so kind as to consider that I ought to be consulted regarding actors, end that magician who continues to practice his disgraceful arts among you; as to whether I thought that Holy Communion ought to be given to such with the other Christians. I think that it is beseeming neither the Divine majesty, nor Christian discipline, for the Church’s modesty and honor to be defiled by such shameful and infamous contagion.”
But if they be not open sinners, but occult, the Holy Communion should not be denied them if they ask for it. For since every Christian, from the fact that he is baptized, is admitted to the Lord’s table, he may not be robbed of his right, except from some open cause. Hence on 1 Corinthians 5:11, “If he who is called a brother among you,” etc., Augustine’s gloss remarks: “We cannot inhibit any person from Communion, except he has openly confessed, or has been named and convicted by some ecclesiastical or lay tribunal.” Nevertheless a priest who has knowledge of the crime can privately warn the secret sinner, or warn all openly in public, from approaching the Lord’s table, until they have repented of their sins and have been reconciled to the Church; because after repentance and reconciliation, Communion must not be refused even to public sinners, especially in the hour of death. Hence in the (3rd) Council of Carthage (Can. xxxv) we read: “Reconciliation is not to be denied to stage-players or actors, or others of the sort, or to apostates, after their conversion to God.”
But what does he know? Sigh. Fr. Martin, this has been done to death. You’re just not that stupid. The public, obstinate sinner receiving Communion scandalizes the sacrament. Here’s just one more for you.
Lots of people know Judge Smolenski civilly married her long time “partner”. She called the press about this, for goodness sake! That is against Church teaching, yet she’s made it clear she’s going to do whatever the heck she wants. Totally scandalous and privileged, I might add. However, she gave $7,000 to the parish and thinks she should just get special treatment? Where’s all the shock and horror about trying to buy salvation now?!
The answer is often: “Of course. Because it would be unethical to investigate and pry.” Yet in many of LGBT cases, the news of the person’s marriage comes from scouring Facebook pages, from someone else reporting them, or from a priest grilling friends and family members. Investigation and prying seem to be acceptable when it comes to the lives of LGBT Catholics.
Really? I love how “many cases” is thrown out there and we’re just supposed to say, “Oh, OK. Happens all the time to poor LGBTQSJ people.” Again, please. I just checked. Judge Smolenski’s Facebook page is private. Can’t scour it unless you’re friends with her and she’s making it public to you. And, please, refer back to Dreher’s piece. She took her sin public and politicized it. Judge Smolenski being totally caught off guard doesn’t fly unless she’s really, really stupid.
In his important new podcast “Plague,” released today, on #WorldAIDSDay, Michael O’Loughlin reminds us of how the Catholic Church ministered to LGBT people, but also how it targeted them for public opprobrium during the height of the crisis. Have we learned nothing?
Nobody is witch-hunting here. If you’re going to flaunt, you’re the one causing the publicity and scandal. As everyone has pointed out, there’s a difference between those who are repentant and those who embrace their sin like a pet.
The Catholic Church is called to proclaim church teaching. But church teaching is, at heart, Jesus’s message of love, mercy and forgiveness. The church also has rules. But these rules must be applied across the board, not selectively, and not simply to one group of people.
Otherwise it is no longer “church teaching.” It is merely discrimination.
I’m totally for equal penalties for public, obstinate sinners. Are you, Fr. Martin? I kind of doubt it, since you employ reverse “discrimination” all the time. You seem to think the contrite and the prideful should get the same treatment. Soooo many verses fly in the face of that. If someone marches in the Pride Parade, that doesn’t seem to count as sin in your mind. Something about them not accepting the Church teaching so it’s not really binding, or other drivel like that. To even suggest someone is sinning is just being mean, unless, of course, you don’t believe “climate change”. Then, boy howdy, you are probably going to hell. Somehow that’s when hell and sin are something one needs to worry about. Good luck with that.
Yeah, neither can I.
I’ve been happily doing the mom thing, preparing for Thanksgiving, and rather ignoring the blogging stuff when I saw this appear on my Twitter page. https://www.change.org/p/archbishop-christophe-pierre-stop-appointment-of-fr-james-martin-sj-as-archbishop-of-philadelphia
First, a disclaimer, I have zero confirmation on whether this is or is not credible, but I AM NOT WAITING TO FIND OUT! I feel like it’s not, because the most credible rumors up until now were that Bishop McElroy or Cardinal Cupich (which also seems like more of a lateral move so not likely either) were being groomed for this spot. If this latest rumor is indeed being floated, it seems more like a “Trump move.” You know, float something so over the top that it gives them negotiating room, and then we all feel a sense of relief when it’s not Martin. “Whew! Thank goodness it’s only Bishop McElroy and not Fr. Martin!” In reality, another petition should be started to request an Archbishop Chaput-like replacement. After all, we never thought anyone would replace Cardinal George with the then Bishop Cupich and, those of us familiar with him, never thought anyone would be crazy enough to put Bishop McElroy anywhere. So, again, we should take all threats seriously.
Next, why do I say “Cardinal James Martin, SJ?” I say that because, up until Archbishop Chaput, the last people put in that spot have eventually been elevated to cardinal. Sadly, Archbishop Chaput wasn’t elevated before the current regime, so he is the exception, but, likely, whoever lands there will get that hat. Let that sink in a bit. Did you all sign the petition before reading end of this question?
Let’s look at the wording of the petition:
There is a credible report that Fr. James Martin, S.J., is being considered for appointment as Archbishop of Philadelphia. He would replace retiring Archbishop Charles Chaput, who recently found it necessary to warn that Fr. Martin should not be relied upon to accurately present Catholic doctrine on sexuality. Archbishop Chaput issued a statement detailing five points on which Fr. Martin clashes with Church teaching. For example, he says that Fr. Martin “inspires hope that the Church’s teachings on human sexuality can be changed.” http://catholicphilly.com/2019/09/archbishop-chaput-column/father-james-martin-and-catholic-belief/.
After Archbishop Chaput’s warning, other bishops also weighed in: “https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/after-chaput-warning-bishops-weigh-in-on-fr-james-martin-28020. Fr. Martin responded that he never contradicts Church teaching. That might be literally true, but Archbishop Chaput points out that that is not enough: “[T]he point is not to ‘not challenge’ what the Church believes about human sexuality, but to preach and teach it with confidence, joy, and zeal. Biblical truth liberates; it is never a cause for embarrassment.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/after-chaput-warning-bishops-weigh-in-on-fr-james-martin-28020.
It’s not even close to literally true. He’s contradicted Church teaching in writing, in word, often in deed with his promotion of organizations in open opposition to Church teaching, such as New Ways Ministry and Out @ St. Paul. (Two of his favs.) Here’s just a small sampling of Catholic publications who have called out Fr. James Martin, SJ, for heresy, dissent and error, as well as for his smarmy smoke and mirrors routine, using his own words.
https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com (Just use search box.)
As I said, this is just a few of the Catholic publications who have called out his heresy, dissent, and error. On the other hand, I can come up with three American “Catholic” publications that have NOT called him out for anything: America Magazine, National catholic Reporter, and…and… Nevermind. Guess I can only come up with two. Fr. James Martin, SJ is THE most called out priest in this country. If you’re going to object to the sources against him, make sure you are able to debate the citations given, otherwise it’s just an ad hominem attack and you look stupid.
We need bishops who are clear and strong teachers of the whole of the Catholic Faith. There is a trend to appoint to major sees in the U.S. men who are supporters of the homosexual agenda, such as Cardinal Cupich in Chicago and Cardinal Tobin in Newark. Can anyone doubt that an Archbishop Martin in Philadelphia would follow their lead and very soon be given the red hat that was denied to Archbishop Chaput?
Truth is loving. Cardinals Cupich, Tobin, Bishop McElroy, etc. are ambiguous at best and deceitful at worst. They’re denying the faithful the beauty of the Church’s teaching on sexuality.
Sign this petition and tell the papal nuncio, Archbishop Pierre, who is reported to be collecting references on Fr. Martin, that his appointment would be intolerable. Tell him we want worthy shepherds who will be leaders in teaching and practicing the fullness of Catholicism, not more men who will obfuscate and obscure and avoid the inconvenient truths.
Please do. Wild rumor or not, we shouldn’t wait until the ink is dry to respond to this insane idea. And, petition writers, you might also want to get one going expressing your dismay that Cardinal Cupich or Bishop McElroy would be in the running.
Finally, not only should you sign the petition, you should contact the nuncio directly and let him know that if he’s going to suggest any of these gentlemen, he’s going to have a HUGE headache dealing with the aftermath of that appointment. This appointment likely could be THE final straw.
Archbishop Christophe Pierre
Apostolic Nunciature in the United States of America
3339 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008-3610
Some of you may remember that, on the occasion of St. John Henry Newman’s canonization, Fr. Martin put out this infamous tweet:
This doesn’t imply that the man who will become a saint tomorrow ever broke his promise of celibacy. And we may never know for sure. But his relationship with Ambrose St. John is worthy of attention. It isn’t a slur to suggest that Newman may have been gay” https://twitter.com/JamesMartinSJ/status/1183021592206626817
So, when I saw this Facebook rant, I had to laugh.
Dear friends: This week the Siena Retreat Center in Racine, Wis., is hosting a retreat for gay priests, bishops, brothers and deacons. These men are living their vows of chastity, and promises of celibacy, in service to God and our church.
Nonetheless, LifeSite News, in an article that doesn’t deserve posting or retweeting or even reading, is calling this retreat the “Portal of Hell,” a “condemned, scandalous, deceitful, slanderous invitation to damnation.”
Let’s be clear: these men are living out the Catechism’s call for celibacy and have served for years as faithful ministers in our church.
How is it that he was so “unsure” of whether or not St. John Henry Newman broke his vow of celibacy, yet he was so positive the avowed “gay priests” who would be attending this retreat had, without a doubt, lived up to their vows of chastity and celibacy? What a crock. What proof did he have to offer in his conclusive statement? Does he know them all? Does he sleep outside their rooms? St. John Henry Newman didn’t ever acknowledge being same-sex attracted, nor did he acknowledge ever breaking his vow of celibacy, but somehow it was just peachy to imply this about Newman, yet condemning a “retreat for gay priests, bishops, brothers and deacons” made him give us assurances that all the priests in attendance were “living their vows of chastity, and promises of celibacy?”
Many of these men on this retreat have baptized your children, buried your loved ones, presided over your marriages, visited you in the hospital, taught you in schools, heard your confessions and celebrated countless Masses with you, all while living chastity and celibacy.
LifeSite is calling for a prayer vigil in “reparation” for this “sacrilege.” Imagine how you would feel as a gay priest living his promise of celibacy or vow of chastity, and looking to hear a word of comfort from God during a retreat, and encountering angry people protesting your very existence.
This is homophobia at its most malign.
In response, may I ask for your prayers for these men, who, as you can see, are targeted and persecuted even in their chastity and celibacy? And for the retreat directors and the Dominican sisters who are graciously hosting them?
Thanks for your prayers in the coming week. Let us face homophobia and hatred with welcome and love. And let us continue in peace.
That was four times he insisted all priests attending this were celibate and chaste. However, this retreat has ZERO to do with chastity and celibacy, as you will see from their own advertisement.
Now, Fr. Martin didn’t actually bother to put a link to the article he was ranting about, because he probably didn’t want you to notice a few things, but here it is: https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/prayers-needed-as-6th-gay-priests-conference-descends-on-wisconsin-next-week
Prayers needed as 6th ‘gay priests’ conference descends on Wisconsin next week
October 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — New Ways Ministry’s “Retreat for Gay Priests, Bishops, Brothers, and Deacons” AKA the Portal of Hell, will be occurring again this year at the Siena Retreat Center in Racine, Wisconsin, October 22 through 24.
Yes, “Portal of Hell.” What would you call it?
Hmmm…what would I call it? Maybe “Dissent-o-mania 2019?” I don’t know, I think I could come up with a pretty good list. Regardless, Fr. Martin actually fails to counter any of the points given in the article. He also doesn’t quite tell you that the sponsoring group has been denounced by the USCCB, and that’s saying something. http://www.usccb.org/news/2010/10-028.cfm He also “forgot” to tell you a few other things Lifesite points out. Comments in bold are mine.
. The authentic Catholic Church has always been luminously clear about the grave depravity she recognizes homosexual activity to be. (See The Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 2357, 2358, and 2359.) Before anyone whines, please note they said “activity.” As always, same-sex attraction is not a sin. Cannot believe we still need to point that out, but due to the Fr. Martins of the world who accuse us of saying same-sex attraction is a sin, we must clarify, clarify, and clarify again.
The Church recently reiterated (pp. 78–83) her longstanding rule that she “cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture.’” “Who am I to judge?”, to this date, did not change this teaching.
Per sociologist Fr. Paul Sullins, Ph.D.’s meta-analysis of data regarding clerical sex abuse, “the share of homosexual men in the priesthood rose from twice that of the general population in the 1950s to eight times the general population in the 1980s. This trend was strongly correlated with increasing child sex abuse.” And strongly correlated with seminarian abuse.
This retreat — the sixth of its kind — is sponsored by New Ways Ministry, an organization long condemned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. See link I provided above. This is not an approved retreat, despite the winks and nods going on. I would love to see bishops forbid their priests from any interaction with New Ways Ministry.
Looking at the proposed content of the retreat, there is nothing of reflection, renunciation, repentance, or reconciliation here. Self-pity, passive aggression, denial, slander, and deceit are the order of the day. (EXACTLY! While Fr. James Martin, SJ, mentions chastity and celibacy four times, it is not mentioned as part of the program.) On the retreat webpage we read:
“Some Catholics have been blaming the sexual abuse of minors on the presence of a gay men in ministry.” (That’s because an overwhelming amount of data makes it blisteringly clear this is the case.) I do find it interesting they narrowed the abuse to be only of minors. I suppose it’s a lot easier to say “Girls were abused too!” than try to whine their way out of the abuse of seminarians.
“Is our ministry welcomed by our church?” (If by “our ministry” you mean New Ways Ministry, then NO. See above USCCB condemnation.) I’d love to know what “ministry” they are talking about? They’re supposed to be talking about a priestly ministry.
“Can we feel welcomed by our church that regards a gay orientation as ‘intrinsically disordered?’” (Of course. But admission is not free. Like all us sinners, you must first deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow Christ. FYI: this is going to mean putting the kibosh on the “gay” stuff.) News flash! Each and every priest is a sinner just like the rest of us. And as Lifesite points out, you are not special. Same rules apply to all of us. Pick up that cross and struggle against whatever your temptations are.
“What does it take to create a community of welcome?” (Obedience. The Church welcomes anyone committed to obeying the commandments of Jesus Christ.) Silly me. All this time I thought we were the Body of Christ, and the way to build up that body was to perform the Spiritual and Corporal works of Mercy. Spiritual Works of Mercy: counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish the sinner, comfort the sorrowful, forgive offenses, bear wrongs patiently, pray for the living and the dead. Corporal Works of Mercy: feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, visit the imprisoned, bury the dead, give alms to the poor. Can you try starting there for once?
“What are we ready to sacrifice for such a community?” (How about sin? See previous two bullet points.) Uh, how about the same thing every other priest sacrifices?
“Why am I afraid to tell you who I am?” (Because you have lost sight of who you are. Being “gay” is not who you are. As local Milwaukee priest Fr. Nathan Reesman wrote last year about this retreat:
For the ordained Catholic priest, or for a man in vows, or also for a deacon, our most fundamental identity is our union with Christ’s own ministerial mission. Nothing else can get in the way of that core reality. ‘Gay priest’ is a confusing and incoherent label that is heavily laden with potentially dangerous internal contradictions as well as external mixed messages for our Catholic faithful. BAM! Here’s a complete statement from him. https://www.archmil.org/Blogs/Guest-Bloggers/NR-201808080.htm
- The leader for this year’s retreat is Fr. Peter Daly, a member of the leadership team of the notoriously heretical Association of U.S. Catholic Priests (AUSCP) and a prominent advocate for the elimination of priestly celibacy. Ahem, Fr. Martin. That celibacy thing would be gone if Fr. Daly had his way, so let’s not act like this is a pro-celibacy event.
This is curious because, heretofore, the “gay clergy” movement has justified itself on the premise that if a priest experiences same-sex attraction but remains celibate, there’s no moral violation and thus no cause for objection. As celebrity “gay priest” evangelist Fr. James Martin assured us in the wake of the McCarrick disaster: “What I mean by ‘gay priests’ is ordained priests with a homosexual orientation who are living their promises of celibacy (and in religious orders, their vows of chastity).” Yes, Fr. Martin parses the whole chastity/celibacy vow/promise thing all over the place. Never quite sure why. We’re all called to chastity, and as of now, priests are called to celibacy (Anglican convert priests, etc., excepted).
Then there’s the Milwaukee archdiocese’s own “gay priest” champion, Fr. Gregory Greiten:
There is no question there are and always have been celibate, gay priests and chaste members of religious communities. … By choosing to enforce silence, the institutional church pretends that gay priests and religious do not really exist. Because of this, there are no authentic role models of healthy, well-balanced, gay, celibate priests to be an example for those, young and old, who are struggling to come to terms with their sexual orientation. This only perpetuates the toxic shaming and systemic secrecy. There’s ZERO reason we have to know anyone’s inclination to encourage them to chastity and celibacy for their state of life. In short, we don’t need to look at YOU, we need to look at Christ.
And just last year, New Ways Ministry executive director Francis DeBernardo was quoted as saying, “The priests who come to our retreats are priests who are earnestly living their promise of celibacy” and “One of the primary goals of these programs is to help men who have made a promise or vow of celibacy to live out that commitment in healthy and holy ways.” Why would we ever believe this when a whole bunch of other people who are supposed to live chaste and celibate lives are considered victims because the Church teaches this? Fr. Martin cannot deny that New Ways pushes “same-sex marriage.” He just doesn’t prefer to mention it. https://www.newwaysministry.org/issues/marriage-equality/
Got it? So the argument goes: gay or straight, if the priest is celibate, there is no problem. Here’s the problem — the people making this argument are lying. They have zero interest in priestly celibacy or the Catholic priesthood…or, for that matter, the lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, and queers they purport to champion. These individuals are mere tools to be exploited by the cultural Marxists and craven opportunists orchestrating and funding the LGBTQ political movement, the current vanguard of the Sexual Revolution, of which the ultimate and only objective is Absolute Sexual License. The selection of an anti-celibacy activist cleric like Peter Daly to lead this retreat for “gay priests” makes this plain to see. Let’s just take a look at Fr. Peter Daly and New Ways.
https://www.newwaysministry.org/2015/10/28/priest-says-same-sex-marriage-improves-society-as-catholic-nations-commence-weddings/ – He says same-sex marriage improves society.
https://www.newwaysministry.org/about/ Fr. Peter Daly on the board of New Ways (once again, a group denounced).
https://www.advocate.com/politics/religion/2014/05/07/catholic-priest-challenges-church-hostility-gays If homosexuality had been important to Jesus, he would have said something about it?! Oy. And then there’s all those same-sex couples who married civilly who live devoutly? Somebody might explain the definition to him.
Consider the fate of the men participating in this retreat. Ordained men are — from Hell’s perspective — what the military calls “High Pay-Off Targets.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, “In the ecclesial service of the ordained minister, it is Christ himself who is present to his Church as Head of his Body, Shepherd of his flock, high priest of the redemptive sacrifice, Teacher of Truth.” Satan has every incentive to corrupt men who dare aspire to so lofty a role, for if successful, he not only gains their souls, but befouls the image of Christ in the eyes of the world through their misdeeds. Of particular delight to Satan, he is also likely to snag additional souls from the priest’s flock as they obediently follow their lost shepherd into the wolf-infested wilderness. Ponder, then, as St. Alphonsus Liguori does, “If instead of bringing souls to God, a priest is occupied in leading them to perdition, what punishment shall he deserve?” A-MEN!
A condemned, scandalous, deceitful, slanderous invitation to damnation opening up in the heart of the Church. “Portal of Hell” seems an apt description to me.
What can we do about it? PRAY: for the Church, for the priests attending this retreat, for the souls they are leading astray, for the Dominican sisters allowing their beautiful retreat center to be violated by this sacrilege. If you’re in Southeast Wisconsin, join Catholic faithful gathering to pray a Rosary of Reparation at Siena Retreat Center in Racine on Tuesday, October 22 from 4:00 to 5:30 P.M. For more information, contact Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jean at email@example.com.
Sadly, this order of Dominican sisters is lost. There is an insane list of retreats. Faithful is not a word I’d use to describe them.
Archbishop Listecki condemned this retreat last year, and since the organizers haven’t changed, the condemnation should be considered to remain in place. Maybe, just maybe, the bishops, priests, brothers and deacons thinking of attending might want to attend a Catholic retreat because this ain’t it says Archbishop Listecki. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archbishop-retreat-for-gay-priests-brothers-and-deacons-is-neither-approved
So, Fr. Martin, as usual you chose to focus on a phrase rather than the content. Why? Because you know you can rebut the point and you’re going for the usual “Look at them! They’re mean!” tactic you do all too often. Once again I’m going to have to point out the hypocrisy. If you don’t like “Portal of Hell” maybe you shouldn’t throw out “homophobia.”
Every time I hear some new little statement from the “Pan-Amazonian Synod,” AKA Project Chaos, the hypocrisy is deafening.
First, a little history on the Jesuits in South America. In the 1700s, they actually built “reductions”, or missions, to protect the indigenous people from slavery, educated them, cared for them, taught them trades, etc. Maintaining the “indigenous culture” was not their focus. Teaching the indigenous to be self-sufficient, educated and, oh, Christian was their goal. Leaving them poor, enslaved and heathen was not. Due to political problems back in Spain and Portugal, though, they were overrun and driven out. Until then, they were THE missionary force in South America. All others paled in comparison.
These days, the Protestants are pretty much following the same model and kicking our collective Catholic behinds in missionary efforts. Catholicism there is in free fall and Protestantism on the rise. Meanwhile, the Jesuits there are so concerned about the indigenous culture that the Protestants are outscoring them on all points. My guess is some of them are even more Catholic than the Jesuits. Sigh.
So, when I hear quotes like this I want to say “Hold up!”
“If everything continues as it was, if we spend our days content that “this is the way things have always been done”, then the gift vanishes, smothered by the ashes of fear and concern for defending the status quo.”
Of course, this is going to be used as the reason why we need women priests, married priests and a variety of things. “We can’t possibly continue with the way it’s being done, because that won’t bring people to a burning love for God!” But, again, wait! When it comes to indigenous culture, haven’t we’ve been told that we must respect the way it’s always been done in the Amazonian culture first and foremost? Anyone see the hypocrisy there?!?!?! Church tradition bad. Amazonian tradition good. Uh, hello! Does anyone believe in converting pagans anymore??? (Well, besides the Protestants?!) Nope, we’re going straight for the syncretism condemned in Ecclesium Suam.
88. But the danger remains. Indeed, the worker in the apostolate is under constant fire. The desire to come together as brothers must not lead to a watering down or whittling away of truth. Our dialogue must not weaken our attachment to our faith. Our apostolate must not make vague compromises concerning the principles which regulate and govern the profession of the Christian faith both in theory and in practice.
An immoderate desire to make peace and sink differences at all costs (irenism and syncretism) is ultimately nothing more than skepticism about the power and content of the Word of God which we desire to preach. The effective apostle is the man who is completely faithful to Christ’s teaching. He alone can remain unaffected by the errors of the world around him, the man who lives his Christian life to the full.
Somehow looking like a member of the One True Church and bringing that faith to the indigenous people has now become proselytizing. It’s insane. Meanwhile, the non-Catholic groups that stole the supposedly old, broken down, Catholic model of looking like what you are, caring for people, educating them and bringing the faith to them while not engaging in syncretism are booming with conversions. Huh. Go figure. I’m sure if they had vocations, they’d be booming too.
Just as I was about to send this to One Mad Dad for editing, I ran across this piece from Fr. Longenecker. I thought it good. In it, he brings up Fr. Martin, SJ, who adheres to the epic failure that is the new Jesuit missionary tactic. I often think about the story Fr. Martin tells of his long time, same-sex “married” friend. All the “building of bridges” hasn’t brought this man out of the same-sex lifestyle. The outcome of the syncretism of his outreach has had the same outcome of the Jesuits’ modern-day missionaries. Sadly, all of these missionaries have ended up looking a lot more like the people they’re supposed to be bringing to the Faith than the other way around. Honestly, those of us trying to keep our kids Catholic know this is what happens. The more you try to look like the rest of society, the more you end up just like it, and it’s a huge tip-off to parents that it’s time to have some concern. There’s a difference between living in the world and being of the world. The Jesuits have lost that logic right along with the Faith. And this synod? It’s definitely lost that sight, too.
Over on Twitter and Facebook, Fr. James Martin, SJ, is beating the same old dissenting drum. Well, he is when he’s not mourning the death of over-sexualized, sometimes pornographic author, Toni Morrison.
The Archbishop of Indianapolis has denied a Jesuit high school’s request to hold their traditional “Mass of the Holy Spirit” to start the school year. Why? Because the school refused to fire a gay teacher who was legally married.
Why? Might it be because it would totally be scandalous to have a school allowed to hold Masses when they have lost their Catholic identity? James Martin, SJ, is conveniently forgetting to include that inconvenient little piece of information. For those who missed it, the short story is that Archbishop Thompson removed their Catholic identity after they refused to obey him. Over across the diocese, another school in the same situation is being allowed to carry on as normal because the leaders of that school actually obeyed the bishop.
Anyone else here find the qualification “legally married” a bit weird coming from a priest? You should. This isn’t a secular institution. This is supposed to be a CATHOLIC institution where “legal” has little to do with it unless we’re talking Canon Law. “Legally married” is just a euphemism for saying “sodomizing couple.” Let that sink in. When teachers make known that they are in a sexual relationship that is contrary to the Catholic faith sexual relationship known, do we really think that high schoolers don’t know what’s going on? Could we maybe give them a little more credit? “Legally married men” aren’t sitting home knitting on a Friday night. (Apply brain bleach here.)
In other words, the Archbishop is denying the Eucharist to high school students at that school at the beginning of their school year. In other words, he is preventing priests in good standing from celebrating a Mass for young people. Brebeuf Jesuit Prep is appealing to the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education.
That would be your words, Fr. Martin. In reality, the archbishop is protecting the youth and the Eucharist from grave scandal – like the soul-killing kind. Wouldn’t it be nice if you did that for people? Instead, you’re encouraging people to read Toni Morrison trash, often mention Game of Thrones, and tell us how vibrant a group “Out @ St. Paul” is. What’s next? The Handmaid’s Tale? So, yeah, I’m going to profusely thank Archbishop Thompson for probably being one of the few adults around to truly care about their souls. It’s certainly not the “legally married” guys. In fact, nobody seems to care for their souls either at Brebeuf.
To put it in context, the Archdiocese said earlier that both the private and professional lives of school employees must “convey” and “support” Catholic teaching. But they do not require schools to fire Catholics who are divorced and remarried without annulments, who use birth control, who use IVF, or who do not attend Mass every Sunday (all against Catholic teaching). Nor do they require schools to fire Protestant, Jewish, or agnostic employees (whose lives also don’t “support” Catholic teaching). Nor do they ask them to fire teachers who do not give to the poor (against the Gospel, which is the heart of Catholic teaching).
Thanks for giving us your desired context. A couple of things. One, how do you know for what past teachers have been fired? Two, it’s pretty easy to tell who is in a same-sex marriage (especially when they’ve made it public), but how would you know who is divorced and remarried? Using birth-control? Engaging in IVF? Don’t attend Mass on Sunday? And why would we expect a non-Catholic teacher to be an example of Catholicism? Etc., etc.? I asked Fr. Martin before how I would know someone’s private sins simply by looking at them. He didn’t respond. Now, as I’ve said before, for two dudes wearing wedding bands and making out, the sin is obvious. Two dudes who post their wedding pic to Facebook and Instagram? Even more obvious. Should a teacher put a picture of their preferred birth-control method on-line, I would hope they would be fired, too. Catholic teachers do that how often, though?
What Fr. Martin doesn’t want you to understand is that there are sinners who champion their sins and then there’s the rest of us in the Body of Christ who struggle daily with our faults. We know they are sins, we admit they are sins, and we try our hardest to overcome them. That is not the Brebeuf teacher. He’s flaunting it and the school is letting him. As usual, the Jesuits don’t let us down in the area of letting us down. Very consistent.
The only employees whose lives are placed under a moral microscope are LGBT people. This is clearly discriminatory. Denying the Eucharist to schoolchildren for this reason only makes it worse.
More often than not, the only employees who flaunt their sins on Facebook are the “LGBT” teachers and/or raging feminists. Deal. So, will there be a higher percentage of them fired? Absolutely. Don’t want to get fired, don’t flaunt your sins. It’s super easy. Not sure why Fr. Martin is missing this one. He, himself, tries super hard to maintain plausible deniability. He just slips up every once in a while. He wants martyrs for his various causes. He’s just not willing to be that martyr. So, he will remain ever ambiguous.
The “worse” in this scenario is the scandal of school children caused by a man who publicly lives his life in contradiction to the truth of the Church yet is still allowed to teach in a school pretending to be Catholic. The “worse” is the students being taught that it’s just fine to dissent against Catholic teaching. The “worse” is having students being taught dualism. The “worse” is definitely NOT Archbishop Thompson protecting the students from scandal and the Eucharist from sacrilege. I’d be worried about millstones if I was opposing him.
Statement from William Verbryke, SJ, the school’s president: https://brebeuf.org/update-from-brebeuf-jesuit-president-f…/
NB: The Archbishop permits the 7:45 AM Daily Mass to be celebrated (typically, in high schools for a smaller number of children, though all students and faculty are invited) but not for the traditional “Mass of the Holy Spirit,” where the entire student body and faculty attends. Which makes the rationale all the more inexplicable.
Excuse me while I chuckle a bit. I went on-line and looked for pics of the Brebeuf chapel. I found a total of one that may or may not be it, and I consider myself pretty proficient at Googling. Couldn’t even find one on their web page. So, forgive me if I wonder if the students would even know where to find the chapel, and I can’t help but doubt the multitudes that would show up early for school to attend. This Mass is most definitely for the Jesuit community. It’s kind of reminiscent of the old sanctions on the SSPX. They were allowed to have Mass for those that lived in their community day and night. The Jesuits still retain their priesthood even at Brebeuf. The school has just lost its Catholic identity. When you lose that, there are consequences for all involved. I’d be a bit more worried about millstones. Just saying.
Before I start, I’d like to thank James Martin, SJ for providing the transcript for me. I hate having to find it on Youtube and hoping the transcription in there. Next, I’d like to say I love the beard your sporting these days. Good look on you, Fr. Martin. Now onto the not-quite-so-nice.
Homily for the LGBT Community | World Pride NYC 2019
Be tough. Be free. Be hopeful.
Homily: Pre-Pride Mass, Church of St. Francis of Assisi, June 29, 2019
Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (1 Kgs 19:16b, 19-21; Gal 5:1, 13-18; Lk 9:51-62)
What does it mean to be a disciple? What does it mean to be a Christian? What does it mean to be free? What might it mean to be all these things as a Catholic, as an LGBT Catholic, or as the family member or friend or ally of an LGBT Catholic?
While you don’t answer these questions in clear terms, Galatians totally does. It’s like you went from Kings to Luke and didn’t look at the true slavery defined in Galatians.
At first glance, you might not think that these readings would have much to say to us. After all, the First Book of Kings, was written in roughly 550 BC, when the Hebrew people were in exile in Babylon; St. Paul’s Letter the Galatians was written around AD 55; and the Gospel of Luke, the most “recent” of our readings, was written around AD 85. You might not think they would have much to say to contemporary Catholics, and maybe even less to LGBT people, but of course they do. The Bible is the Living Word of God and, if we are open to it, God’s voice will always be revealed when we read or hear these readings, no matter how ancient.
On the contrary! I think they say quite a bit to anyone struggling with sin and the temptations of this world. It’s kind of interesting that they fall in “pride” month, but that relatively lost on you.
Please read all three passages, but pay particular attention to Galatians, which James Martin, SJ, skipped almost completely. They all go together quite nicely and show how the “pride” movement leads people into slavery, not away from it.
13 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters;[c] only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence,[d] but through love become slaves to one another. 14 For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.
The Works of the Flesh
16 Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law.”
And for good measure and definition of what you so woefully try to keep from the faithful, let’s just throw in the next two verses which are rather inconvenient for you, Fr. Martin. What exactly are those works of the flesh that are opposed to the Spirit?
19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, 21 envy,[e] drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
The highlighted ones epitomize the “pride” movement. Now, lest Fr. Martin point how I don’t equally apply these verses to heterosexual people, I do. I apply them to you and me and everyone in between, but he’s the one always suggesting “loopholes” apply to one class because the teachings offend them or they are somehow not equally applied in his mind.
Let’s start with the Gospel, where Jesus confronts, head on, the demands of his ministry.
Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem, where he will meet his destiny—his passion, death and resurrection. Even before he gets there, he’s facing opposition, and he knows it. He has just passed through Samaria, where the people have rejected him. “They would not welcome him,” says Luke. Why? For religious reasons: the Samaritans had very different idea of what good Israelite was, and didn’t even recognize the Jerusalem Temple as the seat of God’s presence. In response to their rejection, his disciples want to punish the people of Samaria, but Jesus says no. He’s not going to punish them, but he’s also not going to be dissuaded.
Meh, not exactly. In the first verses, Christ had already told them what to do if the people wouldn’t listen. He told them to “shake the dust”, which is a rather big slam in that region even today.
5 Wherever they do not welcome you, as you are leaving that town shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 They departed and went through the villages, bringing the good news and curing diseases everywhere.
Fr. Martin goes on:
Then Jesus turns his attention to the demands of discipleship. And he is extremely blunt with the disciples. He fully understands the costs of discipleship and wants them to as well. “I’ll follow you,’ says one. “Really?” says Jesus. “You’re not going to have anywhere to sleep if you follow me.” Now, not all his disciples followed Jesus along the road—some stayed at home, like Martha and Mary—but many were indeed, like him, itinerant. That’s part of the deal, he’s saying. Two other disciples offer excuses based on family responsibilities: “I have to bury my father,” says one. “I have to say goodbye to my parents,” says another.
But Jesus sweeps these excuses aside. Now, does he really expect that dead people will bury dead people. No, he doesn’t. But he is not above using hyperbole to make a point. If you’re going to follow me, you’re going to have to be tough. And if you’re going to follow me, you can’t look back.
More like you’re going to have to set aside your temptations and proclivities and pick up your cross. It was a serious opportunity to teach, but a huge swing and a miss by Fr. Martin. Missed is generous. I can’t even say overlooked. It’s more like very purposely avoided because he can’t talk about denying oneself.
Jesus goes even further than the Old Testament prophets. In the First Book of Kings, we see Elijah anointing Elisha as a prophet, by throwing his cloak over him. But first Elisha says he needs to care for his father and mother. Once he does so, he follows Elijah.
Jesus goes beyond that. No, he says, no using your family as an excuse. Nothing comes before following me, not even duties to your family. Jesus makes that point elsewhere in the Gospel, when his family comes from Nazareth to the Sea of Galilee to confront him. We don’t talk about that episode very much because it shocks many Christians. But the Gospel of Mark reports that his family thinks that Jesus, who has just started his public ministry, is “out of his mind.” So his extended family travels all the way from Nazareth to Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee, where he is living, to “restrain” or “arrest” him. But when Jesus is told that his mother and brother and sisters are waiting outside his house, he says, “Who are my mother and brothers and sisters? Those who do the will of God.” Ties to God are more important than ties to the family.
(In my greatest TV narrator voice) Also starring in the role of “extended family”, Father James Martin, SJ. And yet he seems to have missed that.
Finally, to drive his point home, Jesus uses an image that people in this agrarian society would have known well: once you put your hand to the plow don’t look back. Because what happens if you take your eyes from the team of oxen? They will plow in the wrong direction. Stay focused.
Riiiigggghhhhhttt! You, however, Fr. Martin, are the one who is distracting. One of my readers very well described Fr. Martin’s tactics as “whataboutisms.” “Look over there! And over there! And over there!” Look anywhere but to your own sins and shortcomings which is where we should all be focusing.
Now, each of these readings, though ancient, has a great deal to say to all of us today, especially LGBT Catholics. Let me suggest three things.
I would like to point out, once again, that he’s just about completely ignored Galatians.
1) Be tough. The last few years have seen many positive steps for LGBT Catholics. And there are two big trends. The first can be summarized by two words: “Pope Francis.” His five most famous words are still, “Who am I to judge?,” which was first a response to the question of gay priests and then expanded to LGBT people. Francis is the first pope ever to use the word “gay.” He has LGBT friends. And he’s appointed many LGBT-supportive cardinals, archbishops and bishops. Another trend is that as more and more Catholics are coming out and being open about their gender identity, they and their families are bringing their hopes and desires into their parishes, and slowly the culture of the church is being changed.
I would consider that quote as infamous, not famous. Regardless, it seems interviews and quotes are only highlighted if they promote the “pride” agenda. The pope compares gender ideology to a nuclear weapon and we get crickets. Martin? Martin? Bueller? Anyone?
Yet it’s also a hard time to be an LGBT Catholic. Catholic schools are still firing LGBT employees who are civilly married when many other straight church employees, who are also not following various church teachings, have no problem keeping their jobs. Church leaders publish documents, issue statements and offer quotes to the media that betray not the slightest evidence that they have listened to the experience of LGBT people or their families. And of course on the local level, we still find in some places homophobic pastors, pastoral workers and parishioners.
Insert the eye-roll of a professional teenager. Hey, I’m all for cracking down on anyone who publicly flaunts their sins against the Church teachings on morality. GO. FOR. IT. Not that I really think that’s what Fr. Martin is going for, but hey, I’d agree to that. Fr. Martin would have you believe that every sinner posts it on social media. I’d have to think most don’t. Privacy means something to most people. Yes, there are the twits who want to tell you exactly what’s going on in their bedrooms, but I have many secular friends and they don’t all run up to me to tell me what birth control they are using. (Thank goodness.) If they did, I’d probably suggest they not be allowed to teach in a Catholic school either.
All the more reason to be like Jesus: that is, tough. And to, first of all, claim your rightful place in your church. Look, if you are a baptized Catholic and you are LGBT or are an LGBT parent or family member, you are as much a part of the church as the Pope, your local bishop, your pastor, or me. Root yourself in your baptism and claim your place in your church.
Enter god-complex. The difference between us and Christ is that he was God. (I know Fr. Martin sometimes has issues with this but, I promise, it’s true.) We are sinners. He is God. “Our place” in the Church is kind of irrelevant. Anyone else think of James and John who were worried about where they should sit?! Every time I hear Fr. Martin say, “claim your place,” I think of this. Ironically, Christ’s response was the same as it is in the Sunday readings at the heart of the homily. Be a slave to everyone else and don’t let your sins enslave you by rejecting the cross.
But make no mistake, Jesus is telling us: sometimes it’s going to be hard. Sometimes your family may misunderstand you, as Jesus’s family did. Sometimes you’ll feel unwelcome in places, as Jesus did in Samaria. Sometimes it won’t feel like you have a home, like Jesus felt when he had to sleep by the side of the road. Sometimes you’ll find that your friends disagree with you, as Jesus did when he told the disciples that revenge was not his way. But it’s all part of the journey. It’s part of being with him.
Question: If we’re all struggling to do as Christ demanded – denying ourselves, refusing to be enslaved by sin, and taking up our cross – why would anyone feel these things? Answer: It’s our sin that is enslaving us. Our freedom is in our rejection of sin. You, sadly, are not encouraging that. You’re just whining about those who get away with sin as if it somehow excuses those who are not. It’s, well, sick.
Throughout all this, Jesus invites you to be tough. Claim your place in your church. Be rooted in your baptism. Know that you are fully Catholic. You know, lately I’ve been hearing that it’s not enough for the Catholic church to be “welcoming” and “affirming” and “inclusive.” And I agree. Because those are the minimum. Instead, LGBT people should fully expect to participate in all the ministries in the church. Not just being welcomed and affirmed and included, but leading. But to do that you have to keep your hand to the plow and you have to be tough.
What EXACTLY do you mean by welcomed, affirmed and included, Father? I think you’ve been ambiguous enough. SPELL. IT. OUT. Do you think we should affirm, welcome and include peoples’ sins? No, thank you, and the first one that does that for me and my sins should be proverbially shot.
2) Be free. A second lesson from today’s Gospel is Jesus’s supreme freedom. Look again at what the Gospels say about Samaria: “They would not welcome him.” But Jesus doesn’t care if Samaria rejects him. Certainly, he would like the Samaritan people to hear his word. We know this because, in the Gospel of John, he speaks at length to a woman from Samaria, the famous “woman at the well,” and she later shares their encounter with the people of Samaria. But if the Samaritans don’t want to welcome him, fine. He’s free. He moves on.
Uh, Jesus’s supreme freedom? That’s what He gives, not what He gets. He’s God. That’s found in carrying our cross and being a slave to others. It’s not fine for us to reject Him and have Him move on. It’s our complete and utter destruction.
Jesus is free from the need to be loved, liked or approved of. He is free from the need to be loved by the Samaritans. He is free of the need to be liked by the disciples, as when he rebukes James and John. And he is free of the need to be approved of by his family, who early on think he’s crazy. He is supremely free. And what is he free to do? To follow the Father’s will.
Many people in the LGBT community feel unwelcome, like Jesus felt, as well as excluded, rejected and sometimes, as Jesus was, persecuted. It can be painful and enraging. And it’s okay to feel those things. It’s human and it’s natural, and sometimes those feelings should stir you to action on behalf of people and groups who are being persecuted! But, ultimately, Jesus asks us to be free of the need to be loved, liked or approved of. And to be confident in who you are.
I’m not really sure how many times I can say this. He is God. We are not. Rejection of our sinful acts is not persecution. It’s love. Once again you are trying to confuse the rejection of sin and the rejection of the sinner. It’s still not the same no matter how many times you say it.
Notice that Jesus is also free of the need to punish. James and John wanted to “call down fire from heaven” to destroy the Samaritans who rejected Jesus. But Jesus “rebukes” his disciples for this. That’s not his way. He is free of the need for revenge. So be like Jesus. Be free.
Are you really suggesting that no punishment is coming for those who reject the teachings of Christ? Again, that’s not revenge. The question is, do we want to suffer here on earth or do we want to suffer for eternity.
3) Finally, be hopeful. The life of Christian discipleship is not simply a hard row to plow, it’s not simply tough, it’s not simply a chore. As St. Paul says in today’s reading, “For freedom Christ set us free.” Isn’t that beautiful? The Christian life is not some terribly burden or “yoke” as St. Paul says, echoing the plow imagery of Jesus. No, it’s an invitation to live in freedom. Just as Elijah covered Elisha with his cloak, so all of us, LGBT or straight, who accept Jesus’s invitation are wrapped under what the theologian Barbara Reid calls the “protective cloak of his spirit.” We live in freedom. And in joy!
Your definition of “freedom” doesn’t resemble what St. Paul said. You might have noticed it if you actually bothered to quote it.
And in hope too! It’s tempting for LGBT Catholics and their families to look at the present reality of the church and say, “This will never change.” Or “I feel unwelcome.” Or “I have no place here.” But that is not the only place Jesus wants us to dwell. The future will be so much fuller than the present, and Jesus knows this. We keep our hands to the plow not only so that we don’t lose our way, but so that we don’t take our eyes off the horizon.
To my SSA friends, please note that you are welcome in the Church, and I would love to struggle along with you in overcoming our sins. Please see Fr. Martin’s babbling as what he intends it to be – discouraging and divisive. Our true happiness will come from overcoming temptation. Let’s do it together and don’t let anyone tell you that it is impossible or that the Church wants less for you than everlasting life.
“Sometimes LGBT Catholics say that they’re done with the church, with the faith and with God. Yet when looking for Christ in the church often they’re only seeing the present. But suffering and death are not the only things that Jesus experiences in Jerusalem. They’re not even the most important things. The most important thing is the Resurrection. And the Good News of the Resurrection is that hope is stronger than despair, suffering is never the last word, and love always triumphs over hate. Love always wins. So be hopeful!”
Fr. Martin, I know you like to downplay this, but none of us can get to the Resurrection without first taking up our crosses. I mean, for heaven’s sake, look up the verse that you halfheartedly referred to.
You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?
That’s the problem. You don’t ever explain what “drinking the cup” means. You’re leading people to believe that it’s freely indulging in sin. That is so wrong.
These readings, so ancient, so different, so seemingly far away, are actually tailor made for us today, for all of us who are called to encounter God. In these readings we hear God say to us: Be tough, be free, be hopeful. Be proud to be Catholic. And for my LGBT brothers and sister and siblings, be the LGBT Catholic whom you are called to be by Jesus Christ himself.
You’re giving them stones when they ask for bread. Hopefully they will come to feast, despite your best efforts. #pridebeforethefall
Dear friends at Church Militant/St. Michael’s Media, LifeSiteNews.com and Tradition, Family and Property, who write articles, start online petitions and organize protests whenever I speak: Let me save you some time and effort. Because, lately, here’s what usually happens when you do this.
Awwww…Isn’t this sweet?! Fr. Martin’s just trying to help out his friends. It’s so nice that he’s trying, out of the goodness of his heart, to help people “save some time and effort.” I should probably return the favor. People resisting your efforts, Fr. Martin, don’t care about their time, they care about souls. I’m reasonably sure that even people who agree with you are reading this accolade to yourself and giving it a big ol’ facepalm. I can’t believe you’re going with “You’re all really great people but people love me to death and lavish me with accolades so please go away!” My feeling is that the laity are a little too successful for you, so you’re forced to pump up the speeches to the choir and the events where the majority of the attendees are your age or older. I get it, but you have to admit it looks a little ridiculous when you’ve got to write a really long Facebook post to give yourself a big pat on the back. Seriously, it goes on and on. Lest you doubt me…
It would seem, from this really needy post, that maybe people are actually making a bit more headway in the “Please keep Fr. James Martin, SJ, from misleading the flock!” movement than Fr. Martin wants you to know.
It begins as follows: I am invited by a Catholic organization (school, parish, retreat center) who knows full well of my ministry to LGBT people. So, the organizers are already aware of this one aspect of my Jesuit life, and are, in most places, either neutral about it or openly supportive of it.
This is especially the case when I am invited to speak about LGBT Catholics per se. Obviously, the organizers support this LGBT ministry, and they often invite me with the support of the local bishop, as with the LGBT family retreat at the Jesuit Spiritual Center in Wernersville, Pa.
Eventually, you all get wind of it and write articles about my supposed “heresy” and overall awfulness as a priest, complete with photos and memes of me. Then one of you organizes an online petition, using misleading information, slanderous words and sometimes outright lies.
If you’re going to accuse someone of lying, slandering, and misleading, why don’t you at least give examples, Father? I would think that’s the least you should do. Why don’t you? Maybe it’s because people are quite meticulous when they talk about your heretical statements. They list them line by line. And, really, are you one to talk? You make misleading comments all the time. Here’s one for example.
As you can probably tell, Fr. Martin is clearly working super hard to make you think the efforts are fruitless. I can assure you they are not. Please see here , here. here, and here. I’m sure we can find some more if we look around some more, and I know more pushes to cancel are in the works. So you see, Fr. Martin, we don’t lose hope when some liberal institution doesn’t block your efforts.
For good measure, you label me with names like “heretic,” “sodomite,” “false priest,” “homosexualist,” homoheretic,” “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and “celebrity gay priest.” I’ve lost count of how many names I’ve been called by you. It’s like being in a junior high school cafeteria.
People in glass houses, Father. I will once again remind you that you are not exactly one who should bring up name-calling. https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/28/update-from-a-hater/ And no, people aren’t hatemongers because they think you are wrong. https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/03/with-love-the-hatemongers/ We just think you’re wrong and leading people to the same errors. We got it. This doesn’t please you and silencing us is your goal. Good luck with that.
I will say, though, that I try to stay away from giving you anything to whine about. Using a myriad of words to describe you simply isn’t necessary. I will say that I’m pretty sure that you have espoused heresy a time or two, and I think that people have done a good job spelling out why they believe so:
Soon the number of signatories to the online petition goes sky high, usually in the tens of thousands (with no proof offered) and you egg on your followers to contact the organizers and demand that their invitation be rescinded, and to organize protests on their own on the day of the event.
Ab-so-lute-ly! A good number of Catholics know you are a danger to the Faith. They are rightly exercising Canon 212. I realize you totally hate that and it gets in your way, but, well, too bad.
The organizers field some angry phone calls (usually by a receptionist who has no clue what they are talking about) and they dutifully report them to me, apologize, and assure me that I’m more welcome than ever. Sometimes they put out public statements in support of LGBT ministry.
Well, as shown above, that doesn’t always happen. I’d also like to point out to bishops that Fr. Martin is also really getting into webcasts. That may kind of skirt the regulations of who is allowed to speak. In our lovely age of technology, you might actually have to button down the ability to webcast speakers. While a speaker may not be able to violate “safe environment” protocols, it doesn’t mean they can’t still harm souls. As I’ve said to many, many good bishops, establishing a speakers’ bureau to vet anyone actually speaking would eliminate many of your problems.
Needless to say, I don’t cancel (why would I?) and neither do they. Sometimes, in fact, their resolve is strengthened and it is seen as an important opportunity for them to stand more solidly with the LGBT Catholics in their community (school, parish, and so on) and the LGBT community at large.
Needless to say, I’ve already proven you are wrong. And, some people finally realize that you might be leading people astray.
On the day of the event, a few protesters will show up, perhaps a dozen, sometimes fewer, sometimes more, including children. They hold up the same signs at every event, detailing how terrible I am (“Father Martin’s Bridge to Hell”) and pray the Rosary (against me, I’m assuming) and leave.
You would have a problem with people praying the Rosary, wouldn’t you? And, of course, YOU would make sure you point out how futile you think that is. That said, we know otherwise. God bless those who protest against you.
Usually only a few people see the protesters (I rarely do), and if they do, they are hurt or offended, because most people these days know LGBT people. At the Loyola New Orleans graduation last year, some LGBT graduates saw the signs and made their displeasure known.
So what you’re saying is that those who do what’s right are completely stupid unless hundreds show? Mighty wrong of you, but hey, thanks for the consistency.
Occasionally the controversy around the talk, especially if the talk is about LGBT Catholics, finds its way into the local media, and dramatically increases the size of the crowd, and their sympathy for LGBT ministry, as happened recently at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Ct.
So, again, you’re saying we should only do what’s right when we have the numbers? Why didn’t anyone tell that to Christ as he hung on the Cross. Honestly, Father. Your protests while saying “It really doesn’t bother me!” are especially lame. It’s about as convincing as you proclaiming “Oh, I’ve never denied Christ’s divinity nor contradicted the Church teachings on marriage!”
Then I give my talk, lecture, retreat or commencement address. Afterwards, especially after parish talks or lectures at colleges and universities, I often sign books and meet people, 99% of whom are kind, gracious and supportive. Almost every person in line will share a story from their faith journeys, which moves and consoles me.
Yes, everyone loves you. You’re a superstar. You’re the only loving person who knows what same-sex attracted people go through. Etc., etc., etc.
From time to time, however, there is one angry person, waiting at the end of the line, arms folded, ready to conduct their inquisition of me (which they often film). They are usually disappointed when I say, as I always do, that I am not going against any church teaching.
But again, as shown above, you do. You just don’t think you’re going to get caught. You don’t even attempt to speak in some dioceses because you don’t dare crossing the lines in the sand with some of the bishops. You know you will get a smack down. They’ve already spoken out against you and you haven’t even made that attempt.
But except for that one angry person, they are people who are grateful that someone is talking about LGBT Catholics in a positive way, or they are parents of LGBT children who have felt excluded from their own church, or they are LGBT Catholics themselves who hug me and thank me.
Oh, there are myriads of people who want to think sins (i.e., homosexual ACTS) are actually not sins, and you’re ever so ambiguous with your statements so these people can keep on saying they’re not sinning. Look at one of your favorites, Out at St. Paul, to see that.
After people share their stories, they sometimes cry in front of me, or we pray together, or they give me a little gift or card, or they show me a photo of their LGBT child (or grandchild, or brother or sister, or nephew or niece). Whenever they do, my resolve to continue this ministry with so many others in this field grows.
Oh for heaven’s sake, stop with the over-the-top sob stories. Just what the heck are they saying and what the heck are you telling them? Do you EVER bother to tell them about living the CHASTE and celibate life? Or are you just continually filling them with hopes of kissing their partners at Mass and marrying? How about you answer the tough questions once in a while? It might make you a tad more credible. Ambiguity doesn’t fly here.
In other words, feel free to continue to protest, but please don’t expect that either I or the organizing bodies will cancel anything. And please don’t doubt that your protests only increase the size of the crowds, embolden organizers to be more supportive and deepen my resolve.
Except, again, some of your talks have been cancelled. Oh, yeah. There’s that reality. Oops. How pesky is that? I, personally, will resist you at ever turn no matter who is with me. I will totally feel free to protest, and I’m reasonably sure I won’t be alone.
Because what usually happens is not my pulling out of the event, not the organizers cancelling the event, and not people staying away, but something like this, as at yesterday’s graduation at Xavier University. (See photo.)
Dude! It’s a Jesuit school. I’d really be shocked if they didn’t cancel because, as a whole, the Jesuits are lost. (Thanks always to the faithful ones!) We’re supposed to be utterly amazed when a Jesuit school does something stupid? It’s supposed to just make the laity fall in line? Please. Are you that prideful??? I guess no answer needed. Do you not think that we realize you bothered posting this in the first place because you are deflated? The choir backs you up, so we’re supposed to say “Well, I guess we were wrong!” Keep dreaming.
In short, your articles, petitions and protests don’t bother me. (Truly: ask any of my friends.) Feel free to continue them, but also know that I won’t be cancelling anything as a result of them, and neither, if history is a judge, will most of the organizers.
I don’t expect you to cancel. It’s quite clear your ego wouldn’t let you make a humble move. Got it. That said, we will ALWAYS make your mission difficult because it leads souls astray and WE love our friends suffering from same-sex attraction.
My brothers and sisters, I hold no grudge against you at all, do not wish any ill upon you, but have also ceased to care about the articles, the petitions and the protests. I send you my peace. As well as my thanks for the big crowds.
You have no peace and you will have none until you fully embrace the teachings of Christ and His Church. When that happens, we will be cheering you on! As long as you continue to twist the truth and undermine the teachings of the Church (the Catechism for one) in an effort to make truth what YOU want it to be instead of what it truly is, people will continue to oppose you no matter how much you cry about it or tell us how futile it is.
I’m starting to think Susan isn’t a parody account after all, but probably just Fr. Martin’s alter ego.
It’s just another day to call out Fr. Martin on the ridiculous suppositions he tries to float. Let’s just look at his novel’s worth of tweets and all the bunk found in them.
First of all, before you start ranting along with me, please take note that this is a typical Fr. James Martin, SJ, tactic. He frames an argument that doesn’t exist, spins reality on its ear, then hopes that nobody notices. Do the research, people.
This had nothing to do with feeling closer to Our Lord and Our Lady. It had everything to do with using an adored image in Poland to protest the Church. How do I know? Because the people behind it said so! (empasis mine)
“The Warsaw Freedom Activists had already earlier explained why they had conducted an action with the Mother of God of Equality in Płock,” wrote Łukasz Grzegorczyk in Polish.
“In a letter sent to the Na Temat editorial office, they wrote that the rainbow Mary, which they stuck to the walls and sidewalks near the church of St. Dominic, is supposed to be an expression of opposition to the stigmatization of non-heteronormative people by the clergy.”
So, Fr. Martin might say “it looks a lot less like a protest,” but sadly he’s just trying to fool you. The instigators admitted it was. He’s just hoping you won’t find out about that.
So then he makes the argument nobody’s making:
“But the larger question is this: Why shouldn’t LGBT Catholics be able to feel close to Mary and Jesus? And why shouldn’t they have art that enables them to do so, as do other groups in the church?”
This is just made to tug at the heartstrings and really has no merit, but it would still be lame even if it were true. Let me answer it anyway.
Last time I checked, Our Lady raised her son knowing He would sacrifice Himself for us and she watched his Passion and death on the cross. Our Lord died on the cross for ALL our sins (you know, the ones Fr. Martin probably isn’t sure exist). Why would you need to change an image held dear to the faithful in Poland (or anywhere else for that matter) to feel close to Mary and Jesus? They made the ultimate sacrifice for ALL, but altering an image of them is necessary for you to feel close to them? If Christ’s death and resurrection failed to hit the mark, I’m pretty sure a little Photoshop isn’t going to do it.
Fr. Martin might have also wanted to notice that Black Madonna of Częstochowa doesn’t look like the vast majority of Poles. They didn’t seem to need to change that image to revere and adore her, did they?
“In short: Are Mary and Jesus only for straight people?”
Seriously? I’m not sure YOU know who or what Mary and Jesus are for. You seem overwhelmingly confused, or at least you’re trying to confuse the masses and you’re quite willing to use any method to do so.
I really don’t know much about Bishop Schlert other than he’s got a problem with abuse cover-up accusations. Honestly, I’m not sure where the truth lies, but I’m sure some readers will chime in. Regardless, his allowing Fr. Martin to speak in his diocese – all the wishy-washy claims of not endorsing Fr. Martin notwithstanding – seem to bolster the idea that he likes to play middle of the road and not deal with the hard issues.
With permission, I am re-posting a letter from a reader to Bishop Schlert regarding allowing Fr. Martin to speak in his diocese, followed by the bishop’s response. Bishop Schlert is quite right that other bishops around the country have chosen to protect their flock when it comes to Fr. Martin. Unfortunately, he is choosing the wimpy path. The diocese will know who my reader is, and he’s willing to accept the consequences should people find out, but I’m going to blot out his name. If the diocese is going to throw him under the bus, that’s on them, but I would hope that others in the Diocese of Allentown will vigorously support this reader and send their own letters of protest. In fact, I’d love to see a presence at the diocese until the invitation is rescinded. That diocese has enough problems without encouraging the very ambiguous “welcoming spirit” of Fr. Martin that’s advocated by his favorite groups like “Out as St. Paul.”
So here is the text of the letter our friend sent to Bishop Schlert (emphasis and interjections mine):
Dear Most Reverend Alfred A. Schlert, Bishop of Allentown,
As member of the diocese, who has been deeply troubled by the abuse allegations that have occurred and continues to attend mass, entrust my child to the diocesan school system, and provide financial support for many initiatives. I am extremely troubled by your recent decision to allow Father James Martin, SJ to speak at Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth on April 27, 2019.
This decision is wrong on many levels. The first being the Diocese has gone to great lengths to protect our youth and has instituted many programs to protect them from physical harm as well as mental harm in the form of bullying. To this I ask if you are sincere in your will to protect God’s Children? I ask this question due to the events that unfolded in January of this year at the March for Life in Washington, D.C., and the massive media bullying of the youths of Covington Catholic High School. Social media condemned these youths well before the facts were known. Unfortunately, the Catholic Church was part of the lynch mob. Father James Martin was one of the first within the church to take to social media to condemn the teens.
Oh, yes, he was, and he refused to ever apologize to them. The good old “I apologize if I was wrong but…” doesn’t do it.
The same person who preaches tolerance and acceptance for the LGBTQ community, isn’t it ironic? To make matters worse, Father Martin issued a “so-called” apology on social media. I would ask you to read his apology to see if this is a person who is truly remorseful or has any regret for the danger in which he put the youths and their families. I thank the Lord these kids had great teachers along their development. While I am disappointed in Father Martin for his wrongful hate-filled actions, I am disappointed in the Diocese. I called the diocese to ask if the diocese would be issuing any type of statement of support and spoke with the communication director who said the diocese had no interest in supporting these youth, even after the facts were clear that the Covington Kids were the victims. I was saddened that we have a chance with the next generation of Catholics to stop the culture of abortion and now infanticide, yet the diocese takes no action. I understand that the diocese sent representatives and transported individuals to the event, but I will remind you of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King as it relates to this incident. Dr King woke our social conscience when he stated, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in the moment of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” The diocese lost an opportunity to be bold in our faith and convictions.
The rush to judgment and failing to protect the Covington kids AND the incredible “I’m sorry but…” should be reason enough to disqualify Fr. Martin, but there are soooooo many more reasons.
The second reason that Father Martin should not be provided a podium to speak within the diocese is very simple. Father Martin does not provide clarity on the Church’s position regarding homosexuality but rather seeks to confuse. I am sure you are aware that Father Martin has openly stated that Pope Frances supports the “homosexual agenda” with his remarks made at Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice in 2018. I would have hoped that Father Martin would have provided substance to this statement. Church doctrine is clear “homosexual acts are acts of grave depravity and intrinsically disordered, and under no circumstance can they be approved.” Father Martin is recorded as saying the church will learn from the youth regarding transsexual and nonbinary genders! This is a direct conflict with our doctrine. He also implies that the church does not welcome those members of same sex attraction, which is falsehood.
Exactly! Why is it that Bishop Schlert feels the need to “allow” Fr. Martin any time at all to speak in his diocese? Does Fr. Martin somehow fill a need in the Church? Does the Church not already welcome all sinners (myself included) no matter what the sin? Does the Church need completely dissenting groups like “Out at St. Paul” to be seen as welcoming? Remember, Fr. Martin has said that this is one of his favorite groups. Thankfully they don’t try to hide their agenda in the least and don’t play the ambiguous card Fr. Martin does.
And if you doubt the veracity of my claims that Out at St. Paul is one of Martin’s darling groups…
This is a time of great challenge for the church, especially here in Pennsylvania. I am partaking in the “Healing our Church” program which you have instituted. I am doing so because I am disappointed with the leadership of the church. The Church has been a large part of my life, even at times when I was not a regular practicing member. My parents where devout Catholics, I attended 12 years of Catholic School, with 2.5 year of high school at St. Joseph’s Preparatory Seminary in Princeton NJ, as well as 2 years at Alvernia College. The program is helpful in uniting with other parishioners passionate on moving the church forward. One thing that stands out is the materials you have chosen for use on this topic. You seem to have a bias towards the positions of Father James Martin and Cardinal Tobin, both whom are well known as pro-gay clergy, who are cited in the materials and by the course leaders.
I question if we are to toss aside the gift of reason for a politically correct message regarding this church crisis The John Jay report indicates that over 80% of the victims were males, and post pubescent males (post age 14), we do not need confusion. The church’s stain was largely caused by homosexual or bisexual priests, this is fact. We may choose to engage in theoretical positional studies, but the facts are clear and one cannot ignore them or spin them. Doing so would be unjust to the victims and does not allow healing. Sexual abuse is not unique to the Catholic Church, it happens in all religions. What is uniquely Catholic is the amount of same sex abuse.
Again, I don’t know Bishop Schlert’s position, but I can say that, at best, he’s just trying to avoid stepping on anyone’s toes. Again, wimpy.
I hope you reconsider your position regarding allowing Father Martin a platform in our diocese. I understand from discussion with my pastor that you have barred Father Martin from advertising in the AD Times. One wonders if this is such a worthy event and Father Martin is the right priest to shepherd this event, then why not be bold? What is there to hide? Surely you know that Father Martin used his large social media platform to announce that the event was “being held with the written approval of the Most Reverend Alfred A. Schlert, Bishop of Allentown.” I was informed that you communicated that Father Martin is told not to deviate from church doctrine. Given Father Martin’s past statements of deceit on church doctrine, his seeds of confusion, and his affinity for the limelight of being the celebrity pro- gay Jesuit, one must wonder how has this trust been earned?
Bingo! Bishop Schlert is allowing a person he says he does not endorse and won’t even let advertise in his diocese to speak in his diocese. Really? This is, again, fence-sitting at best.
“When I was a high school student at St. Joseph’s former Cardinal McCarrick was Bishop of Metuchen and would visit the school. Pope Benedict in his wisdom placed sanctions on McCarrick’s pastoral duties, only to have Pope Francis remove those sanctions, to the embarrassment of the faithful. Should we not learn from this lesson? The Catholic Church is a wonderful institution which performs many good works. In this time of crisis, we need clarity from our leaders to call out those who led us astray and distort the teachings of Church. Our church is a compassionate church but its teaching on homosexuality is clear, from the old testament, through the new testament to the words and writings of the saints, including Saint Paul the first convert.
If Bishop Schlert wants to truly be welcoming AND compassionate (one without the other isn’t really either), then he should order all of his priests to reach out with love and compassion and make those struggling with same-sex attraction feel welcome and supported in their daily struggles against sin like the rest of us. Throwing an ambiguous bone isn’t love. It’s checking off a box so you don’t have to hear about it anymore.
I plea with you to stop this madness. I am far from the perfect catholic. However, I refuse to stay silent. I am reminded of Elie Wiesel who said, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” The Church is at a crossroads. We can act with clarity and compassion or be cowards.
I hope you consider my plea. I can promise you, I will not relent, nor will I forget, I will not be silent. The Bishops Annual Appeal is underway. I would find it unfortunate that I would have to pass on articipating this year, due to your cowardice on protecting the faith.
And here is the bishop’s response (recipient’s name withheld at my discretion).
2 April 2019
Thank you for your 27 March 2019 correspondence regarding the presence of Reverend James J. Martin, S.J. at the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth, Wernersville on 27 April 2019, where he will present a public lecture entitled A Good Measure: Showing Welcome and Respect for LGBT People and Their Families.
I am profoundly grateful for your genuine concern for the Church and her teachings. I have made it very clear that his message is to be one of ‘welcoming.’ My desire that all be welcome in our parishes does not imply that I am ‘soft’ on the moral teachings of the Church. Welcoming does not suggest that all may approach the Sacraments, or that someone will not hear a challenging message in a homily. Welcoming that does not lead to the truth is a false accompaniment.
Well, of course nobody wants to be considered soft. So don’t allow Fr. Martin to speak, Bishop Schlert! Your whole action on this issue is just a Pontius Pilate move. Just what is Fr. Martin welcoming? You know quite well he is ever so ambiguous on that point. I agree with your assessment on what welcoming should be, but every time Fr. Martin whines about somebody being fired, barred from sacraments until confession, etc., he is most certainly engaging in false accompaniment.
Permit me to provide some additional background on the specific matter that you reference in your letter. In the Fall, the Jesuit Center scheduled New Ways Ministry and Reverend Tony Flannery to be present for a similar weekend. I directed to rescind his invitation since Father Flannery was a suspended Irish Priest and New Ways Ministry has been banned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. At my request, they withdraw his invitation.
Let me just stop and give complete kudos to you for withdrawing the invitation for New Ways Ministry. I’m going to give you a lot more credit than some bishops in the U.S. would get from me. However, that is a separate incident, and you’re now erasing all the good you did by allowing someone who gives accolades to New Ways Ministry and who has received awards from them to speak. https://www.newwaysministry.org/2016/09/06/fr-james-martin-to-receive-new-ways-ministrys-bridge-building-award-old/ Can’t you see a wee bit of a problem with this? Maybe you didn’t know? Well, now you do.
They informed me at that time that they invited Reverend James J. Martin, S.J. for a Spring 2019 conference. Regarding Father James J. Martin, S.J., please know that I have given clear direction to Father Martin, his Regional Provincial, and the Rector of the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth that Father Martin is not permitted to create confusion or obfuscation among the faithful concerning the constant teachings of the Church regarding moral and sacramental theology. His presence presumes that Father Martin will present a message of welcome and accompaniment to those with Same Sex Attraction in accord with the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.
Bishop Schlert! Confusion and obfuscation are Fr. James Martin, SJ’s middle names! Are you trying to tell us that not one priest in your diocese can fulfill the job of accompaniment that you’ve defined???
My permission for him to be present at Wernersville does not infer my endorsement of Father Martin. I will be closely following the content of Father Martin’s presentation. It is my hope that the Conference assists people in how the Church can be more welcoming in line with the authentic teachings of the Church. Should his content create division, confusion, or obfuscation, please know that I will respond accordingly.
Fr. Martin causes division wherever he goes just by his mere presence. Refer back to the Covington issue the member of your flock wrote you about. And, really, how many times in the last few weeks has he dissented against the diocese that had to fire employees whose scandalous relationships have come to light? As I’ve said, confusion and obfuscation is his normal method of operation and you know it, so allowing him to speak really can’t NOT be seen as an endorsement. It’s just an endorsement while you try to wash your hands of it.
I have enclosed a letter for your information that I sent to all the priests and deacons of the Diocese that provides a greater context of the event.
With appreciation for your kind letter and with the assurance of my prayers for a blessed Season of Lent, I am
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Alfred A. Schlert
Bishop of Allentown
So let’s look at this information he enclosed.
14 March 2019
My dear Brother Priests and Deacons,
As some of you may be aware, Reverend James J. Martin, S.J. will be present at the Jesuit Center, Wernersville, on Saturday, 27 April 2019 to offer a conference on welcoming and respect for those with same sex attraction and their families. Father Martin has presented a letter of good standing from his Religious Superior, serves as a Consultant, Dicastery for Communications, and was invited by His Holiness, Pope Francis to speak at the World Meeting of Families in Dublin, Ireland.
Actually, Bishop Schlert, the Jesuits are exactly what you get when you hang your hat on a false sense of welcoming. They’ll take anyone as long as they don’t embrace an authentic version of Catholicism. They bounce the good ones unless they can somehow keep their heads down. Again, just what is being welcomed?
I realize that some Bishops in the country have not allowed Father Martin to speak in their Diocese, and I too have prayerfully considered this decision. I would like you to know that I have made it very clear to Father Martin and his Superiors that the permission I give is for him to speak only on welcoming all of our Catholic brothers and sisters into the life of the parish. This permission does not extend to his obfuscating or confusing the authentic moral and sacramental teachings of the Church. Please be assured that should his content create division, confusion, or obfuscation, please know that I will respond accordingly.
Honestly, Bishop Schlert might just be naïve, but has he bothered ever to watch Fr. Martin in action? He knows how to say much without really saying anything at all. Let me tell you what most of his talks end up like. He pretty much never mentions sin. He starts out with how those suffering from same-sex attraction have been marginalized and treated badly by the big ol’ mean meanies in the Catholic Church and that they’re children made in the image and likeness of God. Yeah, no sowing of division there. Come on. He creates martyrs and then tells them what most in the Church have said time and again but with nothing said about lifestyle, celibacy and chastity. He focuses on celibacy for a very good reason but leaves chastity in the dust. He never tells people to struggle against sin, so people get the idea that sodomy and masturbation are on par with lying about your weight on your driver’s license. Seriously! Find me a link where he doesn’t do just that.
Since my permission is not at the same time an endorsement, The A.D. Times is not accepting advertisement for this event in our diocesan newspaper. However, the Jesuit Center may reach out to you with a proposed bulletin announcement regarding this Conference. I leave it your pastoral judgment as to its inclusion in your local parish bulletin.
Insane. Your permission is your permission. You can’t see a problem with this? What if I, say, permitted my kids already struggling with the faith to hang out with the atheists? What am I to say when they follow them? “Well, I didn’t endorse them becoming atheists!” And, of course, you have given your permission to put in in their Church bulletins. No endorsement of authentic Catholicism there. Clearly authentic Catholicism isn’t required.
Please know of my prayers for your pastoral work and for your personal priestly life as together we seek to do God’s Will of feeding the flock of Christ entrusted to us.
Fraternally yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Alfred A. Schlert Bishop of Allentown
Pastoral? You’re not even be pastoral in this Martin debacle. Like I said, the Pontius Pilate move isn’t going to get you very far.
Dear bishops inclined to take the same tactics, it’s up to you but you’re simply throwing the sheep to the wolves to avoid bad press and many of us know it.
Please drop Bishop Schlert a note, tweet, or make a call. I’d give you an email address but he, apparently, doesn’t want to make it too easy on people to get a hold of him. I encourage all of you in the Allentown Diocese to take a stand. Your diocese has been hit particularly hard in so many areas. It’s not going to stop until you demand it.
OFFICE OF THE BISHOP
4029 W. Tilghman St.
P.O. Box F
Allentown, PA 18105-1538
Phone: (610) 437-0755
Fax: (610) 433-7822