Disinvite Fr. James Martin from Spring Hill's Commencement
This petition had 1,028 supporters
Fr. James Martin, SJ advances a homosexualist agenda that is heterodox to Catholic moral teaching. We'd like his invitation to speak at Spring Hill College's May 5, 2018 Commencement rescinded.
His very presence gives scandal to this Catholic college and SHC's invitation to him gives the false imprimatur that many condone his misguided agenda. We do not, and faithful alumni, family and friends throughout this country and across the globe, call on Spring Hill's leadership to defend the Church by disinviting Fr. Martin.
Mr. Christopher Puto, Ph.D.
President, Spring Hill College
4000 Dauphin St.
Mobile, AL 36608
Monday, November 13, 2017
Dear Dr. Puto:
I hope this finds you well. I write to you on behalf of a Coalition of Concerned Catholics who have serious moral reservations about Fr. James Martin, SJ speaking at the Spring Hill Commencement in 2018. http://www.shc.edu/news-and-events/2017/09/26/spring-hill-college-welcomes-james-martin-sj-commencement-speaker
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.
You must know that his writing, preaching, and advocacy is heterodox to Catholic moral teaching. By his very presence, he gives scandal to this Catholic college and your acceptance of his appearance gives the false imprimatur that many condone his misguided agenda. We do not, and faithful alum, family and friends throughout this country and across the globe, call on your leadership to defend the Church by disinviting Fr. Martin.
Since we are committed to being authentic, we must measure the totality of the man, not compartmentalize pieces for convenience and hospitality sake. Fr. Martin is a priest of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose very Gospel we as Catholics are called to honor, defend, live and support.
His promotion of a homosexual lifestyle free from remorse and penance is diabolical. Thus we will not tolerate the intolerable, nor accept the unacceptable. He employs sophistry and obfuscation to confuse and mislead. His activism is essentially spiritual malpractice committed on the faithful, particularly those Catholics struggling with same-sex attraction, who need the fullness of truth and not disingenuous platitudes.
As such, by sounding this clarion call, we follow the guidance of Pope Paul VI, who in his encyclical Evangelii Nuntiandi warned against the dangers of false notions of liberation entering into the Church’s charitable works.
Similarly, we have reached out to the episcopate to remind them that their sacred charge is the salvation of souls. And, as our shepherds, they cannot render God’s commandments null, nor can they reduce unreasonably people’s individual responsibility. As Paul VI spoke of our Lord, "Having come not to condemn but to save, he was indeed intransigent with evil, but merciful towards individuals."
As committed Catholics, we seek clarity not confusion, orthodoxy not obfuscation, and finally solid apologetics, not apologies for the Church’s rich teaching.
Therefore, we urge you to listen to your alumni, constituents, donors, and boosters and ask that you honorably and unambiguously rescind Fr. James Martin’s speaking invitation. For the evidence supporting our request, please see the Addendum.
As an alternative, why don't you invite the Church approved organization Courage which faithfully meets Catholics who have same-sex attraction where they are and ministers to their needs through accompaniment? Or, have Joseph Sciambra, a Catholic speaker who can share his former experiences in the gay lifestyle?
I look forward to speaking with you personally by phone so that we can bring this matter to its rightful and necessary conclusion. Please reach me on my cell listed below.
Coalition of Concerned Catholics
As Confirmed Catholics, we seek to assist individuals with same-sex attraction through the truth and appropriate paths towards salvation. You must be well aware that the Catechism states on homosexuality:
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. (2357). And, Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection. (2359)
Yet, Father James Martin has made a career out of trying to normalize homosexuality. The following are some of the more egregious examples:
1. Fr. Martin asserts that chastity is not required of homosexuals.
•In an interview on August 29 with Brandon Ambrosino (an openly gay man engaged to his male partner), Fr. Martin claimed homosexuals aren’t bound by Church teaching on 222 Comments because it hasn’t been “received” by the LGBT community. "For a teaching to be really authoritative," he said, "it is expected that it will be received by the people of God, by the faithful. The teaching that LGBT people must be celibate their entire lives has not been received.
•This is a heretical statement because it rejects the infallible teaching authority of the Catholic Church, and makes dogma dependent on how it’s “received” by the people. Church teaching isn’t determined by democratic assent or by popular vote. Its truths are absolute, rooted in the Truth, Our Lord Jesus Christ.
•Canonist Ed Peters notes, “Martin might regret that, in virtue of Canon 1055 (which presents the nature of marriage itself), two lesbians cannot marry each other, nor can two homosexuals, but, if that is what underlies Martin's complaints about celibacy supposedly being imposed on such persons, he needs to take it up with the infallible Magisterium of the Church.”
2. Fr. Martin states that Catholics should reverence gay “marriage”
•At a September 5, 2017 symposium at Fordham University, Fr. Martin described same-sex “marriage” as “a loving act” and said the Church must “reverence” it.
•The Church’s immutable teaching on marriage is clear: A “covenant by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life and which is ordered by its nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring.”
3. Fr. Martin supports transgenderism in children.
•On both Facebook and Twitter on October 2, 2017, Fr. Martin posted comments supporting the right of a very young "transgender" child to receive religious education at a Catholic parish, which he claimed was denying the boy-turned-girl. Martin called it "a scandal."
•Martin failed to disclose the fact that the parish was willing to educate the boy, as long as he registered under the sex listed on his baptismal certificate (his biological sex: a boy). His mother refused, insisting that the parish accept her boy as a girl, using his female name, and supposedly allowing him to use the girls' restrooms. The parish, consistent with Catholic teaching, refused.
•In early 2017, Pope Francis told Bp. Andreas Launer, "Gender ideology is demonic." And in July 2016, Pope Francis said, "We are experiencing a moment of the annihilation of man as the image of God. Today, children — children! — are taught in school that everyone can choose his or her sex. ... And this [is] terrible!" Pope Francis went on to say, "God created man and woman; God created the world in a certain way," Pope Francis said, "and we are doing the exact opposite."
•In September 2017, the American College of Pediatricians (ACP) released an updated document,"Gender Ideology Harms Children," claiming, "Conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse."
4. Fr. Martin supports a dissident priest who promotes gay "marriage" and women "priests"
•On October 2 on Twitter, Fr. Martin retweeted a post cheering the fact that Fr. Greg Boyle, SJ would be permitted to speak in the diocese of Orange, California, and characterizing faithful Catholics who oppose Boyle as "missionaries of hate."
•Father Boyle has made public comments openly supporting gay "marriage" and women "priests," accusing those who oppose such things as being fearful.
5. Fr. Martin publicly derides Catholics adhering to Church teaching on homosexuality as “homophobic” and “close-minded”
•During his September 5 Fordham University appearance, Fr. Martin derided Catholics who submit to Church teaching on homosexuality, branding them“homophobic” and “close-minded.”
•This would include the many same-sex attracted Catholics who heroically embrace their cross and choose to live in accord with Church teaching.
6. Fr. Martin affirms the idea of active gays kissing at Mass
•During an August 29, 2017 interview at Villanova University, Fr. Martin told a practicing homosexual who attends Mass, “I do hope in 10 years you’ll be able to kiss your partner. Why not? What’s the terrible thing?”
•Unlike platonic expressions of affection between family or, in some cultures, friends of the same sex, kissing between sexually involved same-sex couples is a violation of natural and divine law. Public displays during Mass would flout Church teaching, constituting sacrilege.
7. Fr. Martin claims former homosexuals don’t lead a fully “integrated life”
•Again in his August 29 Villanova interview, Fr. Martin claimed that the many thousands of people who have left the homosexual lifestyle are in “conflict” with themselves — that their lives aren’t “integrated” as current homosexuals are. He insinuated that freedom from homosexuality is not achievable and characterized suggestions otherwise as “sad.” Attempting to explain away those who have left the homosexual lifestyle, he told his audience, “What happens is their own junk inside gets focused outwards on people who are actually trying to live a more integrated life.”
•The multitude of testimonies of former gays contradicts Fr. Martin’s assertions. YouTube is filled with accounts that affirm freedom is possible; a search for "ex-gay" reveals vast numbers of former homosexuals who have gone on to recapture a healthy, heterosexual orientation. Thousands of men and women report successfully leaving the homosexual lifestyle, many going on to marry and have families. Groups like PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays) and Voices of Change document such experiences.
•Fr. Martin’s dismissal is a slap in the face to those who have worked hard to be faithful to God, leaving the homosexual lifestyle and carrying their crosses heroically for the sake of something greater than themselves. Such people would say they lead more fully integrated lives now than they did as active homosexuals.
8. Fr. Martin characterizes censured pro-gay nun Sr. Jeannine Gramick as worthy of sainthood
•During a June 16, 2017 podcast, Fr. Martin said Sr. Jeannine Gramick, a dissident nun and co-founder of pro-gay New Ways Ministry, should be declared a saint.
•Fr. Martin’s admiration for Sr. Gramick stems from her obstinate refusal to comply with Church teaching and her unwavering rebellion against Magisterial authority. In 1999, Sr. Gramick was censured by the Vatican for her affirmation of homosexual practices and ordered to stop ministering to homosexuals. She defied the order. By suggesting Sr. Gramick is worthy of sainthood, Fr. Martin “blesses” her revolt against Church teaching, while propagating her heresy.
9. Fr. Martin publicly suggests that God created homosexuals that way
•During his June 16 podcast, Fr. Martin referenced Psalm 139:13-14 (“You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, because I am wonderfully made!") to claim that homosexuality is an innate and beautiful condition, created by God.
•In suggesting that God is the author of homosexuality, Fr. Martin distorts Scripture and blasphemes Our Lord. He also confirms practicing homosexuals in their sin, perpetuating their spiritual, psychological and emotional brokenness and denying them the opportunity for healing in Christ.
10. Fr. Martin publicly welcomes the esteem of dissident, pro-gay groups condemned by the Holy See
•On October 30, 2016, Martin accepted an award from pro-gay group New Ways Ministry.
•New Ways Ministry has been censured by the Church for its rejection of Catholic teaching on homosexuality. Cdl. Francis George of the archdiocese of Chicago condemned the group, warning, “No one should be misled by the claim that New Ways Ministry provides an authentic interpretation of Catholic teaching and an authentic Catholic pastoral practice.” It is condemned and unrecognized by the Church.
11. Fr. Martin publicly promotes homosexuals' ordination to the priesthood
•In the November 2000 issue of Jesuit magazine America (where he is editor-at-large), Fr. Martin published an article promoting the ordination of homosexuals to the priesthood.
•In advocating homosexual ordination, Fr. Martin openly dissents from the Church’s position. According to the Congregation for Catholic Education:
[T]his Dicastery, in accord with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called "gay culture." Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women. One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies.
12. Fr. Martin publicly supports a scholar who proclaims "Jesus is queer"
•In a September 21, 2017 tweet, Fr. Martin lamented the cancellation of a talk (due in part to a Church Militant exposé) at Madonna University featuring pro-gay author Dr. Shawn Copeland. In her writing, Copeland cites pro-gay advocates unapologetically; one citation reads: "On Easter, God made Jesus queer in His solidarity with us. In other words, Jesus 'came out of the closet' and became the 'queer' Christ. ... Jesus is queer by his solidarity with queers."
•By endorsing Copeland, Fr. Martin is promoting her blasphemy.
13. Fr. Martin publicly refers to the Holy Spirit as “She”
•In a September 19, 2017 Facebook post, Fr. Martin complained about pushback over his heretical espousals from groups like Church Militant. He urged his supporters to “Hope in the Holy Spirit. Things can always improve. And the Holy Spirit knows what She’s doing.”
•Although the concept of being Spouse to Mary is not meant to be taken literally, the phrasing still indicates a type of spiritual marriage between Our Lady and the Holy Spirit, a similar espousal to that of a consecrated nun, who refers to herself as the "spouse" of Jesus. In both cases, it's clearly a masculine-feminine spiritual union, reflected in the marriage of man and woman. Martin's deliberate reference of the Holy Spirit as "She" implies Our Lady was espoused to a female entity, a feminine-feminine (lesbian) union.
•Some argue the Holy Spirit should be referred to in the feminine because the original Hebrew word in the Old Testament, rūaḥ, is a feminine noun. But in linguistics, grammatical gender has no bearing on actual gender of the noun. The neuter Greek word pneuma is used for "spirit" in the New Testament, and in Latin (the official language of the Church) the masculine spiritus is used. Our Lord Himself referred to the Holy Spirit as paraclete, using the Greek word parakletos, a masculine noun. Additionally, St. John uses the masculine pronoun in reference to the Holy Spirit, even though he is referring to the Greek neuter pneuma, indicating his deliberate choice to refer to the Spirit as "He" rather than "It." In short, there is simply no scriptural or historical or theological precedent to refer to the Holy Spirit as "She."
In sum, Fr. Martin co-opts Christ in his attempts to normalize homosexuality in the Church.
Martin has been criticized by various prelates. Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois has criticized him for propping up the gay lobby in the Church. And Abp. José Ignacio Munilla of San Sebastian in Spain has dismantled Martin's argument that a Church teaching is only dogmatic if it's "received" by the people.
Cardinal Robert Sarah, respected prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, issued a public rebuke to Martin specifically for his failure to mention the need for chastity in his book Building a Bridge.
"Those who speak on behalf of the Church must be faithful to the unchanging teachings of Christ," Sarah said, "because only by living in harmony with God's creative design do we find deep and lasting fulfillment."
Sarah reminded his audience a key fact omitted from Martin's book: homosexual acts are "gravely sinful and tremendously harmful to the well-being of those who partake in them." "People who identify as members of the LGBT community are owed this truth in charity," Sarah insisted, "especially from clergy who speak on behalf of the Church about this complex and difficult topic."
Photo Credit: Fr. James Martin at Boston College 2014, YouTube
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