The celebrity priest is slated to speak at Misericordia University's winter commencement on December 17, in spite of the fact that about 20,000 people have signed a petition that Martin be disinvited.
A protest Rosary is being organized by the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP). It will take place outside Misericordia's main entrance to campus, near Intersection Circle Drive and Lake Street in Dallas, Pennsylvania.
TFP Student Action created an online petition to disinvite Fr. Martin, and as of this article's publication, the petition is just shy of 20,000 signatures.
The TFP petition is addressed to Thomas J. Botzman, president of Misericordia University. It states:
I prayerfully urge you to cancel Fr. James Martin as a commencement speaker on December 17, 2017 and find a new speaker who respects and loves the perennial doctrine of the Catholic Church. Fr. Martin's public pro-LGBT activism and open revolt against Catholic moral teaching causes scandal, especially among faithful Catholic students.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear: Homosexual vice is "intrinsically disordered" and "contrary to natural law" (2357). Therefore, no Catholic campus should sponsor a speaker who publicly attempts to legitimize unnatural behavior that deeply offends God.
There is also a Change.org petition to get Fr. Martin disinvited from the Spring 2018 commencement address at Spring Hill College, a Catholic, Jesuit-run institution located in Mobile, Alabama.
The petition to Spring Hill College was produced by the Coalition of Concerned Catholics. It states, "Realizing you are aware of the upswell of sentiment from faithful Catholics that see Fr. Martin's homosexualist agenda for what it is, we respectfully request that you rescind his invitation to speak at Spring Hill College."
Father Martin has been traveling the country to promote his recent book, Building a Bridge. The book, according to its own subtitle, seeks to foster "dialogue" between the Church and "the LGBT community."
The book itself says nothing that blatantly contradicts the Deposit of Faith. The real cause for concern, however, is what Fr. Martin has said on the speaker's platforms at Catholic colleges, parishes and other venues throughout the country.
For instance, at a speaking engagement at Villanova University in August, Fr. Martin told a gay man he hoped gay couples would one day be comfortable kissing each other at the sign of peace at Mass. He said, "So I hope in 10 years you will be able to kiss your partner or soon to be your husband. Why not?"
In recent months, Church Militant, TFP and other Catholic organizations have rallied laity to push back against Fr. Martin. On August 29, Church Militant reported that Fr. Martin was disinvited from speaking at the annual gala of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, apparently owing to blowback from the order's rank and file.