Teens Exposed to Dissent at Annual Jesuit Event

by David Nussman  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  November 7, 2017   

Schools bus hundreds of students to yearly Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice

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WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - Hundreds of teens are being taught a distortion of the Catholic faith each year at a Jesuit-run event in Washington, D.C.

Among the speakers was homosexualist Fr. James Martin, S.J., whose speech was part of a multi-day conference called the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (IFTJ). The annual event features hundreds of high school and college students representing Jesuit institutions all over the United States, who are treated to a day-long event where they are essentially told that conscience matters more than dogma, and that Church has been at fault for failing to be more welcoming to the "marginalized," including the gay and transgender community.

Father Martin was not the only celebrity Catholic at the IFTJ. The speakers' list also includes theological dissidents like Fr. Bryan Massingale and Sr. Simone Campbell.

One of the IFTJ speakers, Fr. Massingale, also spoke in February at the Los Angeles Religious Education Conference (LA REC). Father Massingale told his immense LA REC audience that Catholics can disobey Church teaching, as long as their "conscience" tells them it is OK. He claimed that Catholics only need to "do the best they can, even if it goes against Church teaching."

Sister Campbell is the organizer of "Nuns on the Bus," a nationwide tour by a group of left-leaning religious sisters who don't wear habits. In 2010, Campbell backed Sr. Carol Keehan as she supported Obamacare, in direct defiance of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Obamacare included the contraceptive mandate, as well as a potential loophole allowing for expansion of taxpayer funding of abortion.

In an interview during the 2012 Nuns on the Bus tour, Sr. Campbell was asked whether abortion should be illegal and if abortionists should be punished by law: her response was, "That's beyond my pay grade. I don't know." She went on to blast Republicans for wanting to cut government handouts arguing that it would augment the financial burden of pregnant mothers who choose life.

Father Martin spoke Saturday night about his recent book, Building a Bridge. The book is supposedly about creating a dialogue with "respect, compassion and sensitivity" (as the subtitle states) between the Catholic Church and "the LGBT community." The book has been widely criticized by prelates and laymen alike for omitting any mention of Church teaching on chastity.

In a tweet Sunday morning, Fr. Martin thanked "the amazing young people who came to discuss Building a Bridge and our LGBT brothers, sisters and siblings."

The phrase "brothers, sisters and siblings" may seem redundant; however, it seems to be a gesture of inclusion toward who identify as "gender non-conforming." The words "brothers" and "sisters" refer to males and females respectively; the addition of "siblings" includes people who consider themselves neither male nor female.

Father Martin indicates his dissent against Church teaching in public speeches and seminars, not in the book. When answering questions about his apparent dissent, Fr. Martin dodges the question by referencing the book; he refuses to disclose his own opinion or discuss the things he says in his talks.

See our FAQ on Fr. James Martin.


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