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In his usual embrace of ambiguity, Jesuit Fr. James Martin is now defending homosexuality by calling on a non-Christian Bible scholar. In tonight's In-Depth Report, Church Militant's Paul Murano reveals the latest defense of one unorthodox priest's anti-Catholic obsession.
Fr. James Martin, editor at large, America Magazine: "That's the way God created you. And I think every psychologist, biologist and scientist would agree on that. Certainly, LGBT people will tell you that's the way they've always felt."
Martin: "I certainly don't think the status quo we have right now is where we should be staying."
The dissident priest is now promoting an article by Amy-Jill Levine to indirectly attack Church doctrine on homosexuality. A Bible scholar and Orthodox Jew, Levine's work is devoid of supernatural faith in Catholic Tradition and Magisterial authority. Her article on interpreting Scripture is up on Martin's website, Outreach, dedicated to so-called LGBTQ issues.
Dr. Amy-Jill Levine, professor of New Testament studies, Vanderbilt University Divinity School: "I knew the text could be read in a hateful way, had been read in a hateful way, but I also knew it did not have to be read that way."
The pretext is that people use biblical texts to "condemn queer people." She claims historical and cultural influences may have prejudiced the biblical writers. There's no mention in the essay of Catholic doctrine on the unchangeability of natural law or the sacred authority Christ gave His Church to interpret. Instead, we're left with the opinion of one scholar who gives the impression all morality is culturally relative.
Levine: "Like any story, each reader, each generation, each church can say: 'Here's what this text means to me.'"
After Martin spoke in the Philadelphia archdiocese in 2019, Abp. Charles Chaput warned his flock, "A pattern of ambiguity in his teachings tends to undermine his stated aims, alienating people from the very support they need for authentic human flourishing."
His concern that Martin is confusing the faithful prompted him to write, "Martin does not speak with authority on behalf of the Church."
Martin: "Many Church leaders do not know many people who are LGBT, and are public about it. So what's needed is dialogue and encounter."
On the important question of chastity, Martin remarked in 2017 that homosexuals aren't obligated to be chaste because they haven't "received" the teaching on chastity.
Martin: "For a teaching to be really authoritative, it is expected that it will be received by the people of God."
Theologians and clergy not in communion with the Church tend to separate Scripture from Tradition and ignore the Magisterium. Rupturing these three aspects of divine revelation leaves only personal interpretation — a common way for Christians to rationalize sin.
Dr. Levine is a self-described "Yankee Jewish feminist." She has written about eliminating from theology so-called sexism and homophobia.