Archbishop Chaput: Pro-LGBT Fr. James Martin 'Does Not Speak With Authority on Behalf of the Church'

By Michael W. Chapman | September 19, 2019 | 1:10pm EDT
Archbishop Charles Chaput. 
(Philadelphia Archdiocese)

( -- Archbishop Charles Chaput, head of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, strongly criticized the pro-LGBT teachings of Fr. James Martin, a writer and consultant to the Vatican, as being too ambiguous in relation to same-sex issues.

The archbishop added that Fr. Martin "does not speak with authority on behalf of the Church," and he warned faithful Catholics to be wary of Martin's claims.

Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit like Pope Francis, is an editor-at-large for America magazine, an author, and a consultant to the Dicastry for Communications at the Vatican. He has 253,500 followers on Twitter, frequently lectures around the country, and often appears on alternative media and some traditional broadcasts.

Among his criticisms, Arbp. Chaput said, "Father Martin has, in the past, suggested that people are born 'gay.' In his own words, '[i]t is a fact that people are born this way … [a] psychological, psychiatric, and biological truth.'"

Fr. James Martin, SJ.  (youTube)

"It’s true that many persons with same-sex attraction have experienced it for as long as they can remember," said the archbishop, "but no firm scientific consensus exists on the cause. Any implication that a person’s behavior is predetermined, and that intellect and free will have little role in the formation and control of his or her sexual appetites, is both false and destructive, especially to young people."

The archbishop continued, "Father Martin suggests that Catholic teaching on same-sex attraction as 'objectively disordered' (for example, in CCC 2358) is cruel and should be modified. ... But here Father Martin misrepresents Catholic belief."

As the Church teaches, he said, "saying a person has a particular inclination that is disordered is not to say that the person as a whole is disordered. Nor does it mean that one has been rejected by God or the Church.... Rather, the disorder is in that particular inclination, which is not ordered toward the fulfillment of the natural ends of human sexuality."

Scene from a gay "pride" parade.  (Getty Images)

Giving in to that disordered inclination, giving in to homosexual sin "cannot contribute to the true good of the person," said the archbishop, anymore than giving in to lust, adultery, contracepted sex, masturbation, and even lying. 

To claim that the Church's wisdom in moral teaching, based on centuries of human experience, is somehow "cruel or misguided," said Chaput, contributes "ambiguity" to very important issues.

In further criticism, the archbishop said, "Father Martin partners with organizations like New Ways Ministry that oppose or ignore the teaching of the Church, and he endorses events, such as PRIDE month, that cause confusion for the faithful."

Artist's depiction of Adam and Eve. 

As the Church teaches, "All support should be withdrawn from any organizations which seek to undermine the teaching of the Church, which are ambiguous about it, or which neglect it entirely," quoted the archbishop.  "Such support, or even the semblance of such support, can be gravely misinterpreted.”

In conclusion, Archbishop Chaput wrote, "I want to extend the CDF’s [Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith] caution to all the faithful of the Church in Philadelphia, regarding the ambiguity about same-sex related issues found throughout the statements and activities of Father James Martin."

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