Fr. James Martin, an American Jesuit, author and media personality,

Comment: Priest caught in vicious smear campaign

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  • September 28, 2017

Fr. James Martin, an American Jesuit, author and media personality, has appeared in this column before for his humour and humility, including his intimate 465-page portrait Jesus: A Pilgrimage.

One can tell through his books and social media presence that Martin thinks deeply and spreads widely the teachings of Jesus, particularly with young adults.

Unfortunately, for the last several weeks Martin has been the victim of a vicious online bullying campaign by so-called “alt-right” Catholic groups. These “cyber-militia” Catholics don’t see the irony in their campaign of hatred in what they claim is in the name of Jesus and the Gospel. Martin has been called a “heretic,” a “pansified” priest, a “homosexualist” and a whole lot worse. A cursory scan of some of these vile posts makes one want to simultaneously laugh at the ignorance and get nauseous over their intolerance.

They’ve so far pressured institutions to cancel three of Martin’s speaking engagements even though he was not to speak about his latest book, the subject that has them so riled up.

Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion and Sensitivity urges dialogue between the Church and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Before publication, Martin’s Jesuit superior approved it (and several Cardinals endorsed it) as being in line with Church teachings. Members of the LGBT community — and their parents, siblings and friends — have applauded Martin for opening civilized dialogue that can lead to them feeling more welcome by the Church. So far, the book has sold more than 25,000 copies and sales are spiking due to the alt-right controversy.

“As I was writing the book, I knew that it would be a somewhat controversial topic, even though I was careful to stay well within the bounds of Church teaching,” Martin wrote in The Washington Post on Sept. 21. “My reflections, which can be summarized as a call for respect on both sides, were based on the Gospel and on the Catechism’s call for the Church to treat ‘homosexual persons’ with ‘respect, compassion and sensitivity’. ”

Regardless, the ultra-conservatives are incensed. The attacks have been relentless.

Thankfully, more and more are standing beside Martin against the bullies, even conservative Catholics like Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, who has publicly supported the Church’s traditional teaching on marriage.

“Some of the recent attacks on Martin, sparked by his book Building a Bridge, have been inexcusably ugly,” Chaput wrote in conservative Catholic journal First Things. “Fr. Martin is a man of intellect and skill whose work I often admire. Like all of us as fellow Christians, he deserves to be treated with fraternal good will. It’s one thing to criticize respectfully an author’s ideas and their implications. It’s quite another to engage in ad hominem trashing.”

In an anti-bullying show of support, Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago invited Martin to speak for two nights in his archdiocese after he was disinvited elsewhere.

Robert McElroy, bishop of San Diego, made an impassioned plea in America Magazine, not only in defence of Martin, but for all Catholics to cut “this cancer of vilification (that) is seeping into the institutional life of the Church.”

In other words, dialogue and civil discourse are paramount and must override bigotry, petulance and distortions.

“Many analyses of Fr. Martin’s arguments have pointed to important problems that do not have easy answers and to the reality that dialogue must always proceed both in respect and in truth,” Elroy cautions.

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

All good points, especially the third. Many ultra-right Catholics do not like our Pope. I know this from emails I’ve personally received and reading elsewhere.

For example, a young Denver priest urges followers to ignore Martin because he advocates “sodomy,” but he also has harsh things to say about Pope Francis elsewhere on his blog. After Francis spoke to the U.S. Congress in 2015, this priest accused the pontiff of “trying to usurp His power” because Francis did not use the words “Jesus” or “Christ.”

I checked the transcript of Francis’ Washington address and the priest is correct on that point: during the 4,000-word speech, Francis did not say Jesus or Christ. But he did say “God” 11 times.

Just as the campaign against Martin distorts fundamental Catholic moral theology of love and empathy, so too does this young priest distort facts to diss Pope Francis. Increasingly, on all issues, we must move from “ad hominem trashing,” as Chaput says, and into civil debate “both in respect and in truth,” as McElroy says. If that happens, maybe some good will come out of the attacks upon Fr. Martin.

(Brehl is a writer in Port Credit, Ont., and can be reached at bob@ abc2.ca, or @bbrehl on Twitter.)

Comments (3)

  1. Dianne Wood

Thank you. I decided to buy the book after reading some disgusting things in Lifesite News. I have decided that maybe they never read the book. It is quite a simple book looking at things we get wrong on both sides, then it offers some prayers to...

Thank you. I decided to buy the book after reading some disgusting things in Lifesite News. I have decided that maybe they never read the book. It is quite a simple book looking at things we get wrong on both sides, then it offers some prayers to help bring us together. If you do not like this approach you could at least say it respectfully.

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  1. justin

I've never read Fr. Martin's books; I've only heard him speak, on NPR, re: spirituality, and I was impressed. So when he released his book, I was eager to read some of the criticisms I only assumed would surface, on a topic this volatile. To my...

I've never read Fr. Martin's books; I've only heard him speak, on NPR, re: spirituality, and I was impressed. So when he released his book, I was eager to read some of the criticisms I only assumed would surface, on a topic this volatile. To my disappointment, I only read accusations and name-calling; when I tried to engage with his detractors, I BEGGED some of them to provide a few quotes that were clearly heretical, even ONE QUOTE, and I was always directed to "just go read his books," where it is "so obvious." Even the articles themselves never quoted a single heretical statement; they only made reference to obvious implications and extrapolations from what he said, that would undeniably lead to heresy. It's really hard to engage someone in an adult talk, when they all but refuse to give even one solitary quote as evidence for their position. So I will buckle down and buy his book, but I'm not holding my breath that it will be anywhere worthy of the rancor that his critics claim.

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  1. Willbranson

In the fake news-at-its-finest world of so-called journalism, the alt-left - whether secular or religious – the primary modus operandi is to spin narratives in order to accuse the right (i.e., righteous) of the very things they are guilty of...

In the fake news-at-its-finest world of so-called journalism, the alt-left - whether secular or religious – the primary modus operandi is to spin narratives in order to accuse the right (i.e., righteous) of the very things they are guilty of themselves to divert attention. Like Hillary and the DNC accusing Trump of Russian collusion, to disguise their treasonous money laundering schemes of selling American uranium to Putin. Or to keep it biblical, Satan accusing God of being a liar, when he himself told the biggest whopper of all time to Adam and Eve. Brehl’s previous (Sept. 28) article was based on a lie. The supposed “vicious smear campaign” against James Martin was actually a campaign for orthodoxy against Martin’s promotion of heresy. Yes, Martin is a heretic - as many disgusted, faithful Catholics have pointed out and we shall show.

Clearly, Brehl, was the one doing the trashing. Everything I stated was absolutely true. One wonders how much more belittling the language would have been were it not constrained by his Catholic employer. “Smearing” involves calumny, not the dissemination of truth to protect the faith from moral heretics. And, unlike Brehl, I included links to back up my assertions. Because we live in the age of the professional victim, it’s become the primary tool of the activists trying to destabilize society. It’s axiomatic that pride and rage go together, especially gay pride and rage. As Brehl’s column so well illustrates, righteous Catholics endorsing orthodoxy are subjected to endless insults and labelled fools and bigots - such a stranglehold does the pro-gay movement hold over the Church. Unless Brehl is the world’s biggest dupe, he knows exactly what Martin is up to and hence takes his readers for dupes. Fact!

https://www.churchmilitant.com/video/episode/vortex-everything-is-being-exposed

Such hostility to the commands of Christ on marriage and celibacy similarly explain the LGBT rage at Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin. After instructing his priests to follow church dogma and deny Catholic funerals to manifest sinners - such as gays living immoral and unrepentant public lifestyles - they are currently petitioning Pope Francis to remove him. Fact!
https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/2017/10/29/petition-apope-francis-remove-bishop-robert-morlino-his-views-gay-and-lesbian-catholics-petition-say/809950001/

For CINOs, unable to argue their position from moral reason, the only alternative is to call their opponents jerks. It’s all they’ve got! Brehl uses the same method to describe orthodox Catholics: i.e., the professional victim narrative that attempts to morph and spin a defense of the Catholic faith into a smear campaign. In this case, it involves gay activist James Martin SJ, unabashedly using his priesthood to destroy the Catholic faith from within. For there is no ‘alt-right’ or ‘alt-left’ with respect to the theological virtue of faith - i.e., the Catholic faith; there is only orthodoxy and lies (heresy).

I called Brehl a “homosexualist” – i.e. someone who vigorously promotes the LGBT agenda - not a homosexual. Whatever the case, Brehl avoids a direct answer and responds by way of broad mental reservation; it’s hard to get a “straight” answer out of the Martin crowd. However, it matters little whether a person is straight, gay or bisexual if they’ve adopted the same activist tactics and language. The former term has come into use because most gay activists (within the church) are careful to not go on record as admitting they’re gay. Priests like Thomas Rosica and James Martin know it would expose their hideous objectives if they admitted their orientation. For example, Rosica calls the defrocked and disgraced, bisexual, activist-priest Gregory Baum, his hero and a shining Catholic light in this Salt and Light interview:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtuF1ZWnsec


Thus being married with children doesn’t necessarily mean a person isn’t bisexual. The fact that we now have gender fluidity implies that we should no longer pin anyone down to a single gender. According to the New York Times, there are 71 genders - and counting, so it’s pretty darn easy to lose track of what you are. (And by the time you find out, it’s liable to change.) The same is true of many seminarians; by their own admission, according to an article in the Register, a fair number are still wondering about their orientation(s).

Another highly decorated Catholic chaplain and counsellor, that I knew and whose identity I’m not at liberty to reveal, also has a wife and kids; however, he was also gay and into cross dressing. I remember him telling me that John Paul II was “senile.” It can’t be coincidental that such disordered men gravitate toward counselling position with naïve, younger students. The point is that just because a man has a wife and kids, it doesn’t mean that he can’t be gay too. Heck, my best friend married a woman (after her annulment) whose husband used to bring home his male dates.

Still another gay activist is Michael Way Skinner, a Harvard graduate and father of 5 adopted children with his wife. He was recently appointed religious coordinator of the York Catholic District School Board, and was the lead author of “All God’s Children” and the new sex-ed curriculum for Catholic schools. He boasts that he’s made a careful study of power analysis and its use by marginalized groups to overcome the hegemony of those in authority. Hence his beguiling of an unsuspecting Cardinal Collins to garner/shyster his recommendation to a gatekeeper-leadership position within the YRCSB. Get them while they’re young. Right out of the LGBT Handbook for Professional Victims. The “weaponization” of dialogue never ends. The utter contempt Skinner holds for Catholic morals and what his real agenda is can be seen from this YouTube video where he conducts a workshop for Catholic educators. Clearly, their sole purpose is to encourage gays their same-sex dates to Catholic proms and dances.
Skinner’s devilish pseudo-arguments are a template of James Martin’s. Coincidence? They claim that if acting upon same-sex attraction is mortally sinful, then equity would require the Church to screen heterosexual couples from attending too, unless they could be sure they were in a state of grace. Martin & Skinner facetiously suggest that if Catholic schools are going to forbid gay couples from attending dances, then moral equity requires that heterosexual students also be in a state of grace. Their reductio ad absurdum argument is itself absurd. Because:

(1) Outside of special divine revelation, Catholic dogma teaches that it’s impossible for us to be certain that we ourselves are in a state of grace, much less that of anyone else.

(2) Heterosexual relationships, properly conducted, obey natural law (i.e. moral laws founded on our created nature) while homosexual ones utterly contradict it. The fact that heterosexual couples may indulge in lustful actions is usually a mortal sin; however, in so doing they too would be contradicting the natural law. Lust is always a sin, no matter what its object; it’s just that as a species, fornication is less disordered than sodomy, which is less disordered than pedophilia. Developing morally healthy heterosexual relationships develops maturity and self-restraint. Thus it is ordered to the “good of marriage.” In bleak contrast, there exists no parallel for same-sex relationships (we’re not talking about platonic friendships here). So-called gay marriage is not a good at all, it’s an abomination - as was demonstrated by the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah, 3,900 years ago.

(3) Approving of homosexual relationships, explicitly or tacitly, creates gross scandal.

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/video-teacher-reveals-how-he-convinced-his-catholic-school-board-to-go


LGBT activists, disingenuous to the core, despite playing the victim, will only be satisfied when teaching the Catholic morals is outlawed in Catholic schools. In fact, this situation has already legislatively occurred in Alberta. All God’s Children?
Alberta Catholic Education bill:

LGBTS 1; Catholic Church 0

EDMONTON, Alberta, October 26, 2017: The Alberta government says it is “unacceptable” for Catholic schools to uphold Church teaching on sexuality in school curriculum.

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/alberta-govt-unacceptable-to-uphold-christian-teaching-on-sexuality-in-cath


As for heretic James Martin SJ, his sly efforts, coated with the usual LGBT buzzwords of “dialogue” (the devil’s favorite term) leave little doubt about his sinister mission. It’s all he talks about – the central obsession of his life and likely the reason he became and stays a priest. His objective is to normalize the cancer of homosexuality (even though Martin thinks it’s a “gift from God”) in Christ’s Mystical Body. Here is noted canon lawyer Ed Peter’s take on Martin’s advocating gays kissing during Mass:
http://www.catholicworldreport.com/2017/10/02/fr-james-martin-and-accusations-of-heresy/

And speaking of dialogue, here’s what happened to one faithful priest when he tried to dialogue with the Pope. Fr. Martin’s supporters got very, very nasty.
“There is no way” the priest told me, “that this remark didn’t directly sting Cardinal Cupich, Cardinal Tobin, Cardinal Ferrell, and Bishop McElroy in particular, as they have been busy supporting Father James Martin, S.J., and others like him. I would be very surprised if they were not directly behind Fr. Thomas Weinandy’s forced resignation.”
https://onepeterfive.com/dialogue-priest-who-wrote-letter-to-pope-asked-to-resign-from-usccb/

According to Martin’s casuistry, for church teaching on moral issues to be valid, they must be “received” by the community of churchgoers. Since gays haven’t accepted that sodomy is wrong – actually, many gays I’ve met have accepted it and are trying to change and have changed - but not the ones Martin hangs out with.

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

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


And despite the fact that homosexuals comprise only perhaps 2% of the population, numerous surveys in the United States and elsewhere have found that 15% to 58% of priests are homosexual despite repeated Vatican and canon law directives sating that homosexuality represents a permanent impediment to the priesthood.

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccatheduc/documents/rc_con_ccatheduc_doc_20051104_istruzione_en.html


And then there is the link between homosexuality and ephebophilia (attraction to adolescents), a fact confirmed by the USCCB commissioned John Jay Report

http://www.catholicleague.org/homosexuality-and-sexual-abuse/


As a result, many seminaries became gay clubs with their own dating and hookup sites. It was only a matter of time before many rose up through the ranks to become bishops and cardinals, where they look out for their own and cover for each other. Michael Coren in “The Walrus,” July 21, 2015 interview illustrated the situation well:

"There are Catholic priests in Canada living with their partners, and some of these men are prominent clerics. Living that lie, existing in such a state of moral dissonance, is achingly damaging. One former priest told me that he once visited a senior bishop (I am being purposely vague here) to explain that he was gay and needed to leave the priesthood. The bishop responded that it was okay to stay in the church and that the priest could have a parish outside of the city, where he could live with his lover. None of this, believe me, is shocking to those who truly know the church as insiders."

Another example of pro-gay prelates pushing the LGBT agenda are Bishops Robert McElroy and John Dolan.

u.s.-bishops-celebrate-anniversary-of-vatican-censured-homosexuality-letter" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/u.s.-bishops-celebrate-anniversary-of-vatican-censured-homosexuality-letter


Though there are faithful Jesuits, homosexuality has made many “in persona Christi “shells. The priests and seminarians in the 60’s and 70’s ran off with women, but now, if they run off, they usually do so with men. However, most gay Jesuits describe it as being far more comfortable to stay in the order where they are financially supported and provided with access to more resources and connections than they would ever have on their own. Even the leader of the Jesuits is a heretic: Fr. Arturo Sosa Abascal, the Jesuit’s Superior General, said in a May 31 interview with the Spanish paper El Mundo that Satan is a “symbolic figure” who doesn’t really exist.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/confessions-of-a-gay-jesuit-how-i-was-forced-to-leave-my-churchand-calling


I remember going on a men’s retreat at Manresa during the 90’s. Many of the retreatants were non-Catholic or not affiliated with any religion. The head of Manresa back then held a closing Mass on Sunday morning and proceeded to invite everyone to communion, Catholic or not. He cared not one iota if Our Lord was offended by sacrilege.

The North York church I attend uses Brendan Byrne’s "Galatians and Romans" for its adult bible study guide. On pages 71-72, chapter 3, regarding Romans1:26-27, Bryne states that St. Paul was erroneous in condemning all homosexual acts; the apostle was referring only to immature gay encounters, not mature committed homosexual relationships. It seems that had the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah been practicing committed sodomy, God would have been hunky-dory with it. Ditto for the Mosaic Law in Leviticus that prescribed death for homosexual acts.

Much could be said about Pope Francis’ heretical remarks such as:
"Cohabiting couples are in a “real marriage” and receive the grace of the Sacrament. “I’ve seen a lot of fidelity in these cohabitations, and I am sure that this is a real marriage, they have the grace of a real marriage because of their fidelity.”

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/francis-urges-priests-to-welcome-cohabitating-couples-in-the-style-of-the-g

So much for the hermeneutics of continuity! However, such scandalous assertions are usually made only during interviews since he must be well aware they’re contrary to the faith and morals established by Sacred Tradition, and have no magisterial authority. But surely Francis must also know they have a humongous effect on the faithful. In more formal settings, he realizes that he would be taken to task for putting his ‘liberation theology’ convictions with all their cognitive dissonances (so well displayed in Amoris Laetitia) on the table. That’s something Pope Francis will never do because it would violate his clandestine program of what to his mind is “reform.”

Having banished or rebuked just about every orthodox cardinal around him, like Raymond Burke, Robert Sarah or Gerhard Muller, Francis has subsequently surrounded himself with heretical cardinals like Reinhard Marx and Walter Kasper. In fact, just before the 2015 Synod, Gerhard Muller, then head of the CDF, stated that the Catholic church was already effectively in schism. Perhaps one fact will convey just how absurd things gave gotten: The ghost writer for the encyclicals Laudato Si, Evangelii Gaudium and the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia is sexual weirdo, Victor Manuel Fernandez, author of "Heal Me With Your Mouth: The Art of Kissing." Unbelievable! Fernandez was personally parachuted into the episcopacy by Francis, against the protest of many other prelates because of his inadequate and dangerous heterodox theology.

http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1351303bdc4.html?eng=y


Finally, as I pointed out, regarding your Aug. 31 article, which starts off by gratuitously insulting Donald Trump, misquotes 1 John 4:18, wherein you assert the opposite of love is not hate but fear, shows that you couldn’t have bothered to read the Catechism.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c1a5.htm


Expanded explanations are given by Thomas Aquinas. The opposite of love is hatred [Summa: Part I-II; Question 29, articles 1, 2]. And the opposite of fear is daring (cf. hope) [Summa: Part I-II; Q 43, article 1.] Aquinas shows that love is the cause of EVERY hatred.

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