By Doug Mainwaring
September 26, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — At a pivotal moment — as the future direction of the Church regarding the aggressive infiltration of LGBT ideology hangs in the balance — the bishops of the United States have squandered an enormous opportunity to shut down pro-gay Fr. James Martin, S.J.
More than that, they have handed Martin a huge victory.
Last week, Philadelphia archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM Cap, issued an important public correction challenging Fr. Martin’s work to normalize homosexuality and transgenderism within the Catholic Church.
In his polite but firmly worded statement, Chaput warned his diocese — and by extension the entire Catholic Church — “regarding the ambiguity about same-sex related issues found throughout the statements and activities of Father James Martin.”
A golden opportunity squandered
Archbishop Chaput created a golden opportunity for the bishops of the United States to stand shoulder to shoulder against Martin’s relentless promotion of gay liberation theology. It was a chance for our American bishops who have been pummeled by the priest and prelate homosexual abuse scandal and cover-up for over a year now to show a united front to stop Martin in his tracks.
Shockingly, just two of Archbishop Chaput’s brother bishops rushed to back him up with public statements of their own condemning the grave moral error of Martin’s pro-LGBT program.
Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois issued a statement supporting Chaput, saying aspects of Martin’s teachings are “deeply scandalous” and that his “messages create confusion among the faithful and disrupt the unity of the Church.”
Bishop Richard Stika of the Diocese of Knoxville, Tennessee, likewise took to Twitter, thanking Chaput for calling attention to Fr. Martin’s theological and moral errors. “I would add the pain it causes by setting people [up] for pain as morally it can never be accepted by the Church,” said Stika.
In the days following Archbishop Chaput’s public correction of the Jesuit priest, LifeSiteNews reached out to twenty bishops, asking for comments in support of Archbishop Chaput’s correction of Fr. Martin.
San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone was the only bishop to respond to our invitation:
I learned of the exchange of responses between Archbishop Chaput and Father Martin in the very sensitive matter of those who feel alienated from the Church because of sexual identity issues right before I went to celebrate Mass and preach on the Korean martyrs. I applaud Archbishop Chaput and Father Martin for the respectful tone with which they issued their responses to each other.
The martyrs remind us in a most powerful way of the cost of discipleship. While few receive the high calling of red martyrdom, all disciples are called to die to whatever in them keeps them from living the demands of the Gospel with complete integrity. I therefore thank Archbishop Chaput for affirming Father Martin in his intention to reach out to our fellow Catholics who feel this way, while at the same time reminding us all of the sacrifices required to be faithful to an understanding of the nature of the human person consistent with the created order, revealed in Sacred Scripture, and articulated in the constant teaching of the Catholic Church. As he says, for one whose identity is with Jesus Christ, it can be no other way.
Every other U.S. bishop has remained silent.
Every single one. All the others chose to either decline or to ignore the invitation.
It should also be noted that at last year’s United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) fall assembly, Texas Bishop Joseph Strickland made a veiled reference to Fr. Martin when he corrected fellow bishops for allowing a prominent priest to oppose Church teaching on homosexuality in their dioceses. “There’s a priest that travels around now basically saying that he doesn’t [believe the doctrine of the Church],” he said, “and he seems to be very well promoted in various places.”
LifeSiteNews also reached out to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) for a statement supporting Archbishop Chaput. The USCCB, too, declined.
Through their silence, the American bishops have done incalculable damage.
Fr. Martin and organizations such as New Ways Ministries will be emboldened by the bishops’ inaction.
The bishops’ silence gives LGBT activists permission to ramp up their assault on the wise teachings and pastoral practices of the Church.
By choosing not to support Chaput, they give the Catholic faithful the impression that, unlike Chaput, Paprocki, and Stika, they agree with Fr. Martin.
In a sense, their passivity is an act of collusion with Martin’s efforts.
Tragically, their silence is also an act of abandonment, leaving chaste same-sex attracted Catholics to wonder why we strive to be faithful to Church teaching.
Most importantly, they undermine their roles as teachers and protectors of Church doctrine. They show themselves to be compromised, unable to distinguish between the teachings of the world — which lead to death — and those that lead to new life in Jesus Christ.
Their silence and passivity contrast with the young men and women who gathered in Orlando, Florida to participate in the ex-gay and ex-transgender Freedom March, just a few days before Chaput published his correction of Martin.
The boldness of these folks who came together from around the country to fearlessly proclaim the freedom they’ve found through Jesus Christ from homosexual and transgender lives presents a stark contrast to the sheepishness, cowardliness, and disunity of our bishops.
Martin’s greatest victory
Archibishop Chaput’s statement is crystal-clear: “Due to the confusion caused by his statements and activities regarding same-sex related (LGBT) issues, I find it necessary to emphasize that Father Martin does not speak with authority on behalf of the Church.”
Whether intended or not, over 400 U.S. bishops just gave the impression that Fr. Martin does speak with authority on behalf of the Church. They have greenlighted Martin’s efforts, granting him what is perhaps his greatest victory ever.
Less than two weeks after the Catholic Church celebrated the Feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross, the bishops have waved a white flag and surrendered to the politicalization of sodomy and the undermining of complementarity, paving the way for a monumental LGBT triumph.