Backlash to Fr. James Martin Over Holy Communion for Gays

News: US News
by David Nussman  •  •  December 3, 2019   

Fellow priests slam pro-LGBT priest for endorsing sacrilege

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DETROIT ( - Catholics are pushing back against a notorious pro-gay Jesuit after he seemed to encourage Holy Communion for those in same-sex "marriages."

On Twitter this weekend, prominent U.S. priest Fr. James Martin weighed in on a case where a priest in Michigan denied Holy Communion to a county judge who is an out-and-proud "married" lesbian.

Martin called the move "clear targeting" and "discrimination." He asked rhetorically, "Why are only married LGBT people being singled out? Is Communion denied to all parishioners who are not following church teachings?"

In response, many Twitter users accused Fr. Martin of causing scandal, encouraging sacrilege and denying the Catholic faith.

But blowback against Martin stretches far beyond responses on Twitter. On his website Sunday, Fr. Dwight Longenecker remarked, "Fr. James Martin has taken to Twitter again to whine and distort the truth in his usual subtle way."


Father Longenecker, a Catholic priest and convert, pointed to Martin's use of the phrase "married LGBT people," writing:

Marriage is a Catholic sacrament. It is one of the means of grace. For it to be a valid sacrament it requires proper form, minister and matter. The proper matter is the conjugal act. The proper ministers are the man and woman marrying one another. Therefore to attempt a same-sex marriage is not simply "not following church teachings," it is rejecting church teachings and doing so formally and publicly. When a Catholic attempts a same-sex marriage, they are rejecting the Catholic teaching about the sacraments.

Furthermore, Longenecker criticized Martin's comparison between publicly contracting a same-sex "marriage" and privately engaging in premarital sex or using contraceptives.

"The equivalent," Longenecker argued, "would be for the married couple using birth control or the young couple fornicating to hire a public space, sign a contract and declare to all that they believe contraception and fornication to be wonderful."

Fr. James Martin has taken to Twitter again to whine and distort the truth in his usual subtle way.

Another priest, Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, highlighted Fr. Longenecker's piece in a blog post alongside remarks of his own.

"It is important to know what the homosexualists are doing," Fr. Zuhlsdorf wrote. "They are patiently, though less and less so, engaging in a kind of permineralization process, like how over time minerals replace organic matter to create fossils. The homosexualists are trying to replace the Church's clear teaching with ambiguities that cause doubt and then self-justification."

He went on to say, "Note how, some time ago, Martin admitted that Scriptures clearly state that homosexual acts are sins. Then, incredibly, he called into question the veracity of Scripture, suggesting that Scripture is wrong."

In late October, Fr. Martin shared a quote casting doubt on the Bible's condemnation of sodomy, and commented that the quote was "interesting."

Father Zuhlsdorf also cited a recent piece in Crisis Magazine contrasting Fr. Martin with "Mr. Rogers" — the iconic children's television character played by Presbyterian minister Fred Rogers.

In that article, author Kevin Wells claimed that Mr. Rogers "knew of life's monsters; his mission was to ennoble children before the monsters could strike."

"Unlike Mr. Rogers," he stated, "Fr. Martin seems to be enabling rather than ennobling. And it is for this reason that he has become one of the monsters."

He compared Martin's mannerisms to those of the beloved children's television personality, saying, "Because of Fr. Martin's Mr. Rogers-like warmth, friendly smile and accompanying words, many millions — gay and straight alike — have rooted themselves to him. He is regarded as the long-muted prophetic voice of God."

Wells went on to warn:

And because so many thousands of bishops and priests have muted their own prophetic voice on the complementarity of the sexes, Fr. Martin's subterranean fight to normalize homosexual relations and same-sex marriage has been emboldened and advanced. His words, tweets, and thoughts will continue to spread throughout the world like an invisible poisonous gas.

Father Martin has ample history of thinly veiled pro-LGBT messaging.

His words, tweets, and thoughts will continue to spread throughout the world like an invisible poisonous gas.

On a podcast in June 2017, Fr. Martin said Sr. Jeannine Gramick — a dissident nun who co-founded pro-gay New Ways Ministry and pushed for women priests — should be canonized a saint. Gramick has been censured by the Vatican and is forbidden to minister to those with same-sex attraction — a ban she regularly flouts and ignores. Martin also opined that those with same-sex attraction were born that way, attributing homosexuality to the will of God.

In a video posted online in September 2017, Fr. Martin suggested that homosexuals are not obligated to practice chastity. That same month, Martin suggested that Catholics should "reverence" the good elements present in a same-sex marriage, and dismissed Catholic faithful as "homophobic" and "closed-minded."

In October 2017, Martin criticized a Catholic parish that refused to refer to a boy as a girl because the child supposedly identified as transgender.

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