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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - Celebrity priest Fr. James Martin, S.J. is claiming a dissident nun condemned by the Vatican for her homosexualist views should be declared a "saint."
"I'm going to canonize Sr. Jeannine Gramick, who was the co-founder of New Ways Ministry," said Martin during a June 16 podcast, as reported by Deacon Jim Russell. "You know in the '80s, they were really under a microscope, and then in the '90s, Cdl. George in Chicago said they couldn't call themselves Catholic; it was really severe, and, you know, she persisted."
"Here's this woman who has really struggled, and has really fought, and has really advocated, at great cost, you know, within her own Church," Martin continued. "I'd put her up for canonization, and at least, servant of God, or beatification."
Gramick was formally censured by the Vatican in 1999 and ordered to stop ministering to homosexuals because she was promoting views contrary to Church teaching. She defied the order and continues her dissent to this day with her group New Ways Ministry, which has a long history of defiance toward the Church:
- Cdl. James Hickey of Washington, D.C. kicked out the organization from his archdiocese in 1984 for refusing to comply with Church teaching
- The Vatican's Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life ordered founders Sr. Jeanine Gramick and Fr. Robert Nugent to "separate themselves totally and completely from New Ways Ministry," forbidding them from exercising "any apostolate without faithfully presenting the Church's teaching regarding the intrinsic evil of homosexual acts" — an order Gramick and Nugent defied
- In 1988, the Holy See established a commission under Detroit's Cdl. Adam Maida to investigate New Ways Ministry, which recommended disciplinary measures for Gramick and Nugent for their defiance of Church teaching
- The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith took over the investigation in 1995, issuing a declaration that the teachings presented by New Ways Ministry were "erroneous and dangerous"
- The CDF issued a formal declaration in 1999, approved by Pope St. John Paul II, that the founders' positions on homosexuality "are doctrinally unacceptable because they do not faithfully convey the clear and constant teaching of the Catholic Church in this area"
- The CDF concluded: "For these reasons, Sister Jeannine Gramick, SSND, and Father Robert Nugent, SDS, are permanently prohibited from any pastoral work involving homosexual persons and are ineligible, for an undetermined period, for any office in their respective religious institutes"
This censure has never been lifted.
Gramick has pushed for women priests
as well as an end to Church teaching on contraception
. She's also publicly promoted same-sex marriage.
"I'm very saddened that some of our Church leaders have claimed that marriage must be between one man and one woman," she said during a 2012 press conference
, "that the definition of marriage has always been the same, that it cannot change. Well, this is simply not so."
This is the woman Fr. Martin would declare a saint.
Martin recently published a book titled Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity. Gramick endorsed the book, writing, "With this book, Father Martin shows how the Rosary and the rainbow flag can peacefully meet each other. After this must-read book, you'll understand why New Ways Ministry honored Father Martin with its Bridge-Building Award."
Several prelates also offered high praise for Martin's publication, with San Diego's Bp. Robert McElroy — a well-known, pro-gay progressive — writing, "The Gospel demands that LGBT Catholics be genuinely loved and treasured in the life of the Church. They are not. Martin provides us the language, perspective, and sense of urgency to undertake the arduous but monumentally Christlike task of replacing a culture of alienation with a culture of merciful inclusion."
Cardinal Kevin Farrell, head of the Vatican's Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, also endorsed the book, along with Cdl. Joseph Tobin of Newark, New Jersey, who recently caused scandal by giving his blessing to an LGBT pilgrimage and Mass in his cathedral, where he explicitly avoided calling gay Catholics to a life of chastity.
Martin avoids insisting that LGBT Catholics should be called to chastity — as the Church teaches — instead focusing on welcoming and accepting them as they are. He was recently criticized for justifying the homosexual lifestyle by claiming, "Pretty much everyone’s lifestyle is sinful
Phil Lawler of CatholicCulture.org shot back
, "That statement is outrageous. In a sane world, Father Martin's Jesuit superiors would order him to apologize."
In February, Michael Voris aired a Vortex
asking Martin a straightforward question: "Are you homosexual? Yes or no?" The priest has never answered.
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