Ohio Bishop Warns Against Fr. James Martin Talk

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by Christine Niles, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  March 11, 2018   

Abp Schnurr: 'The event is in no way sponsored by, sanctioned by or associated with the Catholic Church'

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CINCINNATI, Ohio (ChurchMilitant.com) - An Ohio prelate is warning the faithful about a talk offered by pro-gay priest Fr. James Martin, SJ. 

On Friday, Abp. Dennis Schnurr of Cincinatti published a statement making clear Martin's talk, scheduled for March 24 at the University of Cincinnati, "is in no way sponsored by, sanctioned by, or associated with the Catholic Church." Other speakers include censured religious Sr. Jeannine Gramick and self-professed lesbian Jamie Manson.

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Abp. Dennis Schnurr

The archbishop's statement came after a number of Catholics flooded his office with calls and emails last week urging him to issue a public warning against the Jesuit priest, who is best known for his attempts to normalize homosexuality and transgenderism.

Schnurr's statement reads:

Dear Fathers and Deacons,

You may hear from some parishioners about an upcoming event at the University of Cincinnati subtitled, "A Dialogue on Faith, Catholicism, and the LGBTQ Community." To be very clear, despite its billing, the event is in no way sponsored by, sanctioned by, or associated with the Catholic Church. In fact, one of the scheduled speakers has been ordered to not speak on behalf of the Catholic Church in the United States due to the grave error of her teaching. The Code of Canon Law (Can. 216) states in part that "no undertaking shall assume the name Catholic unless the consent of the competent ecclesiastical authority is given." My permission was not sought in this case, nor would it have been given.

The speaker to whom the letter refers as being "ordered to not speak on behalf of the Catholic Church" is Gramick, founder of New Ways Ministry, condemned by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as well as by the U.S. bishops' conference for rejecting Catholic teaching on homosexuality. Father Martin once said if he had a choice, he would "canonize" Gramick.

"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."

Read our Fr. James Martin FAQ

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. 
 
Jamie Manson refers to herself as a lesbian, and is a member of the national board of the Women's Ordination Conference. She once wrote:
As a woman and lesbian, I have no voice in this institution, and I am denied the ability to make a substantive contribution to it. Rather than speaking about leaving the church, I believe is time to call the institutional church to accountability for how many people it has left behind.

Father James Martin supports gay marriage, in contradiction to Church teaching, and has insinuated that the Church would one day "change" Her teaching on this. He has also complained that the language in the Catechism on homosexuality is "hurtful" and should be changed.

Paragraph 2357 of the Catholic Catechism states: 

Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

In February 2017, 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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