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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
Because I am married to One Mad Dad, I watch an abundance of old war movies. (And women everywhere raise their hands with a sympathetic wave.) I’ve noticed it’s not an isolated way of life for wives. I actually don’t mind too much because I like history, although I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen “The Longest Day.” Anyway, one thing I’ve always been fascinated by is the French Resistance.
The French Resistance was abandoned by their military and government, who wimped out and threw in with Hitler. They were everyday folks, including a great many priests and nuns, and they did whatever they could to give the Nazis a really hard time. They spent a lot of time ruining Germany’s supply trains, they sabotaged, smuggled, stole, took a lot of pot shots at the enemy, printed underground newspapers to keep the rest of the country informed and keep morale up, helped allies downed behind enemy lines, provided a boatload of intelligence, and generally paved the way for the allied forces to easily move across France after the invasion of Normandy.
I have found myself reflecting more and more on the Resistance these last few weeks. Can’t imagine why?! We need this in the Church, and lest anyone try to accuse me of inciting violence, LET ME BE CLEAR, I’m not. In fact, I’d say that would be strategically stupid and evil, which is why I actually expect to start seeing some “false flag” moves even within the Church. We’ve already seen it in society, but with the accusations of violence and racism ratcheted up by the liberal, dissenting Catholics, I truly think they are seriously considering the idea.
Creating a martyr has always been the tactic of liberal dissenters. Since they don’t have Truth, it’s all they have left. We’ve been told over the years how intolerant we are but, like I said, they’re ratcheting up their rhetoric even more lately.
So now that the disclaimer is out of the way, back to the Resistance. When I saw the Pachamamas go splash, I thought, “Yep! We need more of this!” We were all hoping someone would run in and stop the desecration. Sure enough, someone did, and we thank them for that. People can quibble about a potted plant, but the ugly wooden things were not in St. Peter’s. That is a win in my book. And, even better, the Virgin Mary was prominently on display. Somebody got the message. Whether or not it was simply appeasement on their part matters not. My guess is that they realized people are fed up beyond belief.
After this success, maybe we need more little “cells” all around the world combatting this crud. To those who frown on anonymity, I say who in the heck cares?! We just need people to combat the evil. If you want to tell people who you are, fine, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen huge improvements because of anonymous websites, clandestine leafleting of cars, “Susan” social media accounts, anonymous letters or those signed with pen names, two random guys dropping idols into the Tiber, or whatever. If you can’t have your name out there, do something anyway. Most of us don’t need or want notoriety. We just want to defend our Church and her teachings. It bolsters the bigger voices. So many little things can be done.
We need to be like those in the French Resistance and hit and run. Got the dissenter of the day coming to your parish? Pachamama pops up? Your local pastor dissenting against his faithful bishop? Anonymously or not, get the word out. Leaflet cars, send letters to the pastors, encourage letters be written to bishops, start Facebook pages, tweet, etc. be sure to include nice little dossiers on said speaker or action to 1) make it clear to the pastor that it’s not worth the headache you are giving him; 2) educate the rest of your fellow churchgoers on the problems with said speaker or action; and 3) make it generally annoying to have deal with you so they stop. People have done this with the likes of Fr. Dissenter and Sister Mary Pantsuit and have been quite successful in stopping them. It can be done everywhere, from the local parish to the Vatican. Not all of us can hop a plane to Rome, so we need to do what we can where we are. We especially need to do what we can to support the priests and bishops who are trying to propagate the Faith. They are often persecuted, so we need to show that it simply is not acceptable to give them a hard time.
People often contact me about their local parish woes, and I encourage them to take actions like this all of the time. We’re not helpless. We can be sly as the serpent and gentle as the dove. We can do something. Pray for a whopping dose of creativity. If you’ve got money, heck, anonymously pay for an investigator to investigate someone you think to be nefarious. (I’ve got a really creative idea that costs money, so contact me if you’re feeling generous.) Give the Red Hat Report people money for research, the George Neumayrs of the world, the new sites – anyone investigating. Withhold your donations from your local dissenters AND LET PEOPLE KNOW WHY. Don’t care if people know who you are? Go to meetings, speaking engagements, etc., and record. You teach catechism in your parish and can’t afford the notoriety? Do some anonymous work. I am just an unknown housewife and really cool mom (stop rolling your eyes, children!) with ZERO resources other than a laptop, and yet you’re still reading this. Just be part of resistance to heresy and dissent however you can. I’m sure most of you are more creative than you think.
To prepare, make sure you pray first, frequent the sacraments, and have a reliable spiritual director. When God grants us some relief, we will have laid the foundation for the Faith to flourish just like the French Resistance paved the way for the allies. Is it exhausting? Is it a pain? Of course, but at least at this point, nobody is making us actual physical martyrs. We’re experiencing inconvenience. We really need to suck it up and not act like we’re being stoned to death. If you can’t do it simply for the Faith, do it for your children and grandchildren you may not even see on the horizon. Act like you can and do it for them. If your goal is not to thwart dissent, heresy and annoy some mouthy, dissenting Catholic liberals in some small way (all for the benefit of the Faith, of course), what is your goal? Vive la Resistance!
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.
In case you didn’t see it, Archbishop Chaput sent out a warning in his column today on Fr. James Martin, SJ. Clearly, Archbishop Chaput has done his homework and researched Fr. Martin and read his book. Here’s the good Archbishop’s missive here. And then Bishop Paprocki sent out a statement backing Archbishop Chaput’s caution. Even Bishop Stika weighed in on Twitter. I don’t always agree with him on non-theological things but I thank him for this. I expect (or at least hope) more bishops will follow. Lastly, I woke up this morning to find Archbishop Chaput responded to the response.
Now that we’re all caught up, Archbishop Chaput’s caution probably ruined Fr. Martin’s day, so he quickly sent out a reply. I’m going to reply to Father Martin’s reply so you can see even more clearly that Archbishop Chaput was dead on.
Archbishop Charles Chaput graciously sent me his column today before publication, and I welcome this thoughtful response to my lecture at St. Joseph’s University this week. Here is my response:
The Peace of Christ!
Many thanks for sending your column ahead of time. I’m sorry that you felt the need to publish it.
There is a way to fix it, Fr. Martin, and I hope you will listen very carefully to Archbishop Chaput, who has clearly been very nice to you and is trying to give you the benefit of the doubt.
I think my main response is that it’s difficult to respond to critiques that I am “implying” things, when I am assiduous in my writings and talks about not challenging church teaching. I have written clearly about that here, among other places: https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2018/04/06/what-official-church-teaching-homosexuality-responding-commonly-asked-question
Saying you are not challenging Church teaching and then giving a wink and a nod to those that do is kind of the same thing. Here’s a few instances of you not really doing what you say you do. (Hat tip to LifeSiteNews.) https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/eight-extreme-things-fr.-james-martin-just-said-about-catholics-and
Briefly put, I mean and I’m no theologian, but, you know, for a teaching to be really, um, authoritative it is expected that it will be received by the people of God, by the faithful. So you look at something, like, say, the Assumption…people accept that. They go to the Feast of the Assumption, they believe in the Assumption. It’s received. From what I can tell, in the LGBT community, the teaching that LGBT people must be celibate their entire lives – not just before marriage as it is for most people but their entire lives – has not been received. Now, I say this and people go crazy. And this is simply based on LGBT people that I speak to. Now there are some that believe that – I would say it’s a very small percentage of people, right – but that’s a simple fact. You can say that they don’t agree with it. I would say the teaching therefore has not been received by the community to which it was largely directed. And so the question is, you know, what do we do with that? Now that’s the kind of question to circle back to your original question – that reflection, you know, what do we do with a teaching that has seemingly not been received by the community to which it was directed – is a theological question that bishops and LGBT people need to think about.” – Fr. James Martin, SJ
Church teaching is only authoritative if it is accepted by the faithful?!? Sigh. In other words, he’s saying that if you don’t believe it, then it’s not true. Yeah, no undermining of the faith there.
Why is it so terrible to go to a gay wedding, but it is not terrible to go to a Jewish wedding? You know, let’s say – seriously – if your daughter, let’s say if you decided to convert to Judaism and you married Andy who was Jewish, right, your parents would probably be disappointed, I would assume, you know, or confused, or whatever. But the idea that they couldn’t go or would refuse to go um, it’s very surprising to me. So I think Catholics need to see it in light of that, that it is a different tradition…different belief system than most Catholics are used to…but it’s supporting the person that you love. So it’s very sad to me that people still agonize over this. -Fr. James Martin, SJ
So much to unpack in this one. First, no, you should not go to the wedding of a Catholic marrying a non-Catholic. Now, what Fr. Martin is talking about, it seems, is an apostate to the faith – someone who says they are no longer Catholic and are now part of some other church. It’s a little fuzzier here, so maybe some sort of canonist can weigh in. Next, just in an effort to be clear, the Church does not bind non-Catholics to Canon Law so, of course, the Church recognizes the marriage of two Jews, unless the two Jews are a homosexual couple, because the Church is crystal clear that two men and two women are not proper matter for any marriage. It is not a marriage because, quite literally, no marriage can truly exist between two people of the same sex. There is only sodomy or masturbation, but the mutual self-giving and marriage of their bodies is absent. This can never be rectified as in an apostate marrying outside the Church. So, yes, it a terrible thing because you’d be witnessing a union that isn’t a union and can NEVER be under Natural Law or Canon Law.
I always say that LGBT people have more faith than, I think, straight people because of that. I mean imagine you – what you have just described is really interesting, Brandon. You have internalized rejection already. You don’t need to even be told that you’re rejected in the Church, you’ve internalized it and that’s very sad… A lot of the people that Jesus came into contact with did the same thing. Think of like the woman with the hemorrhage, right, who doesn’t even feel worthy to kind of stand up and greet him, she reaches down and touches the hem of the garment; or the Samaritan women, right, who comes to the well at noon in the heat of the day because… we think, she’s been married five times and she’s probably embarrassed. Maybe people didn’t know enough to tell her you’re not welcome to come out at the regular time when other women come; she comes because she is embarrassed and she kinda internalized that and that’s sad. So I hope in ten years you will be able to kiss your partner or, you know, soon to be your husband. Why not? What’s the terrible thing? And think of all the people in Church who have all sorts of other things on their conscience…it’s up to the institutional Church I think to make you feel welcome. -Fr. James Martin, SJ
I wonder why Fr. Martin didn’t offer this as proof he fully supports Church teaching and doesn’t seek to challenge it??? It’s never going to be OK for Brandon to kiss his partner in a romantic way, and he will NEVER have a husband. Your “assiduous” statements don’t look so assiduous when you contradict Church teaching repeatedly.
I would tend to agree with you because I would say that there – you could have some uh, hard and fast, and legitimate and reasonable theological objections [to same-sex marriage] in terms of the sacramentality, in terms of uh Biblical…and even though we shouldn’t read the Bible literally – Catholics don’t read the Bible literally – um…but I also think that, for the most part, I do find that there is a very high correlation between people who are against that [same-sex marriage] and people who are in fact homophobic. And so it’s that whole ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’ argument, I know it’s not exactly the same, but it reminds me of that in a sense – people say, well I can be against gay marriage and not be homophobic. But then when you hear a lot of people, they sound pretty damn homophobic. And I can say, ‘hate the sin and love the sinner,’ but when you listen to them, there’s no sense of love at all. – Fr. James Martin, SJ
Uh, so is he saying that he’s homophobic or is he saying he’s for re-defining marriage?!?! Geez. Of course, he’ll deny both. But let’s just say that’s true. If he’s managed to not be “homophobic” but against re-defining marriage, where in the world does he get off saying the rest of the Catholic Church can’t possibly do the same???
Look at Humanae Vitae. Humanae Vitae is still in effect, and as far as I can tell, the large majority of Western Catholics have made their peace with that. And yet that Church teaching has not changed. And that’s a much older Church teaching. I mean, in the sense that’s – Humanae Vitae’s 1968 and a lot of stuff we’re talking about is, you know, very new. -Fr. James Martin, SJ
You’re going with “It’s outdated and doesn’t apply” argument, Fr. Martin? Yeah, Humanae Vitae is SO Old Testament. All of this crud we’re dealing with now is so new. Really? The world has never dealt with homosexuality? The struggle is actually biblical, Father.
Also, the lecture at St. Joseph’s University this week, which prompted your article, is the same lecture that I presented at the World Meeting of Families in Dublin last year, the text of which was vetted and approved beforehand by the Vatican.
And? That isn’t really a defense of the points Archbishop Chaput made. The list of tragic speakers at the World Meeting of Families was long and probably why
One of the reasons that I don’t focus on same-sex relations and same-sex marriage, which I know are both impermissible (and immoral) under church teaching, is that LGBT Catholics have heard this repeatedly. Indeed, often that is the only thing that they hear from their church.
The problem is, as shown above, you have indeed suggested, implied, etc., that the Church’s teachings will change. You can almost hear the good old Jesuit “mental reservation”: “…are both impermissible (and immoral) under church teaching as it stands right now.” Sorry. Sometimes you don’t hold your tongue well enough. Your slip is showing. You want to be a savior to same-sex attracted people instead of leading them to the Savior. The Church has said far more and you disparage Her to them.
I’ve only included what could be found in one nice neat place, but if you delved into Fr. Martin’s social media pages, you would find much more evidence of Archbishop Chaput’s points. Fr. Martin consistently highlights groups that completely contradict the Church like Out@StPaul and New Ways Ministry without ever correcting their errors. He’s just hoping you don’t know that.
What I am trying to do instead is encourage Catholics to see LGBT people as more than just sexual beings, to see them in their totality, much as Jesus saw people on the margins, people who were also seen as “other” in his time.
Wow! That’s a stretch, because from where most of us stand, you appear to encourage people to embrace being a slave to their sexual inclinations. Jesus totally went after the people on the margins. He didn’t, however, leave them there wallowing in their sin. He met them, told them to repent and sin no more, and told them the way was narrow. He didn’t just hang out with them acting as if all was grand with their lives.
I remain grateful for your asking people not to engage in ad hominem attacks, and I appreciate the careful tone of your letter and have always appreciated your kind communications with me.
Thanks again for sending this.
Most attacks are not ad hominem, they are quite substantiated with your own words, “Jim”.
The charges of schism being thrown around are getting a bit ridiculous. Let’s chat, shall we?
First, what ISN’T schism.
Schism isn’t a dislike for the Holy Father’s leadership style. Schism is not questioning things put forth in a “working document.” Schism is not asking people to pray and fast that the crud put forth in a working document never sees the light of day in any final document proposed by the Church. Schism isn’t asking the Holy Father to make clear the teaching put forth in a document (i.e., the dubia). Schism isn’t wishing the Holy Father would never speak again to reporters on a plane. Schism is not EWTN reporting on Catholic news. Schism is not Archbishop Vigano putting out his testimony. Schism isn’t even asking the Holy Father to resign. Schism isn’t a critique of how the Vatican or Holy Father is handling the abuse scandal. Schism isn’t supporting Archbishop Vigano’s request for an investigation into the whole McCarrick debacle.
I’ve seen some ridiculous half-wit “theologians” suggesting that pretty much anyone who disagrees with THEM is schismatic. They seem to think that if they bandy the word around enough, the “uneducated masses” will be whipped into submission by the mere thought of it. They even put forth the question to the Holy Father on a plane (who, by the way, said there was no schism at this time) and got him to say the word which, somehow, is supposed to give their charges validation. “A-ha! The pope said the word so you are in schism!” WRONG!
Let me give you a little list of all the people who have been charged with schism by the liberal Catholic elite. Let’s see, Archbishop Vigano, for sure; Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco, Bishop Strickland of Tyler, and Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia, because they were three of MANY bishops who said the charges made by Archbishop Vigano should be investigated; Cardinals Burke and Brandmueller, because they dared to ask the Holy Father for clarification in their dubia; Archbishop Schneider, because he and Cardinal Burke asked people to pray and fast before the synod, because of the pretty awful stuff is being discussed. (Prayer and fasting – the horrors! How dare they?!) I guess all of EWTN can be counted, too, because Raymond Arroyo dared to defend himself when a book about how EWTN was trying to overthrow the Holy Father was glorified on a flight. Oh, and EWTN, again, for broadcasting a Mass where the priest giving the homily said that the faithful was being asked to pray and fast before the upcoming “Amazon Synod.” I’d love to know what they are scared of. You want to fast and pray for me? Please do. And, of course, there’re all those mean Catholic bloggers, radio hosts, commentators, etc., who are scratching their heads about some things the pope says. Yep, all are in schism, it seems, except those who want to change any Church teaching that doesn’t jive with their ideologies.
So, who are all the people declaring or suggesting schism? Thomas Reese, SJ, Massimo Faggioli, Dawn Eden Goldstein, Michael Sean Winters, and all of their ilk. And don’t forget, the “Well, I didn’t say they were in schism. I’m just retweeting something I thought was interesting!” crowd. (Yes, Fr. Martin, I mean you.)
The actual definition of schism found in Canon 751 goes like this:
Schism is the withdrawal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or from communion with the members of the Church subject to him.
Ironically, none of the accusers are canon lawyers, but they accuse a good canon lawyers to be in schism. Let’s see, who knows Canon Law better?
The other thing I find totally ridiculous, especially after this week, is that not one of these accusers has pointed toward Germany. In fact, I failed to locate one story at National catholic Reporter on this as of this writing. If it exists, their search engines don’t work. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/marx-says-german-synod-will-proceed-despite-vatican-objections-82211 Why is this? This is a hell of a lot closer to schism (if not actually in schism) than anything else to which the NcR, America Magazine, or Commonweal types point. I mean, the German bishops were told by the Magisterium that their “binding synodal path” was “not ecclesiologically valid.” Their response? We’re doing it anyway. Who’s removing “submission to the Supreme Pontiff or from communion with the members of the Church subject to him” again? Apparently, Cardinal Marx.!
Does anyone see the difference in asking the Holy Father to exercise his authority (a la the Dubia 4, Archbishop Vigano, etc.) and rejecting an instruction from the Magisterium as the Germans are doing? The faithful Catholics are appealing to the very authority they should, while the Germans are usurping authority they don’t have. American schism, my foot! The liberals pushing for a declaration of schism are the biggest hypocrites around. Not one of the faithful listed above and accused by the liberals has ever rejected the authority of Pope Francis. In fact, they’ve made request upon request to the Pope to clarify. To top it off, not even Pope Francis has declared them such. So, not only are the liberal accusers actually willing to reject authority when it suits them, they are also willing to usurp authority where they have none. They need to give it a rest, but sadly, they won’t.
Our Lady is awesome and, right after one of her feast days, I feel the need to thump one lady’s notions. No, Mary doesn’t need my defense, and she really doesn’t need Sister Carolyn’s, but I feel compelled to defend Truth, which isn’t found anywhere in her lame video. Please feel free to check the link because it’s not worth my time to alter the HTML code to embed the video. The pseudo-transcription is courtesy of the YouTube transcript I found. Before anyone goes on a justifiable rant on women doing the homily, she’s not. She just wishes she could, so she makes videos instead.
The Feast of the Assumption means that Mary is just as good as the guys.
What in the what?!?!?! I think Mary is a bit better, I’d say! I think Sr. Carolyn was probably going for the “Women are equal, gosh darn it!” message, but sadly she goes on to actually downplay all things Mary. The liberals just never quite know what to do with Mary and this bi-polar piece nails that. “She’s the same as the guys, but if she had been a prostitute then she’d REALLY be something special!” is kind of where they usually end up. She’s a BIG inconvenience to them.
There’s Jesus, of course, and we tend to talk about his Ascension and Mary’s Assumption as if he did it on his own and she needed some help.
Oh yeah, there’s Him. Ho-hum. Thanks, Sister! What would we do without your astute insight??? Unbelievably, people paid money to have this lady teach them. I’d be looking for a refund right about now. As for the rest of the sentence, I’m pretty sure there’s a wee bit of heresy in there, and Fr. Martin unsurprisingly just gave that a plug. I actually tripped over this via Fr. Martin’s Facebook page.
Yes, Sister, there actually is a difference between the Assumption of Mary and the Ascension of Christ. Does this really need to be said? I guess so. Maybe read a few more bible verses and, oh, maybe some Church documents?
Christ said he would ascend. This is in the Creed, for heaven’s sake. “He ascended into Heaven” It’s not “He was assumed into Heaven.” I don’t know. Maybe you don’t say this one because there are too many gender specific pronouns to sub? Sigh. Can you stop playing “Wheel of Heresy” for just a second, Sister? Honestly, I’m pretty sure her little “homily” contains more than a few. My smart readers will have to start naming them for me.
So let’s look at your lack of bible verses and church docs, shall we?
John 3:13 And no man hath ascended into heaven, but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven.
John 6:62 If then you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
John 20:17 Jesus saith to her: Do not touch me, for I am not yet ascended to my Father. But go to my brethren, and say to them: I ascend to my Father and to your Father, to my God and your God.
And then there’s the dogma of the Assumption:
That’s apparently not good enough for Sister Carolyn, though:
But if you look carefully at a good translation of the story of Jesus’ ascension in Acts 1:9 you’ll see that he too was lifted up and received into heaven on a cloud.
And this is why Catholics don’t believe in private interpretation of Scripture. I realize you think you have some magical authority to set cherry picked bible verses against Church teaching, but you don’t.
But Jesus and Mary are by no means the first to have been thought to go up into this, out of this life – to somewhere up there where God is. You will of course remember Elijah and his fiery chariot in 2 Kings 11 but even before him Enoch was taken up by God and seen no more as Genesis 5.
OK, I’m not going to quibble about the fact that they had some sort of special exit, but to say we know exactly where they went and how it happened? This has never been said by the Church and has been mulled over by many. Also, again, you misquote. It’s actually “taken by God” not taken up. Then there’s Elijah who was taken up to “heaven” but did that just mean the sky? Who the heck knows? Not Sister Carolyn. Not the Church Fathers. No definitive teaching on that, and since the gates of Heaven were closed until “Jesus, of course,” the Church Fathers leaned heavily toward the Limbo of the Fathers. Regardless, none of this at all changes the differences of the Ascension of Christ and Assumption of Mary. Mary did “need help” with that. She wasn’t God after all. Maybe you’re the reason Protestants think we worship Mary?
But it’s not only biblical figures who were believed to be taken up to heaven. Livy reported this of Romulus one of the mythic founders of Rome. Roman emperors were depicted being taken up that way, Augustus Titus and Constantine among them. Emperor Antoninus Pius and his wife Faustina are depicted heading for heaven held up by a nude adult male winged figure, with fig leaf added in the Renaissance, on a massive column base in the garden of the Vatican Museum and it’s still there. Even one imperial woman got her own depiction of being conveyed to heaven, Sabina, the wife of the Emperor Hadrian.
Now we’re talking about the Assumption in the same breath as mythical characters? Kind of telling, don’t you think, Sister? I’m kind of surprised you didn’t throw a little Greek mythology in there, too. Just an FYI, Christians looked kindly on the few good Roman emperors who cared for their people. What a shocker. I’m quite sure people hoped for Heaven for them.
So the Ascension of Jesus the Assumption of Mary are by no means unique rather they conveyed a message to their world. Jesus and Mary rate with the great ones.
Jesus and Mary simply rate with the great ones like, say, Romulus?! Oh my. You really got a winner there, Fr. Martin! Yes, sister.
The tradition of including Mary is surprisingly early possibly late fourth or for sure early fifth century.
Maybe as early as the time she was assumed into Heaven? Sigh. By the way, she’s wrong. It appeared in Transitus Mariae in the second or third century. That said, that’s not when the “tradition started.” Sister is trying to get people to believe this is just a nice little mythological tradition with no real importance. WRONG! And the “it suddenly became a belief when…” is really what Protestants say. Again, rather telling about Sister Carolyn’s beliefs.
We might be tempted to think of a feast like this as quiet and peaceful, a time for calm, rejoicing. maybe the image in your mind is the Assumption of Mary by Murillo. Oh, a very common one. Mary quietly joins her hands and looks upward blue mantle flying while a bunch of chubby little angels push her cloud heavenward.
I don’t know. Going to heaven sounds pretty peaceful and a reason to rejoice to me. Yes, there are many depictions of the Assumption, Murillo’s is one of them, but many look rejoicing and rather victorious.
But no, our readings for the Feast suggest something different. Being with the great ones isn’t peaceful. It means struggle. In our first reading from revelation the dragon threatens the life of the child. His mother must flee to protect him like so many immigrant and refugee mothers whose children are not rescued at the last minute as this one is. It’s a struggle for survival for this woman and her child a reflection of the struggle that continues age after age in our world.
Oh my gosh! She just had to find a way to work the border thing in there, didn’t she? Let’s just get this straight, in this day and age EVERY bible verse is about Trump and the border. Is she saying that this is what Heaven is like? Kind of a weird reading of Revelation. The part of Revelation that addresses Heaven is:
And I, John, saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice from the throne, saying: Behold the tabernacle of God with men: and he will dwell with them. And they shall be his people: and God himself with them shall be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and death shall be no more. Nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow shall be any more, for the former things are passed away. Rev 21:2-4
But you can’t really make a reference to the border with that one.
Yes, of course this feast day is a reason to celebrate and rejoice! I’m not sure which “great ones” she’s referring to, but it’s not those in Heaven with the angels and the saints experiencing the beatific vision. More specifically, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Sister Carolyn might want to crack that one open every once in a while) says this of Heaven:
1023 Those who die in God’s grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live for ever with Christ. They are like God for ever, for they “see him as he is,” face to face:598
By virtue of our apostolic authority, we define the following: According to the general disposition of God, the souls of all the saints . . . and other faithful who died after receiving Christ’s holy Baptism (provided they were not in need of purification when they died, . . . or, if they then did need or will need some purification, when they have been purified after death, . . .) already before they take up their bodies again and before the general judgment – and this since the Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into heaven – have been, are and will be in heaven, in the heavenly Kingdom and celestial paradise with Christ, joined to the company of the holy angels. Since the Passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, these souls have seen and do see the divine essence with an intuitive vision, and even face to face, without the mediation of any creature.599
1024 This perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity – this communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed – is called “heaven.” Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness.”
Seems pretty peaceful and with a lack of struggling to me.
1025 To live in heaven is “to be with Christ.” The elect live “in Christ,”600 but they retain, or rather find, their true identity, their own name.601
For life is to be with Christ; where Christ is, there is life, there is the kingdom.602
1026 By his death and Resurrection, Jesus Christ has “opened” heaven to us. The life of the blessed consists in the full and perfect possession of the fruits of the redemption accomplished by Christ. He makes partners in his heavenly glorification those who have believed in him and remained faithful to his will. Heaven is the blessed community of all who are perfectly incorporated into Christ.
1027 This mystery of blessed communion with God and all who are in Christ is beyond all understanding and description. Scripture speaks of it in images: life, light, peace, wedding feast, wine of the kingdom, the Father’s house, the heavenly Jerusalem, paradise: “no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him.”603
1028 Because of his transcendence, God cannot be seen as he is, unless he himself opens up his mystery to man’s immediate contemplation and gives him the capacity for it. The Church calls this contemplation of God in his heavenly glory “the beatific vision”:
How great will your glory and happiness be, to be allowed to see God, to be honored with sharing the joy of salvation and eternal light with Christ your Lord and God, . . . to delight in the joy of immortality in the Kingdom of heaven with the righteous and God’s friends.604
1029 In the glory of heaven the blessed continue joyfully to fulfill God’s will in relation to other men and to all creation. Already they reign with Christ; with him “they shall reign for ever and ever.”605
Why she doesn’t embrace this view is beyond me. Sign. Me. Up. (Well, after I’ve had much time to do penance, please.)
The familiar Gospel reading from Luke portrays Mary as she journeys to visit her pregnant cousin Elizabeth and the encounter of the two expectant mothers and their, as yet, unborn sons. Mary’s response is the ecstatic song that we usually call the Magnificat. Those who pray evening prayer regularly recite this canticle and perhaps familiarity makes us numb to its promises and its threats. Mary’s song is not peaceful, rather, it’s unsettling it proclaims the upheaval of quiet lives. The proud will be scattered, the mighty will be cast down from their Thrones and the lowly, and the connotation of the word in Greek (insert Greek because the translation didn’t) means pressed down or oppressed, not those who practice the virtue of humility, they will be raised up and the hungry will be filled with good things. So look out those who sit on thrones of worldly power!
Who’s she gunning for with that one? Trump? The all-male clergy? Conservatives? So many possibilities!
I’ve never heard anyone talk about the Magnificat as a threat. I see it more as the truth of what happens when we trust in God, follow him and keep his Commandments or we don’t. The choice is ours. It’s not about the power we hold or where we sit, rich, poor, powerful or weak. It’s about the choices WE make, not the ones made for us. The most peace I get (and I fail this one often as a mom) is to do what I THINK God wants me to do, pray and trust. Mary is the model of this for us.
Let’s actually look at the prayer from Vespers:
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.”
And, interestingly enough, the antiphon for the day was:
Ant. Today the Virgin Mary was taken up to heaven; rejoice, for she reigns with Christ for ever.
Completely peaceful for those who put their trust in Christ and do his will. Oh, and those who practice the virtue of humility, which actually helps with trusting in Christ and doing his will. Not sure why Sister Carolyn is down on the virtue. Maybe she’s not into striving for that one. It’s so tiring to see “people who are leaders are bad” and “only poor, oppressed people go to Heaven.” Both groups can fail at gaining Heaven without practicing virtue, and both groups can succeed when their focus is on God. The “rich bad/poor good” is a literalist interpretation the Church does not hold.
Now the problem with this is that in Luke’s Gospel it’s all in the past tense as if it has already happened. A quick look around our world today prompts the wonderment. What? Let’s leave that question for a moment and go to the second reading which I skipped earlier because I think it’s better to deal with it last.
Luke, your gospel has problems, man. You need to run these things by Sister Carolyn. New Testament scholar. Umm, could it be because it actually had happened in the past? Mary was saved in a special way by God at the moment of her conception.
In 1st Corinthians 15, Paul is grappling with his attempt to explain the mystery of the Resurrection to people, who apparently, were pretty skeptical about the idea. Paul too speaks of a struggle. In the end he says Christ will hand over everything to God his father once he has put all enemies under his feet an allusion to Psalm 110;1 which was already considered to refer to the Messiah. But says Paul the last enemy to be destroyed is death. The resurrection of Christ has begun to put that defeat of death in motion. We’re not there yet and that’s why Luke’s Mary and her Magnificat can see from the same perspective that Paul sees here. That last enemy will be destroyed. And when that happens, that’s when we can say that all God’s promises have been accomplished so why celebrate the Assumption of Mary? Because of what it promises.
Why? Well, the Church told us why in Munificentissimus Deus:
42. We, who have placed our pontificate under the special patronage of the most holy Virgin, to whom we have had recourse so often in times of grave trouble, we who have consecrated the entire human race to her Immaculate Heart in public ceremonies, and who have time and time again experienced her powerful protection, are confident that this solemn proclamation and definition of the Assumption will contribute in no small way to the advantage of human society, since it redounds to the glory of the Most Blessed Trinity, to which the Blessed Mother of God is bound by such singular bonds. It is to be hoped that all the faithful will be stirred up to a stronger piety toward their heavenly Mother, and that the souls of all those who glory in the Christian name may be moved by the desire of sharing in the unity of Jesus Christ’s Mystical Body and of increasing their love for her who shows her motherly heart to all the members of this august body. And so we may hope that those who meditate upon the glorious example Mary offers us may be more and more convinced of the value of a human life entirely devoted to carrying out the heavenly Father’s will and to bringing good to others. Thus, while the illusory teachings of materialism and the corruption of morals that follows from these teachings threaten to extinguish the light of virtue and to ruin the lives of men by exciting discord among them, in this magnificent way all may see clearly to what a lofty goal our bodies and souls are destined. Finally it is our hope that belief in Mary’s bodily Assumption into heaven will make our belief in our own resurrection stronger and render it more effective.
Back to Sr. Carolyn:
Mary too is caught up in this great process of realizing the effects of the resurrection. It’s not a promise of peace during the course of the process rather it’s a promise of tension and struggle. We live in time and we touch eternity.
I have no idea where she’s going with this one. Kind of rambling, but if she’s saying “God is outside of time”, “The battle has already been won”, and “We need to carry our cross”, then I can agree. If she’s saying Mary’s Assumption (you know the thing this is supposed to be about) is somehow stressful to Mary, uh… Her Assumption is just what the Church said it was. It’s an example of the “lofty goal our bodies and souls are destined.”
I have a favorite poem that speaks to me of all of this. GK Chesterton’s Regina Angelorum written in 1925. It’s about the Assumption of Mary. I share it with you the last two verses only because Mary is in heaven she is exploring her new place.
She quotes it a little poorly, but the emphasis on her big and likely purposeful change is all mine.
But ever she walked till away in the last high places,
One great light shone
From the pillared throne of the king of all the country
Who sat thereon;
And she cried aloud as she cried under the gibbet
For she saw her son.
Our Lady wears a crown in a strange country,
The crown he gave,
But she has not forgotten to call to her old companions
To call and crave;
And to hear her calling ONE might arise and thunder
On the doors of the grave.
I just can’t believe these old biddies are so jealous of men that they have to “translate” their favorite poems for us. That “one” should “a man.” I’m not offended at Chesterton’s use, are you? Why anyone would change literature to suit their ridiculous agenda is beyond me. Kind of shocked any oppressive male pronouns actually made it into her translation at all.
This woman doesn’t represent me. She represents dissent. If she and her ilk spent more time focusing on virtue and getting to Heaven instead of championing priestesses (a colossal waste of time), this Church would be a better place. She’s just an embarrassment to my sex.
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.