Catholic Family News

Opposing “LGBT” Errors with Truth and Charity: My Twitter Exchange with Fr. Martin

Reaching Out to Lost Sheep

Every year on the Third Sunday after Pentecost, which fell on June 30 this year, the faithful who attend the traditional Roman Mass hear a powerful duo of readings from Holy Scripture.

The Epistle, 1 Peter 5:6-11, focuses our attention on the reality of spiritual warfare, with the Prince of the Apostles exhorting us, “Be sober and watch, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist ye, strong in faith: knowing that the same affliction befalls your brethren who are in the world.” In short, “The life of man upon earth is a warfare” (Job 7:1) — a battle we must engage with “the armor of God” (Eph. 6:11, 13) — and precious souls are at stake, a message which is at the heart of the Gospel for the day.

In Luke 15:1-10, which immediately precedes the famous prodigal son parable (Luke 15:11-32), Our Lord is confronted by “the Pharisees and the scribes” who are repulsed at the sight of “publicans and sinners” approaching Him and listen to His preaching. “This man receiveth sinners,” they murmur, “and eateth with them.” As the Good Shepherd, Our Lord replies:

“What man of you that hath an hundred sheep, and if he shall lose one of them, doth he not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after that which was lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, lay it upon his shoulders, rejoicing? And coming home, call together his friends and neighbors, saying to them: Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost? I say to you that even so there shall be joy in heaven upon one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need not penance.” (Luke 15:4-7)

The message is clear: Our Lord did not fraternize with sinners as a means of pacifying them in their sins. He reached out to them with true charity as lost sheep in order to call them to repentance and conversion. Thus, His ministry of “doing good” to sinners and “healing all that were oppressed by the devil” (Acts 10:38) was aimed primarily at the salvation of souls. This was His program – “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10) — and it must be ours, as well, if we call ourselves His disciples.

Confronting False Shepherds

The clergy, or “ancients” (Greek presbyteros), as St. Peter called them (1 Pet. 5:1), are obliged above all others to set the example in this regard. “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking care of it … being made a pattern of the flock from the heart” (1 Pet. 5:2, 3). These men must be conformed to the Heart of the Good Shepherd and commit themselves to feeding His flock with sound doctrine and a holy example (cf. Jer. 3:15).

The problem, however, is that there are “false prophets” and “lying teachers” among them who “bring in sects of perdition and deny the Lord who bought them: bringing upon themselves swift destruction” (2 Pet. 2:1). And not only upon themselves, but “many shall follow their riotousness, through whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” (2 Pet. 2:2).

In other words, many souls are led away from “the way of truth” because of false shepherds who distort the truth, especially when it comes to matters of sexual morality. This has been the case throughout Church history, even going back to Apostolic times (cf. Apoc. 2:12-16, 18-22), but in our days there seems to be, in the words of Sister Lucia of Fatima, a “diabolical wave” of perversion “sweeping over the world,”[1] as well as “a diabolical disorientation invading the world and misleading souls!”[2]

There is perhaps no greater manifestation of such “diabolical disorientation” in the world and Church today than the so-called “LGBT” movement, which Bishop Athanasius Schneider has rightly called a “neo-Marxist dictatorship” that breeds “a kind of apostasy from the Christian faith.”[3] Longtime CFN editor John Vennari (RIP) likewise spoke out against the dangers of the movement, exposing its detailed plan for winning over public opinion through subversion:

And arguably the most prominent activist for this movement within the Church at present is Fr. James Martin, S.J., the American Jesuit who has attained celebrity status under the Jesuit Pope — even being named a consultant to the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication by Francis — allegedly due in part to his subversive “LGBT ministry”.[4]

Those who understand the threat posed by men like Fr. Martin have a duty to speak up and oppose his agenda — not for the sake of vain argument, not to puff oneself up at his expense, but for the good of the souls he is deceiving, including his own.

Father Martin’s Tweet

On the feast of Saints Peter and Paul (Saturday, June 29). I was browsing my Twitter feed and happened upon a tweet from Fr. Martin regarding a then-forthcoming “Pride” event at which he would be present:

In his tweet, Fr. Martin lamented that “a man [had] ripped down and stole” banners made by the “LGBT outreach program at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi in NYC”. The purpose of those banners, Fr. Martin explained, was to help advertise the “5:15 PM Pre-Pride Mass” for which he was the scheduled celebrant (see here for highlights from his pro-“LGBT” homily). This ideologically driven liturgy was called “Pre-Pride” because it both anticipated and encouraged participation in the NYC Pride March the following day (Sunday, June 30) — one of the largest public displays of licentiousness and depravity in the world, held annually on the last Sunday of June since 1970 in commemoration of the infamous Stonewall riots (June 28, 1969).[5]

Screenshot captured from the home page of the “NYC Pride 2019” official website. Notice the apprehensive expression (and rightfully so!) on the little girl’s face.

“No matter,” Fr. Martin concluded his “Pre-Pride” tweet. “Love always wins. And I will see you all there! #PrideMonth”.

Those who follow Fr. Martin online can attest that the 58-year-old Jesuit, ordained in 1999, does little else on social media than push a leftist agenda. As the editor-at-large of America magazine, a liberal Jesuit periodical supportive of Communism, Father is constantly posting content and remarks indicative of support for unrestricted immigration, arguing that the Bible — especially the Old Testament books of Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy — obliges nations to allow unfettered access to migrants and refugees (more to come on the irony of his reliance on those books).

Regarding female leadership in the Church, he opined earlier this week that women should be allowed to preach during Mass, even invoking the intercession of St. Mary Magdalene, on whose feast he posted his comment (July 22), for the allowance of this novelty that contradicts both Scripture (cf. 1 Cor. 14:34; 1 Tim. 2:11-14) and Tradition.

But immigration and feminism aside, the most pressing issue for Fr. Martin, as previously mentioned, certainly seems to be the normalization of all things “LGBT” within the Church. Instead of centering his attention on the Sacred Heart of Jesus during the month of June, for example, his focus was clearly on celebrating “Pride Month” (a hash tag he used repeatedly on social media), beginning with his June 1 tweet:

Note the implication that God makes some people “LGBT”, i.e., that homosexuality is a matter of genetics — an unproven hypothesis he repeats incessantly.

Responding with Truth, Pressing for Clarity

Upon seeing Fr. Martin’s June 29 “Pre-Pride Mass” tweet, I decided to respond:

Much to my surprise, he replied: “Seriously, why do you enjoy excluding people from God’s love? Is there one thing in that post that is reveling in an ‘abomination’? Is that what you’d say to a teenage LGBT person who is suicidal because they think God hates them? Go and learn the meaning of the word ‘mercy.’”

Notice how Fr. Martin, a skilled sophist, takes the focus off of his notorious celebration of sexual disorders (about which he feigns ignorance) and proceeds to accuse me of “excluding people from God’s love”, implying that I am unmerciful for expressing concern about the gravely sinful behavior he refuses to condemn. Whereas in reality, it is sin that “excludes” or separates souls from the love of God (cf. Isa. 59:1-2), which is why admonishing sinners is among the spiritual works of mercy.

Furthermore, Fr. Martin knows perfectly well what I meant by saying that he revels in homosexuality. His popular book, Building a Bridge, contains multiple exhortations to “rejoice in the gifts and talents, the joy and enthusiasm brought by LGBT Catholics,”[6] as if their “orientation” is the cause of their gifts and talents. He even goes so far as to compare Our Lord’s self-revelation as the Messiah in Nazareth (cf. Luke 4:16-30) to persons afflicted with same-sex attraction (SSA) or gender dysphoria revealing their “true identity”.[7]

Thus, in my counter-reply, I cut to the chase: “Do you believe that homosexual behavior is sinful or not? YES or NO, please.” No answer. “‘But let your speech be yea, yea: no, no: and that which is over and above these, is of evil.’ (Matt. 5:37)”. Still no answer. Hence, I told him that “since you refuse to affirm with a simple ‘yes’ that #sodomy is a sin — which is what God and His Church infallibly teach — I will assume you believe the contrary. This is exactly why you are accused of #heresy,” after which I provided a link to an article that discusses the legitimacy of those accusations against him.

At this point, Fr. Martin decided to respond (perhaps the “H” word got his attention): “Asked and answered many times. Give it a rest. Then find some LGBT Catholics to welcome into your parish.” But if he has truly “answered many times,” then why did he refuse to answer me? Very strange and uncharitable, indeed.

Challenging False Teachers

I share this brief encounter of mine with Fr. Martin for a few reasons. First off, to stress the importance of challenging those who dare to preach a false gospel — with charity, of course, but also with firmness.

Fr. Martin claims to follow the example of Our Lord, Who supposedly placed “community first — meeting, encountering, including —and conversion second.”[8] (And yet, Christ’s first public proclamation was, “Repent and believe the Gospel.” — Mark 1:15). Father no doubt excels in the “meeting, encountering, [and] including” department, but he never seems to get to the part about conversion — at least, not that I have seen or heard. Nowhere in his book does he even hint at the truth, rooted in natural law and Divine Revelation, that homosexual acts are wrong. Rather, he implies the opposite in a couple of ways: first, by supporting the notion that the phrase “objectively disordered”, in reference to the homosexual inclination, should be deleted from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC, para. 2358);[9] and second, by calling upon the “LGBT community” to “give the institutional church the gift of time — time to get to know each other,”[10] as if time can somehow change an immutable precept of the natural law. (For more details on the problems with Building a Bride, see here.)

Fr. Martin would do well to familiarize himself with the work of another Jesuit, Fr. Austin Fagothey, S.J. (1901-1975), the longtime Chair of the Philosophy Department at the University of Santa Clara in California, who wrote in his classic book, Right and Reason: Ethics in Theory and Practice (originally published in 1953):

“Artificial birth control is wrong for the reason that it is an unnatural vice of the same sort as solitary vice and homosexuality. These sins are attempts to secure sexual satisfaction while at the same time evading the responsibilities which nature attaches to this pleasure. … To seek the satisfaction while at the same time defrauding nature is what is meant by perversion. Other animals, having no free will and guided only by instinct, cannot abuse their faculties and there are no unnatural vices found among them. Man alone is able to act unnaturally, but is bound not to do so by the natural moral law.[11] (Emphasis added)

Real Charity Requires Truth

Secondly, I share my exchange with Fr. Martin to emphasize that his routine failure to mention the “grave depravity” (CCC, para. 2357) of homosexual acts is neither charitable nor merciful. On the contrary, it is grossly negligent and completely devoid of real charity towards God and neighbor — not only due to moral subversion, but also because of the serious health risks associated with living the “LGBT” lifestyle.

Real charity, as St. Paul tells us, “[r]ejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth” (1 Cor. 13:6). This is exactly why I asked Fr. Martin if he wants souls to end up in hell, because that is the horrible fate of unrepentant sexual sinners, including sodomites, according to the testimony of the same Apostle:

“Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind [i.e. sodomites], nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God.” (1 Cor. 6:9-10, emphasis added)

As mentioned above, Fr. Martin relies upon the Old Testament books of Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy to support his position of virtually open borders for migrants and refugees (see 0:57-1:07 in the video below):

Aside from his contradiction of St. Thomas Aquinas on the application of those Scriptures, the supreme irony is that he mocks those who uphold God’s prohibition against sodomy in the Book of Leviticus (cf. Lev. 18:22, 20:13), claiming that such individuals take those verses “out of context” (see 6:05-11:06 in the video below):

In his remarks at Georgetown University (above), Fr. Martin not only demonstrates profound ignorance on the difference between positive law (subject to change based on the will of the lawgiver) and natural law (based on human nature, which does not change),[12] he also tells his audience that God’s permanent prohibition against same-sex behavior — rooted in human nature itself, which He created “male and female” (Gen. 1:27; Matt. 19:3-6) — is merely “one teaching of the Church … so I don’t think, for example, that you should say, ‘I cannot be Catholic because I don’t follow that.’”

Whereas the Code of Canon Law (1983) states:

“Those things are to be believed by divine and Catholic faith which are contained in the word of God as it has been written or handed down by Tradition, that is, in the single deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, and which are at the same time proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn [i.e. extraordinary] magisterium of the Church [e.g. dogmatic definitions of Popes and Councils], or by its ordinary and universal magisterium [including the moral law], which is manifested by the common adherence of Christ’s faithful under the guidance of the sacred magisterium. All are therefore bound to shun any contrary doctrines.” (Can. 750, emphasis added)

Fraternal Support for Faithful Catholics

Finally, I offer this article as an expression of my fraternal support for those faithful Catholics who suffer from SSA or gender dysphoria yet courageously resist temptation and pursue growth in holiness, especially those whom I know personally.[13] They are truly heroes “in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation” (Philip. 2:15), and as such they deserve our admiration and friendship.

Similarly, I express my thanks to individuals and organizations who devote themselves to helping people afflicted with SSA or gender dysphoria, Catholic and otherwise, while upholding the truth about the pathological nature of those conditions. As numerous witnesses can and do testify, deep healing and lasting change are possible (see here and here for examples).

May we all cooperate with God’s grace, which “is sufficient” (2 Cor. 12:9), and become the saints He created us to be!

[1] Sister Lucia, letter to her nephew (Fr. Jose Valinho) dated Apr. 13, 1971; see Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol. III: The Third Secret (1942-1960), trans. John Collorafi (Buffalo: Immaculate Heart Publications, 1990), p. 753.

[2] Sister Lucia, letter to a friend (Dona Maria Teresa de Cunha) dated Apr. 12, 1970; see ibid., p. 755.

[3] Incidentally, one of the “fathers” of the homosexual movement in America was Harry Hay (1912-2002), an active member of the Communist Party USA. Hay was also an ardent supporter of the pro-pederasty group NAMBLA (North American Man-Boy Love Association).

[4] In his initial testimony last August, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò identified Fr. Martin as part of “the homosexual current in favor of subverting Catholic doctrine on homosexuality,” a “well-known activist who promotes the LGBT agenda, chosen to corrupt the young people who” gathered “in Dublin for the World Meeting of Families” (see here for a transcript of Fr. Martin’s WMF speech).

[5] This year, the Solemn Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (Friday after Corpus Christi) happened to fall on the 50th anniversary of Stonewall (June 28), the event generally recognized as the beginning of the “gay rights” revolution in America. Thus, as “LGBT” adherents were celebrating 50 years of “sexual liberation” (enslavement), Catholics around the globe were praying the Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart prescribed by Pope Pius XI in his 1928 encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor, which includes the following: “We now endeavor to expiate all these lamentable crimes together, and it is also our purpose to make amends for each one of them severally: for the want of modesty in life and dress, for impurities, for so many snares set for the minds of the innocent…” (emphasis added).

[6] Fr. James Martin, S.J., Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity (New York: Harper Collins, 2017—First Edition), p. 39.

[7] Ibid., pp. 119-124.

[8] Ibid., p. 45.

[9] Ibid., p. 46-47.

[10] Ibid., p. 65.

[11] Fr. Austin Fagothey, S.J., Right and Reason: Ethics in Theory and Practice Second Edition (Rockford: TAN Books and Publishers, Inc., 2000), p. 367.

[12] For an orthodox summary of the various kinds of law, see ibid., pp. 167-168. Concerning the immutability of the natural moral law, Fr. Fagothey explains: “God could not change the natural law without contradicting Himself. As Author of human nature, God wills that we live according to our nature; this is the natural law.” (ibid., p. 185).

[13] For examples of such individuals, see the documentary film The Third Way: Homosexuality and the Catholic Church.

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Matt Gaspers

Matt Gaspers is the Managing Editor of Catholic Family News. He was asked by John Vennari (1958-2017), longtime Editor of CFN and stalwart defender of the Faith, to carry on CFN’s important work shortly before Mr. Vennari’s passing. In addition to writing for CFN, Mr. Gaspers has also been published by The Fatima Crusader, OnePeterFive, and LifeSiteNews. His study and writing interests include theology, Church history, Fatima, Islam, and the spiritual life. He has spoken at conferences hosted by Catholic Family News and the Fatima Center. He and his wife, together with their children, reside in Colorado.

Matt Gaspers

Avatar photo

Matt Gaspers is the Managing Editor of Catholic Family News. He was asked by John Vennari (1958-2017), longtime Editor of CFN and stalwart defender of the Faith, to carry on CFN’s important work shortly before Mr. Vennari’s passing. In addition to writing for CFN, Mr. Gaspers has also been published by The Fatima Crusader, OnePeterFive, and LifeSiteNews. His study and writing interests include theology, Church history, Fatima, Islam, and the spiritual life. He has spoken at conferences hosted by Catholic Family News and the Fatima Center. He and his wife, together with their children, reside in Colorado.