Growing Opposition to Fr. James Martin in Chicago

by David Nussman  •  •  March 21, 2018   

Catholic Citizens of Illinois issue statement expressing concern about Fr. Martin

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CHICAGO ( - As Fr. Martin sets his sights on Chicago, Catholics in the area are aiming to push back.

Martin is a pro-gay Jesuit priest with growing influence on the Church in the United States. He will be giving Lenten presentations at Chicago's Holy Name Cathedral on Thursday and Friday.

Catholic Citizens of Illinois, a faithful lay organization, has spoken out against Fr. Martin in light of his upcoming speeches. The organization stated in a press release on Tuesday, "We were stunned and saddened at the announcement that Fr. James A. Martin, S.J. has been invited by Cdl. Blase Cupich to speak on March 22 and 23 in Holy Name Cathedral."

The American Society in Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) is organizing a protest Rosary outside Martin's talk at the cathedral on Thursday. Church Militant Resistance members will be joining TFP supporters in the prayerful demonstrations.

Cardinal Blase Cupich invited Fr. Martin to speak in Chicago after several of his lectures and speaking engagements got canceled in autumn of 2017.

In addition to the speaking gig at Holy Name Cathedral, Fr. Martin is also coming to Loyola University of Chicago. At 1 p.m. on Friday, he will give a lecture to Loyola students and staff in Madonna della Strada Chapel. The subject of his lecture will be "Building a Bridge: Welcoming LGBT Catholics Into Their Own Church."

Among Catholic priests, one of the most outspoken critics of the church's message with regard to sexuality is Fr. James Martin, an American Jesuit.

Loyola University is a Jesuit institution. Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States have a reputation of betraying the Catholic faith. Their theology departments, for instance, are split about half-and-half between so-called Catholic theologians who defy Church teachings and non-Catholic theologians who are equally committed to Leftist talking points.

Martin's speech at Loyola will be based on his book, Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter Into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion and Sensitivity. For almost a year now, Martin has been traveling the United States, giving lectures, speeches and "reflections" inspired by his book.

See our FAQ on Fr. James Martin, S.J.

Father Martin's book has gotten mixed reception among Church leaders. Some, like Cdl. Cupich, have praised it, while many faithful Catholics have complained that the book lacks any teaching on the importance of chastity.

Cardinal Robert Sarah, a high-ranking prelate in the Vatican, slammed Building a Bridge in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. The faithful cardinal pulled no punches in the article from September, saying, "Among Catholic priests, one of the most outspoken critics of the Church's message with regard to sexuality is Fr. James Martin, an American Jesuit."

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Catholic Citizens of Illinois cites Cdl. Sarah's critique in their press release. The group also comments:

We understand that Fr. Martin has written spiritual books and has preached conventional parish missions in the past. We further acknowledge that he will not be speaking on the subject of homosexuality. Nevertheless, his current notoriety is based on his book, Building a Bridge, which challenges Church doctrine in a number of significant ways. Receiving an award from a group that has been censured by the Vatican, as well as his rejection of Catholic teaching on homosexuality as presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church make him an unacceptable speaker in a Catholic cathedral.

The Catholic lay organization also produced a news article on Monday about Fr. Martin's upcoming talks. The report noted that Fr. Martin's views on sexuality "appear to constitute scandal, given that Fr. Martin has made these remarks as a credentialed Roman Catholic priest."

The article continued, "Indeed, Fr. Martin's appearances at other venues, for example, Catholic University's Theological College, have been met with controversy and even canceled out of concern for giving grave scandal."

In September 2016, Fr. Martin received an award from heretical organization New Ways Ministry. In fact, Martin's book Building a Bridge is based on a speech he delivered to New Ways Ministry in the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting.

Martin's two talks at Holy Name Cathedral will be on Jesus' identity and His Seven Last Words.


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