The Cost of Doing Nothing (about Fr. James Martin), Part 1

If you don’t know who Fr. James Martin is, introductions are in order.  He is a Jesuit priest that works for the pope and the author of a recently published book, Building a Bridge, which seeks to broker some reconciliation between the Catholic Church and the LGBT community. He wants you to know that he comes in peace.  But the peace he is offering is unacceptable to many faithful Catholics, for it is a peace that comes at too high a price.  And the price for those Christians who strive to uphold the perennial doctrines of the faith?   It is unconditional surrender.  Consider some of the outrageous statements he has made in interviews and in his book:

  • Listen to the audio below. Before 2:30 into the recording, Fr. Martin opines that gays should be able to kiss each other during the sign of peace.  Are there any other sins he would like to see at Mass—more kleptomania during the collection perhaps? Any reasonable person would conclude that Martin sees nothing wrong with homosexual behavior if he doesn’t mind seeing it expressed at Mass.
  • In fact, this is one of Martin’s constant messages—there’s nothing wrong with homosexuality.  Of course the Church disagrees with Fr. Martin on this point. “Intrinsically disordered” is how the Catechism (CCC 2357) describes homosexual behavior, hardly a ringing endorsement of homosexuality.  And Martin predictably objects to this language both in his book and in interviews.  This is from his book:

One way to be sensitive is to consider the language we use. Some bishops have already called for the church to set aside the phrase “objectively disordered” when it comes to describing the homosexual inclination (as it is in the Catechism, No. 2358). The phrase relates to the orientation, not the person, but it is still needlessly hurtful. Saying that one of the deepest parts of a person— the part that gives and receives love— is “disordered” in itself is needlessly cruel. Setting aside such language was discussed at the Synod on the Family, according to several news outlets. Later, in 2016, an Australian bishop, Vincent Long Van Nguyen, said in a lecture: “We cannot talk about the integrity of creation, the universal and inclusive love of God, while at the same time colluding with the forces of oppression in the ill-treatment of racial minorities, women, and homosexual persons.  .  .  . It won’t wash with young people, especially when we purport to treat gay people with love and compassion and yet define their sexuality as “intrinsically disordered.” Part of sensitivity is understanding this (pp. 46-47). [emphasis added]

  • Martin suggests we say “differently ordered” instead of “intrinsically disordered.”  That small change in wording, however, amounts to a mountain of change in doctrine.  For starters, he’s flirting with Pelagianism—a heresy with many tentacles that basically asserts that man can be good independent of God’s grace.  His heavy use of Ps. 139—”You are wonderfully made”— further suggests that Martin is espousing the heretical “I’m ok, you’re ok” philosophy.  When he told a pro-LGBT audience that God made gays who they are, he left little room for the doctrine that original sin burdens all of us with a fallen—and yes, disordered—human nature.

There’s certainly no room for St. Paul, who, in Romans 1, explicitly condemned homosexuality as an “unnatural (disordered) passion.”   But if there is no room for St. Paul, then we are also forced to give up the Nicene Creed, which upholds the Apostolic foundations of our faith.  And if Apostolic teaching is not to be trusted, neither is Christ’s teaching.  For Paul claimed to be preaching, not his own words, but the Word of God (1Thess. 2:13).  And if the Word of God is not infallible, nothing is.  Unconditional surrender indeed. On Martin’s terms, the price of LGBT inclusion is nothing less than the defenestration of Christ and his apostles.

So what are we to do about this?  Amazingly, some who oppose Martin have suggested that we do nothing:

We all struggle with something to make our lives square away with the rigorous demands of Divine Revelation. And when we try, we find it’s not so rigorous.  Rather, His yoke is easy and His burden light.  We are not perfect, but we try. You can’t really struggle against your own sins by following Christ if you’re spending too much time on Fr. James Martin (or listening to him) so leave him alone.  Source: Leave Fr. James Martin Alone! | Padre Peregrino [emphasis added]

If you want my opinion, that is the worst advice I’ve ever heard, however well-intentioned it may have been.  Fr. Martin has become an influential media celebrity of sorts, and he enjoys the support of many theologians and bishops.  And let us not forget who his boss is—Martin works directly for the Vatican, remember, and the fact that he has received no censure whatsoever sends a chilling message.  It makes the pope look complicit in Martin’s campaign to normalize homosexuality.

Dissent against Church teaching on sexuality has been ravaging the Church for decades now—all because not enough has been done.  Dissent now is so common that easily it represents the mainstream—inside as well as outside the Church.  The good padre quoted above would have us “leave Fr. James Martin alone” and, instead, tend to our own souls.  But once the dissent finally reaches your very own parish, even the tending of your soul becomes compromised. How, for example, can I be expected to raise my children in the faith—a solemn duty of parents—when the pastor undermines that faith every opportunity he gets?

This is precisely the situation which I find myself in. You see, this past summer my parish was assigned a new pastor, Fr. William Long.  And he has been quite busy burning the Church down with every homily and church bulletin that he writes.  And much of what he says seems to come straight from the mouth of Fr. Martin.  Thus it is no surprise that the parish book club, led by the director of adult faith formation, is getting ready to study Fr. Martin’s new book.


Today, my family has no parish home, and the kids have no choir to sing in—this, the cost of doing nothing.  Pretty soon it will be the only thing left that we can do—nothing.

So let me make this clear.  What Cardinal Burke has said (see above) about priests and bishops is true as well of the laity: our silence is complicity in apostasy.  Many members of my parish have not been silent about Fr. Long’s apostasy. They have written letters to the diocese to help them understand the gravity of the situation. But it is has now become clear from Fr. Long’s own words that he denies making any heretical statements.  So  in my next post I will be publishing a recording of Fr. Long’s words.  And you can decide for yourself if he’s Catholic.

[Coming Next: The Heresies of Fr. William Long]

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