DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - Father James Martin is saying that chastity is not required of homosexuals. In a video posted on YouTube on September 20, the Jesuit claims the Church's teaching on chastity is not binding on the consciences of the faithful because it has not been "received" by the people. It's a denial of the infallible teaching authority of the Catholic Church in matters of both faith and morals.
He also said in a post on Facebook, "Things can always improve. And the Holy Spirit knows what She's doing" (emphasis added).
"For a teaching to be really authoritative," he said, "it is expected that it will be received by the people of God, by the faithful. So you look at something like say, the Assumption. So the Assumption is declared and people accept that. They go to the feast of the Assumption, they believe in the Assumption, it's received."
"The teaching that LGBT people must be celibate their entire lives," he continued, "has not been received."
In other words, Martin is pushing the protestant notion that teaching only becomes magisterial if the people "receive" the teaching. Because the LGBT community has not "received" the requirement of chastity, therefore that teaching is not authoritative, and thus has no application to them.
The Code of Canon law in paragraph 750 reads:
A person must believe with divine and Catholic faith all those things contained in the word of God, written or handed on, that is, in the one deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, and at the same time proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn Magisterium of the Church or by its ordinary and universal Magisterium, which is manifested by the common adherence of the Christian faithful under the leadership of the sacred Magisterium; therefore all are bound to avoid any doctrines whatsoever contrary to them.
Section 2 goes on to read:
Each and every thing which is proposed definitively by the magisterium of the Church concerning the doctrine of faith and morals, that is, each and every thing which is required to safeguard reverently and to expound faithfully the same deposit of faith, is also to be firmly embraced and retained; therefore, one who rejects those propositions which are to be held definitively is opposed to the doctrine of the Catholic Church.
Vatican II teaches in Lumen Gentium that the definitions of the Catholic Church "must be adhered to with the submission of faith." This teaching is referenced in the Catechism of the Catholic Church in paragraph 892.
At Vatican I, Bd. Pope Pius IX declared at Vatican I: "Likewise I accept Sacred Scripture according to that sense which Holy mother Church held and holds, since it is her right to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the Holy Scriptures; nor will I ever receive and interpret them except according to the unanimous consent of the fathers."
Martin has implied in past tweets that the Church doesn't teach authoritatively, placing the words "Church teaching" in scare quotes.
And in a different video, the pro-gay priest has said going to a gay wedding is no worse than going to a Jewish wedding, referring to it as "a different tradition," adding that refusing to attend a gay wedding is "very surprising to me."
The Catholic Church teaches that a marriage outside the Church between non-baptized persons and without impediments of natural law is considered a natural marriage, and thus a lawful marriage in the eyes of God. No sin is committed in such a union. A so-called same-sex marriage involves both an impediment of natural law as well as mortal sin — in fact, among the four sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance because of their gravity and deep offensiveness to God.
Father Martin was speaking to a homosexual person who said he was planning his "wedding" and whose lifestyle had previously been opposed by his parents but who now plans on walking him down the aisle.
"God did give them the grace to come to see you, it's conversion, metanoia, conversion of mind and heart," he remarkked, "so I think that's beautiful, it's a great story that they can celebrate with you. Your love is beautiful."
Father Martin said of the parents' change of mind: "How could Jesus not take joy in what you just told me?"
These outbursts by Fr. Martin follow on a series of cancellations of speeches including at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. The priest published a string of tweets on September 15 blaming the cancellations on "campaigns" by Church Militant and other Catholic sites. Both secular and establishment Catholic media came to his defense, including The New York Times, which published an article with the headline "Jesuit Priest Stands Up for Gay Catholics, Then Faces Backlash."
The Paulist Fathers published a letter on September 20 supporting Fr. Martin, saying that the CUA cancellation "exposes the ugliness of homophobia and intolerance in our Church and society." The Mother Church of the Paulist Fathers, Saint Paul the Apostle in New York City, has a notorious gay ministry called Out at Saint Paul. Out at Saint Paul in June of 2016 posted a photo to their Facebook page featuring an outdoor Mass with a rainbow flag draped over the altar.
On September 18, pro-gay Bishop Robert McElroy of the Diocese of San Diego wrote an op-ed in America magazine, where Fr. Martin is editor-at-large, coming to the defense of the celebrity Jesuit. In the article Bp. McElroy called orthodox Catholics a "cancer" in the Church.
And liberal Catholic outlet Commonweal published an article on September 19 titled "The Real Scandal: What Attacks on James Martin Say about the U.S. Church," which referred to Church Militant as "self-appointed guardians of orthodoxy."
Church Militant went over these developments on the September 18 episode of The Download.