Can You Say Cardinal James Martin, SJ?

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://www.churchmilitant.com/main/generic/fr.-james-martin-sj

https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com  (Just use search box.)

https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2017/10/fr-martin-does-not-actually-say

https://christianrenaissancemovement.com/2017/09/09/the-very-bad-christology-of-fr-james-martin-s-j/

https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/priests-scold-celebrity-jesuit-fr.-james-martin-for-ignorance-arrogance

https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2017/10/02/fr-james-martin-and-accusations-of-heresy/

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

https://www.crisismagazine.com/2017/perfidious-james-martin-sj

https://churchpop.com/2017/08/21/no-jesus-did-not-learn-to-overcome-prejudice-from-the-canaanite-woman/

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

Phone: 202-333-7121

Fax: 202-337-4036

nuntiususa@nuntiususa.org

“Look at Me!” or “Look at Christ!”?

In my last blog post, there was a quote from Fr. Gregory Greiten that has just been gnawing at me. There’s the obvious, but there was a little extra annoyance I couldn’t quite put my finger on until now.

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. – Fr. Gregory Greiten

Now, I can get on board with priests being role models, but I don’t think that depends on who they are or what their sexual inclinations are in the least. Instead, it should happen despite these things. It’s how they preach the Gospel of Christ by word and by deed. The mentality that Fr. Greiten displays shows a lot of what’s wrong in the Church today. We feel like the Church needs to look like us, act like us, and have all of our inclinations, rather than the other way around. It’s a bit silly.

Let’s think about this.  For a priest to be a “role model” (I don’t think it’s the proper thought but it’s the one Fr. Greiten used.) he must be like me?!  Seriously, how narcissistic is that? I’m a woman with a bunch of kids who’s been married for a lovely while now.  No priest is ever going to be like me. Does that mean he can’t lead me to heaven?  What a crock.

The other thing Fr. Greiten shows us is that a bunch of priests want you to look to them for salvation.  Sorry, that’s never going to work.  The priest is supposed to be pointing to Christ with his words, with his actions, with his life and, of course, with the Sacraments. The “I must be a role model so you can live correctly” is, again, narcissistic. None of us struggles to follow our inclinations, we struggle with following Christ. Saying “Look at me!” isn’t going to help us follow Him.

The apostles were flawed men who directed their lives and those they evangelized toward Christ. They didn’t say “Hey!  Look at me, I’m a well-adjusted tax collector. Look at me and you’ll conquer all of your struggles.” I believe it went something more like this:

How I thank our Lord Christ Jesus, the source of all my strength, for shewing confidence in me by appointing me his minister,  me, a blasphemer till then, a persecutor, a man of violence, author of outrage, and yet he had mercy on me, because I was acting in the ignorance of unbelief. The grace of the Lord came upon me in a full tide of faith and love, the love that is in Christ Jesus. How true is that saying, and what a welcome it deserves, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I was the worst of all, and yet I was pardoned, so that in me first of all Christ Jesus might give the extreme example of his patience; I was to be the pattern of all those who will ever believe in him, to win eternal life. Honour and glory through endless ages to the king of all the ages, the immortal, the invisible, who alone is God, Amen. 1 Timothy 1: 12-17″

The apostles did not look or act like us to point us to Christ. Our commonality is not in us looking like them. It’s in our sin and our need for Christ as Our Savior.  Heck, the apostles don’t even look like Christ!  Can you imagine if they had used this ridiculous line of thought?  “Sorry, Christ. You’re not a fisherman. Can’t possibly follow you.”

This notion is all over the Church today. Just look at the synod. For some reason, some in the Church think we have to look like every people which we evangelize, when we really just need to reflect Christ.

I have friends who suffer with SSA and they’ve consistently told me that their heterosexual friends are the ones who give them the most help living chaste lives. It’s probably not even because their friends are trying to be examples.  They’re just trying to struggle with their own stuff. Misery, to the contrary, doesn’t love company but those struggling to live as Christ calls us to live do.

John the Baptist spells it out right here:

He must increase; I must decrease.

The One from Heaven.

The one who comes from above is above all. The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things. But the one who comes from heaven [is above all]. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy. For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God. He does not ration his gift* of the Spirit. The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him. John 3:30-36

So, an authentic “role model” (should just be “priest”) is one who constantly preaches Christ, not himself. We don’t need our priests to look like us. We just need them to be striving to be holy in an effort to mirror Christ.

Lastly, for good measure, I leave you with this quote from Presbyterorum Ordinis 

Priests, therefore, must take the lead in seeking the things of Jesus Christ, not the things that are their own.(53) They must work together with the lay faithful, and conduct themselves in their midst after the example of their Master, who among men “came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life as redemption for many” (Mt 20:28).

 BOOM! Mic drop!

Bishop Schlert’s Pontius Pilate Moment

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.

OSP1

 

OSP2
And if you doubt the veracity of my claims that Out at St. Paul is one of Martin’s darling groups…

OPS3

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.

BAM!

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.

Kind Regards,

XXXXX

And here is the bishop’s response (recipient’s name withheld at my discretion). 

2 April 2019

Dear XXXXXX,

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

@BishopSchlert

The Tale of Two Priests’ Videos

If you are reading this and you suffer from same-sex attraction or you know someone who does (and who doesn’t?), please watch the videos described/linked below.  Yes, one is short and one is very long, but even if you watch only the first few minutes of Fr. Schmitz’ video, you will see a stark contrast between two priests, Fr. Schmitz and Fr. James Martin, SJ.

Look very carefully at what both priests are saying.  One is trying to sow seeds of division between you and the Church, while one is trying to get you to join us all in our struggle for everlasting life.  One is trying to pit you against the Church by creating a you-or-me story line, but the other is trying to say “Join us as WE struggle TOGETHER.”  One wants you to lean on an organization that is diametrically opposed to Church teaching on same-sex attraction (the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith have both said New Ways Ministry is not a Catholic organization), and the other wants you to lean on the Church.

Because I really want you to watch the Fr. Schmitz video, I’m going to cover him first.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWZ171V0wEQ  It’s crucial for us to see the truth.  While Fr. Martin wants you to believe you should have everything you want, the way you want it and never have to have sorrow in your life, Fr. Schmitz tells you the real deal and, more importantly, where to get the help you truly need to reach your ultimate joy!   While Fr. Martin wants you to “come out”, Fr. Schmitz wants you to seek counsel and support.  What is it with Fr. Martin and “coming out” anyway?!?  Does he want us all to stand up and shout out our proclivities that lead us away from God, or does he just want those suffering from same-sex attraction to do so?  Honestly, he’s accepted more than just a few proclivities. Is he going to encourage us to say, “I’m addicted to pornography!  Tell me it’s just great!”? Or how about, “I have food addictions or eating disorders. Accept me because that’s who I am!”? Maybe “I’m attracted to my fellow pew sitter’s wife!  Cheer me on!”?  Of course not, although it might just be the slippery slope he doesn’t see coming because, in his need to justify his pet sin, love is love, right?  No, we are not our proclivities.

Back to Fr. Schmitz.  He’s willing to tell you the truth/doctrine that we are bodies and souls together. Fr. Martin, on the other hand, wants you to believe that God created confusion and chaos when he made you by constantly putting your soul at odds with your body, and it is only if you accept that this is how God made you (and we the rest of the faithful accept that, too), then you will be at peace.  Fr. Mike very clearly states what the Church has always stated.  Same-sex attraction itself is not a sin, but to act on it is.  Fr. Martin wants you to believe that people in the Church say that simply experiencing same-sex attraction is sinful.  He has intimated this more times than I can think in his effort to divide.  Fr. Martin wants you to believe that your experience is your identity.  If that’s the case, we are all in serious trouble.

Finally, the very last part of Fr. Schmitz’s video – and I want you to watch, so I won’t tell you the specifics – totally and utterly destroys Fr. Martin’s usual tall tale that all of the people who don’t accept homosexual activities just don’t know any people who suffer from same-sex attraction. Just try to tell Fr. Schmitz that, Fr. Martin.   As Father Mike points out, not accepting every single decision someone makes about their lives doesn’t equal hate in any way, shape, or form.  Father Martin, on the other hand, sells it as hateful.   Here’s another video that furthers combats a lot of Fr. Martin’s suggestions about the Church. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXcFVwq3epo It is a direct response to Fr. Martin, as you will see, although he’s a lot nicer than I am.

I know many people really don’t pay attention to Fr. Martin and don’t understand why people would, as he puts it, be so mean to him.  To help you understand, please take another 10 minutes or so to watch Fr. Martin’s ridiculous commercial for New Ways Ministry. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdO87dmgMMk You know what I felt like when I was watching it?  I felt like I was watching satan whispering “The Church hates you.  The Church rejects you.  The Church condemns you.  The Church doesn’t love you.  The Church is against you.  The Church’s religious convictions aren’t welcoming.  The Church makes you and outsider.  You are alone, marginalized, and left out all because of the Church and her teachings.  The Church is telling you that you don’t belong.  The Church is trying to take away your Sacramental Grace.”  Honestly, it was just awful and evil.  The only thing this video did was prey upon the fears that, quite frankly, most of us have.  And what was his solution?  His solution is to say, if you can’t find a Church that feels welcoming, run into the arms of New Ways Ministry.  The kicker?  If you can’t find a “welcoming” church (he never actually defines what that is) because of all the mean, callous, and abusive priests and church officials, look for a “spiritual home” that is welcoming, wherever that may be.  Seriously?  Who’s the person trying to rob people of Sacramental Grace?!?!?!  Last time I checked, you can only find that in the Church, but you just told them to go elsewhere, Fr. Martin!

So there you have it.  Two views from two VERY different priests.  One chooses to pit us against each other in a me/them fashion, and one who chooses to bring us together in the “WE” that we are.  Do you want to be part of something bigger than any one of us?  Join the struggle we all have against satan, and join us in the struggle to gain everlasting life.  Fr. Martin has always been very short-sighted.  Nobody ever told us life wouldn’t be hard.  It was Christ himself who said “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”  It wasn’t “If any man will come after me, let him have all of his desires and joys and follow me.”  What we will gain in heaven is far more than we will ever gain on earth. #MadeForLove

The Martin Machine in Motion

The Martin Machine is working overtime to protect their guy!  I’m starting to wonder what’s really going on.  I mean, is Fr. Martin’s ego so fragile it can’t take a few cancellations, or is there something bigger happening here? All of it seems a little over the top for even him.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/03/opinion/sunday/scariest-catholic-james-martin.html

The Rev. James Martin is a Roman Catholic rock star. His books, including one on Jesus Christ and another on the saints, have sold hundreds of thousands of copies. The director Martin Scorsese has twice hired him to consult on movies with religious themes. Television producers love him: Back when Stephen Colbert had his Comedy Central show, Father Martin popped up frequently as its “official chaplain.”

Let me just say, this means oh-so-much to those of us who take the Faith seriously.  Scorsese is the paragon of Catholicism to those of us just trying to get to Heaven?!  Come on.  Might I point out that Stephen King has also sold a boatload of books?  And?  Plus, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say, apples to apples, Pope Benedict might outrank Martin in the bookselling business.

So the reaction when he agreed to speak this month to a group of parishes in central New Jersey was unalloyed elation, right?

Wrong. Within days of the announcement, parish officials were in a state better described as dread.

Oh my gosh!  “Hollywood” Martin has been asked to speak?!?!?  We should all get down on our knees and thank the Lord above!  Mr. Bruni, a lot of us care a lot more about salvation than we’ll ever care about who does what in Hollywood.  I mean, I’m obviously not a fan of Fr. Martin, but even I could come up with a better defense.

Check out the websites and Twitter accounts of far-right Catholic groups and you’ll see why. To them Father Martin is “sick,” “wicked,” “a filthy liar,” “the smoke of Satan” and a “heretic” on a fast track to “eternal damnation.” They obsessively stalk him and passionately exhort churchgoers to protest his public appearances or prevent them from happening altogether.

Has Mr. Bruni looked at Fr. Martin’s, say, Facebook page comments?  Are we really going to go with glass houses here?  I can’t speak for everyone, but I go days without thinking of Fr. Martin. In fact, I wouldn’t even be thinking about him now if he hadn’t lined up a barrage of articles slamming his critics.  Interestingly enough, he/they never bother to take on the accusations.  They just slander the characters of, well, everyone opposing them. If he were to speak in my local area, I’d probably work to get that cancelled too based on two things.  First, he fails to encourage celibacy in our fellow Catholics suffering from same-sex attraction. Rather than a complete re-write on supportive evidence for this and many other mistakes, see Father Martin Pouring Gas on the Bridge and Lighting it on Fire.  Second, he actually has said some heretical things.  Before I comment on the latter, let’s take a gander at the next paragraph from the Times.

And they succeed. After the New Jersey parish in which his remarks were supposed to be delivered was inundated with angry phone calls, the event was moved off church grounds. Father Martin will give his spectacularly uncontroversial talk — “Jesus Christ: Fully Human, Fully Divine” — at a secular conference center in a nearby town.

Yeah, Fr. Martin is probably one of the last people who should do a talk entitled “Jesus Christ: Fully Human, Fully Divine” because he has, more than once, gotten that subject wrong. 

Instead of babbling my own incoherent thoughts, I offer this piece by Fr. Thomas Petri, OP, on Martin’s errors.  It’s a great read.  

Why all this drama? What’s Father Martin’s unconscionable sin? In his most recent book, “Building a Bridge,” which was published in June, he calls on Catholics to show L.G.B.T. people more respect and compassion than many of them have demonstrated in the past.

That’s all. That’s it. He doesn’t say that the church should bless gay marriage or gay adoption. He doesn’t explicitly reject church teaching, which prescribes chastity for gay men and lesbians, though he questions the language — “intrinsically disordered” — with which it describes homosexuality.

Of course, Mr. Bruni, by his own admission, there are just some things he can’t say as a priest. I do like the way you use the term “explicitly.”  Fr. Martin really doesn’t explicitly do much, but prefers the wink-and-nod tactic.  Besides, he doesn’t have to say it. He just uses his surrogates to do the talking and collects the kudos and awards from them. 

BTW, you kinda sorta have to admit he’s “advocating without advocating” for a whole lot of what you say he not advocating for in this piece: https://www.americamagazine.org/content/all-things/what-should-gay-catholic-do

I’d argue that I have more respect and compassion for “L.G.B.T. people.” You see, I want them to learn to take up their cross, follow Christ, and struggle with the rest of us towards everlasting life in our one, big Catholic family.  Fr. Martin wants to keep the false narrative of how we hate them going.  One should really, really stop and ask themselves why?  Maybe that helps the book sales, but it doesn’t help reality and it doesn’t bring souls to Heaven. 

Fr. Martin says he doesn’t touch on chastity and celibacy because it’s been covered.  But where, Fr. Martin?  Isn’t it covered by the people who supposedly hate the “L.G.B.T” community or are doing it all wrong?  If you’re pushing the narrative that these people hate the “L.G.B.T.” community, shouldn’t you be teaching it, since you are apparently the only one whocan treat anyone with kindness?  Hmmm???

If anyone knows me, you know I have friends who suffer from same-sex attraction.  There’s ZERO hate on my part for anyone, including Fr. Martin.  I’m just not one to put up with silliness, underhandedness, manipulation, and drawing people AWAY from the path of salvation found in the teachings of the Church. We just do the best we can to help each other get to Heaven.  We talk about our struggles. We talk about how to conquer the sin in our lives, etc., etc., etc.

But that hasn’t stopped his detractors from casting him as a terrifying enemy of the faith — Regan in “The Exorcist” and Damien in “The Omen” rolled together and grown up into a balding and bespectacled Jesuit — and silencing him whenever they can. A talk about Jesus that he was supposed to give in London last fall was canceled. So was a similar talk at the Theological College of the Catholic University of America.

I find it odd that someone from the NY Times has done soooo little research into why people have problems with Fr. Martin.  OK, I’m lying.  I find it completely and utterly normal.  Mr. Bruni is “gay” and as long as Fr. Martin keeps up with the “they hate gays” chant, why would he bother?  I’m sure that Mr. Bruni also feels like he knows a lot about the Church because he was the “Rome reporter” for a while. I would hope that people would use due diligence, but when you’ve got an agenda to advance, truth is irrelevant.

And the vitriol to which he has been subjected is breathtaking, a reminder not just of how much homophobia is still out there but also of how presumptuous, overwrought, cruel and destructive discourse in this digital age can be.

“Inexcusably ugly” was how the Roman Catholic archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles Chaput, described the attacks on Father Martin in an essay for the Catholic journal First Things in September. Archbishop Chaput is no progressive, but still he was moved to write that “the bitterness directed at the person of Father Martin is not just unwarranted and unjust; it’s a destructive counter-witness to the Gospel.” He cited a recent article in a French publication with the headline “Catholic Cyber-Militias and the New Censorship,” observing, “We live at a time when civility is universally longed for and just as universally (and too often gleefully) violated.”

Thanks, Your Excellency, for plugging my #CatholicCyberMilitia shop (couldn’t resist), but more importantly, how about the “faithful-phobia” going on?!?!  Just to be clear, I agree with Archbishop Chaput that fraternal correction should be done in charity and ad hominems are wrong. That said, Archbishop Chaput also says this:

Clear judgment, tempered by mercy but faithful to Scripture and constant Church teaching, is an obligation of Catholic discipleship—especially on moral issues, and especially in Catholic scholarship. The perceived ambiguities in some of Fr. Martin’s views on sexuality have created much of the apprehension and criticism surrounding his book. There’s nothing vindictive in respectfully but firmly challenging those inadequacies. Doing less would violate both justice and charity.

We lose ground when attack the person rather than his tactics, arguments, etc.  That said, I have NO problem calling him out on his inadequacies.

After Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego published a similar defense of Father Martin in the Jesuit magazine America, one of Father Martin’s devoted inquisitors tweeted: “If you think the anti-sodomite bigotry in the church is bad, you should see hell.”

Well, whoever that inquisitor is has a point, doesn’t he/she?  LOL!  Seriously!  I only wish people were as uncomfortable with actual sodomy as they are with the use of the word.  By the way, Mr. Bruni, I’m going to touch on mean statements in my next post.  It deserves a bit of individual attention.  If you want a preview, check out the comments on Fr. Martin’s Facebook page. 

I spoke with Bishop McElroy recently, and he said that while there are calm-voiced critics of Father Martin with earnest concerns about what they see as the church’s drift from traditional sexual morality, there are also out-and-out bigots whose methods are “incompatible with what we hope to be as a church.”

Hmmm…I actually agree with this statement.  That said, it goes both ways, Bishop McElroy. It goes both ways.  To illustrate, please read some of the “faithful-phobic” comments on Fr. Martin’s repost of the BuzzFeed article. 

“We have to face the fact that there is a group of people across all religious views that are particularly antagonistic to L.G.B.T. people,” he told me. “That comes from deep within the human soul, and it’s really corrosive and repugnant.”

Again, I can agree to that, but I think you’re trying to say that it’s the Catholic Church and many of her followers.  It’s not.

I have known Father Martin for many years and have long been struck by the painstakingly careful balance that he maintains. Is he telling his fellow Catholics to judge L.G.B.T. people less harshly, whether they’re chaste or not? Absolutely. When he and I talked a few days ago, he repeated a recommendation in “Building a Bridge” that Catholic institutions stop firing gay people, which has happened repeatedly.

Here’s where Bruni’s lack of Catholic understanding shows.  We don’t judge anyone, we judge their actions.  You are, however, correct in one way.  For some reason Fr. Martin thinks the “L.G.B.T. people” should get a pass for their actions (please note the lack of chastity he cited).  Why would I want anyone to do anything that is damaging to their body and soul???  Why would anyone want to give that a pass?

“Straight couples do not have their sexual lives put under a microscope like that, nor are they targeted,” he told me. “A couple living together before they’re married aren’t fired from a Catholic school.” But that arrangement runs as afoul of church teaching as a sexually active gay or lesbian couple’s does.

Well, I’ve known of people fired from Catholic schools for a myriad of their actions coming to light – same-sex attracted, straight, single, etc.  Personally, I think that’s how it should be. Why are we still having a debate about private sins becoming public and people being removed for them?  Why is this a problem?

From listening to Father Martin, it’s certainly possible to conclude that, or at least wonder if, he has qualms with church teaching about homosexuality.

BAH-HAH-HAH-HAH! I almost spit my cabernet on my keyboard! This was the most unbiased and most intelligent thing in the whole article!!  Kudos for this one, Mr. Bruni.  But then…

But he’s so restrained and respectful that the president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States officially approved “Building a Bridge,” which has also been endorsed by an array of prominent cardinals and bishops.

“Jesuit Conference” means about as much to authentic Catholicism as “Hollywood director.”

And he trails behind many members of his faith in his publicly stated views. According to a poll by the Pew Research Center last June, 67 percent of Americans who identify as Catholic support the legalization of same-sex marriage, in contrast to 62 percent of Americans across the board.

I’m not sure why Bruni’s so fixated on publicly state views.  It’s irrelevant.  Martin extols groups corrected and/or censured by the Church.  He is purposely ambiguous.  He’s agreed on video to a comment that there are some things he can’t say due to his position in the Church, etc., etc., etc.

But the far right isn’t quietly ceding the fight. That’s clear not only in the response to Father Martin but also in a federal education bill, drafted by Republicans, that would protect colleges that ban openly gay relationships or bar gays from certain religious organizations on campus.

Well, duh.  You don’t give up the fight for the salvation of souls because of numbers, good, bad or indifferent.  And, are you saying we should compel religious organizations to accept homosexual acts?  Sure, you are.

And in the church as in the government, the scorched-earth tactics of ultraconservatives often gives them a sway disproportionate to their actual numbers. “These online hate groups are now more powerful than local churches,” Father Martin said, referring specifically to Church Militant and to the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, which started a petition demanding that the New Jersey parishes cancel his appearance. It gathered 12,000 signatures.

Fr. Martin!  You’re a one-man online hate group.  Haters gonna hate!  LOL!  See how whiny and ridiculous it all is?  Let’s just state a few things accurately for a change.  First, people disagree with many of the things you say.  Deal! It’s not because they hate you or those suffering from SSA or any other disorders.  It’s simply because you are wrong and mislead good people.  People have problems with your moral and theological positions.  As far as Church Militant and TFP go, they very clearly stated all of the problems they had with you appearing in a Catholic church.  You have failed to rebut one point but, instead, called them bullies.  I know this might be a shock, but “Bullies!” is not actually a rebuttal to accusations.  Man up!  Oh, and by the way, “We hate gays!” was not in the petition.  In case you were wondering, Mr. Bruni, here’s the things they actually cited:

  • Fr. Martin said Catholics should “reverence” homosexual unions

  • Fr. Martin supports the acceptance of transgenderism for children

  • Fr. Martin favors homosexual kissing during Mass (sacrilege against God)

  • Fr. Martin calls dissident, pro-homosexual nun a “saint”

  • Fr. Martin welcomed an award from New Ways Ministry, a group condemned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Fr. Martin is not interested in actually rebutting the accusations.  Are you?

Lyle Garcia, 72, one of the parishioners involved in the decision to invite Father Martin, admitted to me that he was “very concerned” that in changing the location of the event, they’d rewarded and emboldened the haters. But at least, he said, the talk would proceed.

As will Father Martin. An expanded edition of “Building a Bridge” will be published in March, and it includes material about L.G.B.T. Catholics who told him, as he promoted the book, that it had given them desperately needed comfort.

“I’m at total peace,” he told me. “I really am. An ocean of hate online is really wiped out by just a few tears from an L.G.B.T. person.” Only one thing to say to that: Amen.

Wait, what?!  Nice, flowery line of poetry, Fr. Martin, but the firestorm of hit pieces from your minions against “the haters” tells a different tale.  But, heck, playing the martyr card might garner you a few more sales.  That said, might I offer you a few more tips?  You should let your minions do the work.  The quotes from you in every hit piece and all the tweets make it kind of obvious who is behind it all. I know it’s hard, but sssshhhhh! If you really want to score points, take to task those on your Facebook page, Twitter feed, and comboxes who are slandering your “haters.”  That would go a long way to bolstering what big meanies “the haters” are, because screen captures might come back to bite you.  Finally, give up on poetry. 

Can’t wait to see what today brings!

 

 

The Slowly Boiled Frog

Ran across this one today ( http://www.slowlyboiledfrog.com/2015/08/gay-catholics-in-futile-struggle-with.html):

The Catholic Church is unlikely to ever accept that LGBT means anything other than behavior. The Church is possibly the world’s largest closet. There are thousands of men at all levels of the Church – with undeveloped sexuality – who might turn out to be gay in far greater percentages than the general population. Acceptance of sexual orientation could cause the entire medieval structure, along with the monarchy, to crumble.

So dramatic and Shakespearian! I do love the title, “The Slowly Boiled Frog,” though, but I’ve never seen it used by a liberal. Usually it’s a conservative analogy. Anyone not know it? It goes like this. A frog dropped in a pot of boiling water will jump out of the pot to save his own life. If the frog is put into cool water and slowly brought to a boil, he will remain there until he is cooked through. Now, a conservative will usually say that’s how we got into this mess. The liberals just slowly increased the liberalism, all the while saying, “What? The water is just fine! No temperature adjustments here.” I’m not really sure what kind of analogy a liberal would make of it, but I’m hoping society can provide them one in the next 20 years or so! It’s more likely the title is poking fun at all the “conservative” frogs in the world who have been boiled.

It’s really rather simple. The Church is looking for men who want to be good Catholic priests. They are not looking for men who want to be good Catholic Gay priests. It’s the same with the laity. They want people to be faithful Catholics. They don’t want people looking for some sort of label. Once you start adding the millions of adjectives to your Catholicity, you haven’t really added anything. You’ve just taken away from the heart of the Faith.

A long, long time ago (and many bishops back), there was a luncheon meeting held in our diocese for “gay priests”. Now, of course, if you bleed Catholic, this is going to pique your curiosity, so some of the “not so gay priests” also attended. We heard from an attendee that a ways into the chatting, one such priest finally could not take it anymore and asked, “Why is it that you want to be known as a ’gay‘ priest and not simply a faithful priest?” There was a little bit of trouble answering that one, because the faithful priest completely hit the nail square on the head.

As the Washington Post reports:

LGBT groups planning events in Philadelphia around a massive Catholic family gathering there next month – which Pope Francis will attend – say the parish hosting them has reneged after a conversation with local Catholic officials.

The news Tuesday follows the announcement by Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput that people advocating for gay equality would not be given a platform at the World Meeting of Families, a once-every-three-years global meeting about family issues in the church.

This was particularly striking to me:

Among them was Fortunate Families, a group for Catholic parents seeking equality for their LGBT children. Its president, Deb Word, and her husband run a safe house for LGBT youth in Memphis.

The World Meeting’s director of programming, Mary Beth Yount, told Word that the group couldn’t advertise at the event because it isn’t welcoming of parents who disapprove of their children’s same-sex behavior

Well, I’m reasonably sure that’s not the whole reason, Mary Beth. The whole fiasco pretty much flies in the face of Catholic teaching from start to finish. You are quite correct, this wouldn’t be an event for those trying to be faithful to the teachings of the Church. This would be a gathering for people who want the Church to approve of whatever it is they want. You can find the flyer on my last post: https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2015/08/19/new-ways-annoying-in-the-same-old-way/.

Again, the Church does treat us all equally. We are free to live according to the Faith, and we are free to stray from it, but the latter isn’t going to be sanctioned, rubber stamped, and approved by the Catholic Church. It’s pretty simple: we’re all held to this, no matter what adjective we want to attach to ourselves.

That pretty much sums it up. Gay people require the approval of people who think that homosexuality is a behavior of choice or, in the alternative, that they must make a decision to be celibate for life.  I guess that they can choose to be neurotic priests.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and just guess Mr. Hart is not even Catholic. At least he’s not trying to add qualifications to his Catholicity that I could see anywhere. That’s our first clue, because you’d usually see something like “Gay Catholic Blogger” or “Progressive Catholic Thinker”, etc.

So, let me explain it to you, David: Catholics are expected to live according to the Catholic Faith. It has nothing to do with “neurotic priests” and everything to do with living according to God’s laws. It applies to every last one of us, no matter our temptations or proclivities.

Admittedly I think that it’s all rather silly. It amazes me that intelligent, well educated people buy into all of this. What really astonishes me, though, is that LGBT Catholics keep asking for the Church’s approval — something that they will never get. Do people think that it is some odd coincidence that one of the Church’s most most anti-gay bishops – Cordileone – is the archbishop of San Francisco, perhaps the nation’s gayest city? You just have to read the messages to know where LGBT people stand.

Eureka, Mr. Hart!!! We do agree on something! Of course, I don’t think the Faith silly, but I totally think it’s astonishing that after 2,000 years, one group or another still thinks it can mold the Church around their sins. It’s not the first time it’s happened and it will not be the last.

You seem to be a man who sees things for what they are. I don’t expect you to understand or embrace the Catholic Faith, but I’m kind of sad to see that you would call Archbishop Cordileone “anti-gay”. Your missive seems far more reasonable than that, although from someone who’s probably not in the flock. I can tell you that the Archbishop has nothing but a profound love for ALL of those in his care – no matter the adjective. I think that’s what pains him the most. He truly cares about souls. He just takes the hate and keeps on loving. Do you think it just might be possible that the Archbishop really has the best interest of the souls of ALL his flock in mind? Just the smallest possibility? Surely you would agree that just because you disagree with someone doesn’t mean that you are “anti” them, right? I mean, if you read the documents put out on the issue, one can hardly say the Church is “anti” anyone.

Instead, I suggest that anyone who thinks the mean ‘ol Church doesn’t care read one of the documents on the subject. Here’s one to ease you into it: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19861001_homosexual-persons_en.html.

As has been pointed out elsewhere, it’s “zero hour” for the Archdiocese of San Francisco. No more extensions are expected in the school contract drama. Please pray that the Holy Spirit guides all those involved, and that He hits those that need it upside the head with a two-by-four.

UPDATE AFTER POSTING: Contract signed!  Deo gratias! http://www.sfarchdiocese.org/docs/default-source/media-items-2015/final-draft-agreement.pdf?sfvrsn=4

New Ways – Annoying in the Same Old Way!

Philadelphia seems to be where the news is as of late, so there I virtually go again! I wish I was going to the “City of Brotherly Love” for the Pope’s trip, but with the hordes of kids and school starting, it’s just not in the budget. Besides that, I’m not a big crowd person, and it looks like it will be a BIG crowd. Go, Catholicism!

Now back down to Earth… New Ways Ministry and Equally Blessed win the award for whiners of the day. Archbishop Chaput has apparently put the kibosh on their planned production during the Holy Father’s visit, and they’re not happy (http://www.donotlink.com/gdme). Let’s be honest, shall we? It was nothing more than a PR stunt. Once the actual flyer got to the Archbishop, it was sure to be squashed. They were just going for martyr status.

Before going on to their statements, let’s first take a gander at the flyer for their event, “Transforming Love” (http://www.donotlink.com/gdmi). My gosh! The title alone justifies closing this one down! Now that you’ve had a look at the flyer, let’s look at what New Ways has to say about this program. First, New Ways apparently expects the Archbishop to drop what he’s doing and beg them for a meeting:

I am very sorry that Archbishop Chaput did not seek to speak with New Ways Ministry about the nature of the program…

Hey, New Ways, here’s a thought! How about you make an appointment with Archbishop Chaput and ask PERMISSION to do something in one of the churches under his jurisdiction? Why is it you think he needs to seek you out? Instead, you decided to plan something that you know full well goes against the teachings of the Catholic Church, and then you try to play the martyr card? I don’t think so. This is getting rather old, and you’re looking rather pathetic at this point. It’s not like we haven’t seen this a hundred times before.

There was no plan to have a theological discussion about gender identity.

Puh-lease! As if that matters. What you were really planning on doing was railing against the Catholic Church, right? The flyer basically says so:

Over the last two decades, the Catholic community has become extremely supportive of lesbian and gay issues, including marriage equality.

How, exactly, does this little excerpt from the flyer jive with the teachings of the Catholic Church? Oh, yeah, it doesn’t. And then we have the whole bio for Joe “Julie” Chovanes:

Julie Chovanes, a transsexual woman, was born into a conservative religious family in suburban Philadelphia. Joe (as Julie was called) played football in high school, did not dream of growing up to be a woman, but struggled with her trans identity all her life.

As a male, Julie met her wife in law school, transitioned six years ago, and is still married. They have four children, ranging in age from 23 to 15. Julie is beginning a trans legal clinic in the Philadelphia area.

Yeah, that’s so in keeping with Catholic Teaching. You know, the teaching that says that it’s peachy for the “lesbian trapped in a man’s body” to engage in self-mutilation? (Sarcasm alert!) Is this happy couple now supposed to be the paragon of the permanency of marriage?

Really, we didn’t need to go beyond the sponsors to see how in tune with Catholic teaching they are. In case some of you don’t know, here’s New Ways Ministry’s status with the Catholic Church in the United States: http://www.usccb.org/news/2010/10-028.cfm.

Back to the PR stunt:

The workshop fills a void at the World Meeting of Families, which comes to a close just before New Ways Ministry program is scheduled, Saturday, September 26, 2015.  No speakers at the World Meeting will address the topic of gender identity.

Hold up! I thought this “workshop” wasn’t going to address the theology of gender identity.   The World Meeting is supposed to based on Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.

Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive is a Church document that teaches what Catholics believe about human purpose, marriage, and the family. This document forms the basis for the attached children’s preparatory lessons and the event programming objectives for the World Meeting of Families. (http://www.worldmeeting2015.org/spirituality-center/preparing-family/)

Hmmm….Not really sure how you can say your event was going to fill a void in an event that’s pretty much a giant theological discussion with an event lacking in a theological discussion but, OK.  Maybe you got the wrong event?

The fact is, there is no void at the World Meeting. New Ways Ministry itself is a void. Or, rather, it’s DEvoid of Catholicism. Why would there be New Ways-type speakers at the “World Meeting” when the Holy Father has said these little gems: http://cnsnews.com/blog/michael-w-chapman/pope-francis-gender-theory-error-human-mind-leads-so-much-confusion? He’s already spoken on the issue!

New Ways rants on:

 St. John’s parish had seen fit to offer space for the program based on their pastor’s and community’s belief that “All are welcome” in the parish.  It is very disappointing that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia did not have the same spirit of Christian hospitality.

 As usual, Mr. DeBernardo (GASP! Am I allowed to use a gender-specific pronoun?), you confuse PEOPLE being welcomed with SIN being welcomed. Sorry, not the same thing. Personally, if I were Archbishop Chaput, after the Holy Father jets off, the first thing I would do is to have a little chat with the pastor of St. John’s parish. I’m quite sure he knew full well what he was doing with this little stunt and this was not an innocent mistake but a move designed to try to shame the Archbishop.  Sad.

Now, for those of you who don’t know, Equally Blessed is Call to Action, Dignity USA, Fortunate Families and New Ways Ministry all rolled into one. It’s a little redundant for them to also put out an additional statement, but Bob Shine (also from New Ways) says:

Unfortunately, this is yet another instance of the kind of exclusion LGBT Catholics and supporters have endured for decades. Bishops have refused to allow us to meet in our own Churches, retreat centers and colleges.

Why would that be? I mean, your ideology is totally in line with the Catholic Church, isn’t it?  Not so much. On and on it goes. It’s nothing we haven’t heard before, and it will likely be continued ad nauseam for the foreseeable future.

Any chance you could just drop the endless whining?! It’s really getting on my nerves! You also might want to look around and see that the rest of us sinners aren’t whining. You are as free as every other Catholic to participate in the Holy Father’s visit. You can go to the talks, CONFESSION (Hint! Hint!), and the Masses. Just like every other Catholic, you can even receive Communion if you are free from mortal sin! What you can’t do is expect to come in, flaunt your sin, and subvert the Catholic Church’s teaching. But guess what? This applies to ALL CATHOLICS!!!

This is really what annoys me about the alphabet soup crowd (AKA the LGBTXYZ posse). It seems they are such prima donnas that they believe their sin should be overlooked and accepted. They’ve got that two-year-old, baby-of-the-family mentality that the world revolves around them and their (in their eyes) “precious” sin. The New Ways club says they “want to be treated just like everyone else.” Guess what? The Catholic Church actually does that, but they don’t like it!  Go figure!  What New Ways and their supporters really want is the “I’m so special I get a pass” treatment. They just need to go peddle their sin elsewhere, and let us enjoy the Papal visit in peace!