“For goodness’ sake, own your faith, Fr. Martin!” Analysis of Jesuit’s homosexualist activism

james_martinOver at Crisis there is a piece by Rev. Mr. Jim Russell entitled

“A Final Word On Fr. Martin”

Alas, I fear that that is far too optimistic.  Jesuit Homosexualist-activist Fr James Martin is sure to come up with something weird again soon.  He can’t go too long without the spotlight, after all.

Let’s have a look at Russell’s offering, jumping into its midst.   My emphases and comments:


After being asked hundreds upon hundreds of times by hundreds of different people, exactly why won’t Martin himself own the faith of the Church regarding homosexuality? All he does is pull a few puppet-strings each time the question comes up. Suddenly the Gospel he is supposed to believe down to the marrow of his bones, under the same obligation that St. Paul himself was when saying “woe to me if I do not preach,” is magically objectified into a mere “stance” or “prohibition” that the Church only “officially” teaches, and it’s just untouchable because it’s soooo far from the “stance” of the “LGBT community.” And, besides, it’s clear that “LGBT Catholics” have never “received” the teaching in the first place, Martin says.  [That is a typical lib ploy: pit the “official” Church against the, say, “spirit-filled” church.  Fishwrap writers use this trop all the time.]

If some of this sounds vaguely familiar, it’s because the more Martin talks, the more he simply fades into the murky shadows of many who spoke similarly over the last fifty years. It was another Jesuit, the late Fr. Richard McCormick, who famously embraced the falsehood of a “double magisterium” (naturally the second “magisterium” comprised theologians like himself!) and who insisted that teachings “not received” were not even true teachings at all. The more Martin speaks, the more he disappears into McCormick.  [Good reminder about McCormick.  He exerted tremendous influence on countless clerics and academicians.  How often have you, in your internet peregrinations, found some lib claiming that if an “official” teaching (usually about sex) isn’t “received” (accepted, believed) by people (I hesitate to say “the faithful”), then it doesn’t have to be accepted or obeyed.  Thus a majority determines what might be the teaching right now.  Of course who says which “majority” gets to decide is a little vague.  This is also what lies at the black heart of Card. Kasper’s method.  For example, the meaning of Christ’s teachings in Scripture can drift around over time, mean different things in different eras according to what Benedict warned of when he wrote for Card. Meisner’s funeral: the Zeitgeist.  Thomas Stark put his finger on the bruise when he said that Kasper has replaced philosophy with politics. Read: Stark in Catholic World Report: German Idealism and Cardinal Kasper’s Theological Project. HERE  I’m with Stark quoting Péguy: “Modernists are people who do not believe what they believe.” ]

Not only that, but Martin’s approach is also rooted squarely in the hero he’d like to canonize, Sr. Jeannine Gramick, who has famously admitted her strategy for achieving decades of dissent by doing the same thing—not owning her faith. Her self-labeled “creative circumvention” allowed her to “wiggle” around admitting her dissent by also framing true Church teaching as an objectified “stance.”

However, just as a train receding into the midnight horizon might occasionally throw a spark of illumination from its wheels, Martin’s retreat is not flawless. Recently, he forthrightly admitted his erroneous view that God creates LGBT people as LGBT people. Compare this to the Catechism’s clear assertion that homosexuality has a “largely unexplained” psychological genesis. [If God made them that way, then what they are inclined to do isn’t wrong.  That’s the argument.   Of course that’s crazy.]

This admission is really the crack in the dam that lets the floodwaters past. Virtually everything else that contradicts the Gospel regarding homosexuality arises from this singular flaw. If the entire spectrum of “LGBTQIA” is God’s handiwork, then we can jettison the whole “objectively disordered” kerfluffle and go with Martin’s self-recommended “differently ordered” instead. Then, same-sex sex acts and same-sex “marriage” and transgender surgeries become goods that we don’t have to reject. [Don’t have to?  Nay, rather: can’t reject… must accept.] We can let “gay pride” into our sanctuaries, festooning them with rainbow flags.  [Can? Nay, rather: must.  They will never be satisfied with “can”.]

Make no mistake—Martin’s personal media puppet, which keeps his personal views behind the curtain of the fictional narrative of “created this way,” is nothing more than a Trojan horse. [Interesting mix of metaphors.  Although… both are wood… both look like something that they are not…]

Thankfully, more astute minds than mine have seen just how unrealistically wooden the Martin puppet is; many faithful Catholic writers are taking on the myriad false assertions now incessantly repeated at every media opportunity and every presentation at parishes with faux-Catholic views on this issue. This is largely another reason why I believe the entertainment buzz of the Martin marionette’s performance is fading fast. Simply put, the stilted rhetoric and attached strings are leaving neither the Church nor the “LGBT community” feeling very satisfied.

Thus, Martin himself is creating new videos and print responses to the “critiques” he’s getting from both sides of the as-yet nonexistent bridge. Yet it’s all the same dodgy, scripted formula we’ve seen and heard before, attempts that are not passionately, single-mindedly focused on actually building that bridge, but instead are constructed so that, just as in Oz, we pay no attention whatever to the “man behind the curtain” as the spectacle before us plays out.

Am I being too harsh? Is it too much to ask that the creative artist behind the performance come out, and take a bow? I think not. [NB!] Literally, for goodness’ sake, own your faith, Fr. Martin. Stop attempting the impossible task of building a bridge in a bubble, via “creative circumvention.”

Instead, stake your claim. Are you with the Church and the Good News of its teaching on homosexuality, or not? Because, if you are, your stunt-double Pinocchio is doing a really terrible job of preaching that Gospel. If you are not, I’d suggest taking a good, long look at First Corinthians 9:16.


There’s more before and more after.  It’s worth your time.

Fr. Z kudos to Rev. Mr. Russell.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Sawyer says:

    But Fr. Martin is owning, professing and preaching his faith. Just don’t make the mistake of assuming his faith coincides with Catholic Faith on some crucial matters of sexual morality, conscience, or magisterial authority.

    Catholic homosexual apologists barely pretend to have Catholic Faith anymore; the veil of Catholicism they drape themselves in is so flimsy and transparent that it’s obviously just for show to fool the remaining people who don’t realize what they are really up to. They are all but explicitly saying, “The Church’s faith and doctrine are wrong; we’re right. And the Church must change to agree with and affirm us.” They have set up their own subversive anti-magisterium, their own church-within-the-Church and erected their own erroneous, uncatholic faith. And they are encouraged in their behavior and dissent by some bishops and even by the pope’s statements.

  2. EC says:

    The “God made me this way, therefore” argument is very bizarre. There are two parts to it… The descriptive part, and the prescriptive part. The descriptive part assumes either that “the part that gives and receives love” (whatever that means) is necessarily unable to be influenced by natural factors because of the kind of thing “the part” is, or that God could not be so cruel as to allow such a process of influence to happen. Both of these are problematic. The prescriptive part follows partially, insofar as God makes good things “in se.” And yet, it STILL does not follow that such desires are always good in act, just as it is for straight people. What the conditions are for a good use of this “deepest part of a person, the part that gives and receives love” is never detailed by Fr. Martin, though he seems to think it can be used rightly. It remains, even apparently on his view, that there is the contrary description (a man, a woman) which provides a contrary prescription (opposite sex), and this is not able to be reconciled with the other description and prescription… The conclusion is… What? Ambiguity.

    This is what happens when you try to force natural law into an existentialist paradigm, as he seems to be doing. God makes desires which provide an equally legitimate basis of normative ethics as does one’s physical existence.

  3. So if a teaching is not “received,” it’s not legit. “Received” in this context appears to mean “assented to.” So when Jesus taught the doctrine of the Eucharist in John 6, and all His disciples except the 12 walked away, this doctrine was not “received” and is therefore untrue. But at least 11 of the 12 (12 of 13, if you count the Mother of God) “received” the doctrine, so then, does that make it in fact “received” and therefore true? How many “receivers” do you need to make a doctrine true? Eleven? One? If only one is necessary to make it true, and that one may be impossible ever to ferret out, then I guess, to be on the safe side, you’d need the doctrine to be true only “for them.” And if any doctrine is thus up for grabs, then every doctrine must be equally up for grabs — including the doctrine that everything is up for grabs.

    Or, put it another way: there does need to be only one “receiver” for a doctrine to be true, and that “receiver” is Fr. Martin. If he doesn’t “receive” it, then it can’t be true. By the simple expedient of forbearing to receive a doctrine, he has the power to make it untrue. A magisterium of one!

    Of course, if he has that superpower, then every one of us also has that same superpower. Who, then, is entitled to prevail? Must be whoever has the power to impose his will on everyone else. Might makes right.

    What a headache is modernism.

  4. pappy says:

    > The “God made me this way, therefore” argument is very bizarre
    Exactly. I’ve been amazed at the strange bed-fellows in the progressive end of the spectrum

    modern feminists – all behavior is learned, usually from a biased society (society made me)
    gay/lesbian – sexual preference is inherent, so cannot/ought not change orientation (God made me, therefore it is good)
    transgender – sexual identify is not inherent, it is what I choose it to be (God made me wrong, therefore I need to correct)

  5. Aquinas Gal says:

    “Own your faith, Fr Martin” assumes that he accepts Catholic moral teaching. I find that very dubious. While he is very slippery and doesn’t deny them outright, what he writes and does about it certainly points to his inner dissent.
    I know a Jesuit (not yet a priest) in NYC who attended a same-sex “wedding” and posted photos of it on FB. When I questioned him, he basically said “love” makes everything good. That’s how some Jesuits think. I doubt Fr Martin is any different.

  6. DeGaulle says:

    Apart from the incoherence of the ‘born that way’ concept when applied to the broad perversity spectrum, as cogently described by pappy, one must consider that it cannot in logic be confined to sexual classifications. Surely, a serial killer, a serial rapist, a serial thief can claim that his vice is not such at all, but a behaviour created by God and therefore an intrinsic good? If we’re all involuntary automatons, none of us sin.

  7. Someone please be the Garrigue says:

    As a reference to the subject of the next post: I guess Mr Martin, like a lot of catholics, could be described as “trans Catholic”.

  8. Windswept House says:

    Didn’t Francis encourage making a mess? There have been a few messes preceding Martin. Seems as if Martin is simply following the path.

  9. iamlucky13 says:

    Forgive me for taking a step back, but Deacon Russel didn’t make one link entirely clear in his article. It’s obvious what Deacon Russel meant, but I almost missed that this wasn’t Deacon Russel inferring something from Fr. Martin’s words. He is using one of Fr. Martin’s exact words, including some deliberately unusual punctuation.

    When he explained Fr. McCormick, something clicked. Why did the Deacon Russel write “received” in quotation marks? Clearly he’s implying more than the normal meaning, but why? Oh right. Because that’s exactly what Fr. Martin did in his Five Answers to questions about his book:

    “Theologically speaking, you could say that these teachings have not been ‘received’ by the L.G.B.T. community”

    Fr. Martin is not simply referring to “received” as in “accepted.” It’s obvious the teaching is not accepted, and after all, many baptized Catholics don’t accept other teachings. That doesn’t change the teachings themselves, nor merit quotation marks. So if he is “theologically speaking” about a specific use of the word “received,” and the quotation marks are a a reference to Fr. McCormick’s use of the word as a discriminant between true and false teachings, then this isn’t very creative circumvention.

    Basically, the man behind the curtain seems to be drawing attention deliberately to what’s behind the curtain, without actually saying what’s there.

  10. Norah says:

    I wonder if Fr Martin has read Surviving Gay…Barely by Joseph Sciambra.The article is available on Mr Sciambra’s website. WARNING Sexually graphic
    Mr Sciambra left the Castro District of San Frisco approximately 16 years ago leaving his “career” as a porn star behind.
    The article is a no holds barred account of the physiological and emotional consequences of anal sex.

  11. JustaSinner says:

    Ever play the telephone game? You start with the phrase “Sally had a blue dress” and end with “Bobby has a red bike”. That is the reason for strict dogma. Christ said “This is my Body, take and eat of it”. If we pick and choose and allow Truths of the Church to be ‘updated’, soon we have that it symbolizes His Body; it can’t actually be Him as we’re too smart now to believe THAT!
    Oh, and BTW, why will no one answer a simple question: is Jesuit James Martin a homosexual?

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  13. Sam Schmitt says:

    Frs. Martin and McCormick’s claim that a teaching is only legitimate if it is “received” fails on its own merits – if you expand what you mean by “the Church” to more than Western Europe and North America 0f the past 50 years. For centuries and centuries all Catholics (and all Christians for that matter) “received” the Church’s teaching on homosexuality – probably because it is obvious – or should be! – even on a purely human level. You don’t need divine revelation to know that perverse and sterile acts are destructive and against nature.

  14. GregB says:

    From the article:
    How often have you, in your internet peregrinations, found some lib claiming that if an “official” teaching (usually about sex) isn’t “received” (accepted, believed) by people (I hesitate to say “the faithful”), then it doesn’t have to be accepted or obeyed.
    Interesting comment. Isn’t this pretty much what the serpent told Adam and Eve about the forbidden fruit? To me the modernists in the Church would appear to have gone on the forbidden fruit diet. So much so that the juice is dribbling down their chins.

  15. Foster says:

    Hello Father and all.
    In answer to God made me this way and/or Jesus never talked about homosexuality, actually I think our Lord did. Matthew 19:11-12. “For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”
    So yes, some of us may have been born with same sex attraction or their perfered libido, but it doesn’t make it right and here is a clear instruction on how to handle it- celibracy. Correct me, please if I am taking the passage out of context.

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