In First Things, my friend and faithful biblicist Fr. Paul Mankowski, SJ, has reviewed fellow Jesuit but homosexualist activist Fr. James Martin’s book advocating an abandonment of Church teaching. Martin’s book is ostensibly about “building a bridge” between the Church and homosexuals. Fr. Gerald Murray took care of that, exposing what Martin’s real agenda is. HERE Fr. Mankowski drives it home.
Mankowski, who is capable of writing with a scalpel for his pen and napalm as his ink, is rather gentle with his errant Jesuit brother… in the review. However, the title of Mankowski’s review says it all:
Ouch. That’s going to stick to Martin now.
Let’s see some of the review… towards the end.
However well-intentioned, Fr. Martin’s book does not advance the Church’s response to the crisis of disordered sexuality; it waves a white flag. For all that, Martin is right to lament the antagonism that persists and correct in pointing to the need of spiritual assistance for same-sex-attracted persons. Here, too, I believe that recourse to the Church’s broader pastoral experience would go far to remedy the problem. [NB] Those with extensive experience in the confessional will have encountered penitents with many different disordered and objectively immoral desires, some associated with behaviors that even today are universally regarded as felonies. The Church is right to teach that all such people are deserving of respect, compassion, and sensitivity, which are their due simply as human persons, not as those who have achieved a given standard of probity or of psychological health. But her own task, carried out by means of her sacraments and the pastoral exertions of her ministers, is to reconcile the sinner and to strengthen the weak, so as to be a conduit of supernatural aid—that is to say, of graces that have their effect in spite of the human limitations of those who transmit them.
By an entirely understandable paradox, the seal of the confessional means that the Church’s pastoral successes in this regard almost never meet the light of day. [Great point!] The pastors are forbidden to speak and their penitents disinclined. Yet the parable of the Pharisee and the publican (Luke 18:10–14) is an admonition to remember that authentic spiritual renewal may not take place in the well-lit areas at center stage—where everyone is watching and public congratulations are fulsomely exchanged—but often occurs out of sight, in the darker and more private precincts of the temple, where humility and remorse seek the truth, and are rewarded with new life.
BTW… Paul Mankowski is one of the contributors to the extremely important
Remaining in the Truth of Christ: Marriage and Communion in the Catholic Church contains five essays of cardinals, of the archbishop secretary of the Vatican congregation for the Oriental Churches, and of three scholars on the ideas supported by Walter Card. Kasper from which the Church is still reeling today.
These are the nine chapters of the book:
- The Argument in Brief- Robert Dodaro, O.S.A.
- Dominical Teaching on Divorce and Remarriage: The Biblical Data – Paul Mankowski, S.J.
- Divorce and Remarriage in the Early Church: Some Historical and Cultural Reflections – John M. Rist
- Separation, Divorce, Dissolution of the Bond, and Remarriage: Theological and Practical Approaches of the Orthodox Churches – Archbishop Cyril Vasil’, S.J.
- Unity and Indissolubility of Marriage: From the Middle Ages to the Council of Trent – Walter Cardinal Brandmüller
- Testimony to the Power of Grace: On the Indissolubility of Marriage and the Debate concerning the Civilly Remarried and the Sacraments – Gerhard Ludwig Cardinal Müller
- Sacramental Ontology and the Indissolubility of Marriage – Carlo Cardinal Caffarra
- The Divorced and Civilly Remarried and the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Penance – Velasio Cardinal De Paolis, C.S.
- The Canonical Nullity of the Marriage Process as the Search for the Truth – Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke
James Martin… Pontifex Minimus.