Fr. James Martin, “bridges”, and the triumph of the therapeutic mentality

One would think that in a book about human sexuality, an author writing from a Catholic perspective would identify the specific sexual struggles of the moral life in Christ as the sixth commandment bears upon them, and the corresponding sexual sins against chastity. But no, they receive no attention; they do not figure in this book at all.

Fr. James Martin, S.J., is the author of "Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity" (Image: YouTube)

“There is an organic connection between our spiritual life and the dogmas. Dogmas are lights along the path of faith; they illuminate it and make it secure. Conversely, if our life is upright, our intellect and heart will be open to welcome the light shed by the dogmas of faith” (CCC, no. 89).

By the therapeutic mentality I mean a subjectivist philosophy in which a feeling of well-being, feeling good about oneself, is the only, or dominant, criterion by which we measure what is acceptable or not to us. A good example of this mentality is found throughout the recent book by James Martin, SJ, Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity (New York: HarperOne, 2017; hereafter, BB).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (no. 2357; hereafter, CCC) teaches: “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered’.” Fr. Martin doesn’t cite this passage. I’ll return to this matter below. All he cites is the phrase found in CCC that the homosexual inclination is “objectively disordered” (no. 2358). After this, we see the therapeutic mentality at work in the following remark. “The phrase relates to the orientation, not the person, but it is still needlessly hurtful. Saying that one of the deepest parts of a person—the part that gives and receives love—is ‘disordered’ in itself is needlessly cruel” (BB, 46-47).

Fr. Martin doesn’t say that the problem with this term is solely with the language used that otherwise correctly describes the homosexual condition. So, let’s just change the language to describe an expression of human brokenness as a consequence of man’s fallen state. He doesn’t consider whether the term is morally right about homosexual practice; or even whether it is, however inadequately, getting at the reality of the homosexual condition.

Rather, he only considers how the term leaves one feeling about himself, hurt or abused verbally. That’s it.

Confusion and assumptions

It seems to me that Fr. Martin confuses how we relate to people, on the one hand, and evaluating their beliefs and practices on the other. The former relation should be ethical, honoring a person’s dignity, relating to that person in the context of “encounter, accompaniment, and friendship” (BB, 46). But the latter relation calls us to assessment, critical judgment, discerning the difference between good and evil, embracing the former and rejecting the latter (cf. Rom 12: 9; 1 Thess 5:21-22). This distinction between relating to people and evaluating their beliefs and practices is affirmed by Vatican II: “But it is necessary to distinguish error, which always merits repudiation, and the person in error, who never loses the dignity of being a person even when he is flawed by false or inadequate religious [or moral] notions” (Gaudium et spes, no. 28).

Now, it is my contention that Fr. Martin implicitly presupposes that “same-sex” attraction is good from the order of creation. That is, a homosexual qua homosexual is “wonderfully made” (Psa 139), as he suggests in asking him to reflect on himself in light of that psalm. In this connection, it follows that he holds it to be legitimate to ground human identity in homosexual orientation, which encompasses an individual’s personal and social identity. How does Fr. Martin justify the legitimacy of this self-description—indeed, insisting on it? The only criterion that he suggests that legitimizes it is individual experience. Individual experience becomes a supreme court for adjudicating the gospel, the teachings of the Church. This leads him to the conclusion that a person’s homosexuality is a creational given rather than being in itself inherently disordered, a sign of brokenness, an expression of man’s fallen condition.

Thus, Fr. Martin doesn’t just object to the formulation of the homosexual condition as “inherently disordered.” If that were solely it, then, he would acknowledge the distinction between the normative order of creation and the order of the fall, followed by the order of redemption. He would acknowledge, in the words of Aidan Nichols, OP, in Christendom Awake: On Reenergizing the Church in Culture: “It is not experience we should trust but the transmutation of experience by Scripture and Tradition.” One would then take as normative the truth that God made man, our created nature, as male and female for each other (Gen 1:27), and that this nature is savagely wounded by sin, broken, but, thanks be to God, it is redeemed in Christ through his atoning work.

Hence, homosexual practice is morally unacceptable, not only because such sexual acts are not open to life but also they cannot realize unity, because sexual differentiation is a fundamental prerequisite for the two-in-one-flesh union between a man and a woman. As Robert Reilly puts it in Making Gay Okay, How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior is Changing Everything, “only a unitive act can be generative, and only a generative act can be unitive—in that only it makes two ‘one flesh’.”. This one-flesh union is not just posited by ecclesiastical law. Rather, Jesus calls us back to the law of creation (Mk 10:6-7) that grounds an inextricable nexus of permanence, twoness, and sexual differentiation for marriage. In particular, marriage is such that it requires sexual difference, the bodily-sexual act, as a foundational prerequisite, indeed, as intrinsic to a one-flesh union of man and woman. “So then they are no longer two but one flesh” (Mk 10:8).

The key evidence for my contention is, then, that Fr. Martin nowhere presents the so-called LGBT community with the Church’s stance toward homosexuality. Except for the phrase, “respect, compassion, sensitivity” (CCC, no. 2358), being the sole basis on which he builds his position, he completely ignores the entire normative context of Christian anthropology that is the prolegomena in the Church’s teaching on the sixth commandment (CCC, nos, 2331-2336), the vocation of the human person that follows from that anthropology (nos. 2337-2347), and the sexual morality of man’s vocation to chastity (nos. 2348-2356). Having ignored that normative context, he never discusses the teaching of the Church regarding the relationship between chastity and homosexual practice (CCC, no. 2357).

Where’s the Church’s teaching on homosexuality?

Fr. Martin might respond by saying that he informs the members of the so-called LGBT community to respect the authority of the Church’s teaching, but, he is quick to add, “not all [teachings] have equal authority” (BB, 69; also, 55). As a general principle, this is of course correct. He adds, “Catholics must prayerfully consider what they are teaching. To do that, we are called to listen. Their teaching deserves our respect” (BB, 51). Still, you would think in a book that deals with the Church’s stance toward homosexuality, Fr. Martin would make a real effort to inform the members of the so-called LGBT community of the Church’s teaching on the sixth commandment and all its implications for sexual morality and the moral life in Christ (CCC, nos, 2331-2359). But he never does. No, not one word in this book.

Fr. Martin never tells them which teachings, in this connection, are binding in faith, on what grounds, and to what extent. Why binding in faith? “Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us, and that Holy Church proposes for our belief, because he is truth itself” (CCC, 1812). Respect doesn’t come close to what the assent of faith requires when we are speaking of teachings that are irreversible, definitive, indeed, infallible and hence possessing the highest degree of certainty—such as the teachings in CCC, nos. 2331-2359—and which therefore require the assent of faith, meaning thereby that they should be held to be true. Furthermore, even those truths that the Church teaches authoritatively but non-definitively require more than just respect. The assent here, too, is intrinsic to the logic of faith such that “the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent,” which is a “religious submission of mind and will” (Lumen gentium, no. 25).

Against this background, we are not surprised that Fr. Martin never presents the members of the so-called “LGBT community” with the call to chastity, namely, “to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition” (CCC, no. 2358). In addition, “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” (CCC, no. 2359).

Yes, Fr. Martin generalizes by saying that “we are all imperfect people, struggling to do our best in the light of our individual vocations. We are all pilgrims on the way, loved sinners following the call we first heard at our baptism and that we continue to hear every day of our lives” (BB, 76). True enough. And yet, once again, one would think that in a book about human sexuality, an author writing from a Catholic perspective would identify the specific sexual struggles of the moral life in Christ as the sixth commandment bears upon them, and the corresponding sexual sins against chastity. But no, they receive no attention; they do not figure in this book at all.

Some sins are graver than others

In this connection, this is not the book’s only flaw. I surmise that Fr. Martin is trying to diminish the importance of sexual sins relative to others by suggesting that all sins are equal before God, with none being worse than others. But is this true? Isn’t there a hierarchy of sins, such as is implied in the distinction between mortal and venial sins? In short, all sins are equally covered by the atoning work of Christ, but they are not equal in all respects, and hence some sins are graver than others.

St. Paul tells us that the Church must not succumb to a lax attitude toward sin (see 1 Cor 5:6: “a little leaven leavens the whole lump”). He urges the believers at Corinth to take action against a man’s sexual sin (i.e., incest) by removing him from the community. The community should mourn for him rather than become inflated with pride (5:2). As St. Paul says elsewhere in 1 Corinthians, we must “not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoice with truth” (13:6). The truth being that we in the Church are all sinners who are saved by grace: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received in faith” (Rom 3:23-25).

Nevertheless, says St. Paul, the Church should take a stand against all sorts of sexual sin by warning the offending believers that if they continue in sexual immorality they will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Against this Pauline background, we should ask Fr. Martin how he proposes to help these offending believers to be “saved” from judgment “on the day of the Lord” (1 Cor 5:5). What about St. Paul’s teaching that serial and unrepentant immoral sexual practices puts one at the risk of not inheriting God’s eternal kingdom (1 Cor 6:9-10; 2 Cor 12: 21; Gal 5:19-21; Rom 1:24-27; 6:19-23; Col 3:5-10; Eph 5:3-6, 4:17-19; 1 Thess 4:2-8)?

This Pauline teaching is stated clearly in CCC, no. 1861: “Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God’s forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ’s kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back. However, although we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment [regarding the eternal standing] of persons to the justice and mercy of God.”

Furthermore, if sinners are called to follow their baptismal vocation throughout their lives, as Martin rightly says, how then does a person who is actively and unrepentantly engaged in same-sex practice change his life, radically reorient his whole life, put an end to sin, turn away from evil, if no one, least of all the Church, least of all Fr. Martin, calls him to interior repentance, conversion, that is, “the conversion of the heart, interior conversion” (CCC, no. 1430), and a holy life?

Moreover, how should we understand, as Fr. Martin holds, that “[we] are loved by God as [we] are” (10)? Yes, we come to the Lord just as we are, sinners who sins are under the mercy and justice of the cross. Is that what Fr. Martin means? Does he understand that “Christ died for the ungodly,” and so “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:6, 8). Indeed, “when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son” (vs. 10).

Yes, God is rich in mercy (Eph 2:4). He forgave me of my sins out of love for me in Christ even while I was dead through my trespasses (Eph 2:5), even while I was still his enemy (Rom 5:10). In this light, we can easily understand the wideness of God’s mercy, why mercy is inclusive, grounded in divine redemption, and hence neither discriminating nor relativizing—all men are sinners and are under the power of sin (see Rom 3:9-18). But “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3: 16). The Church welcomes all sinners, none are excluded.

Failure to tell the truth

But how shall they know that they are called by the Gospel to repentance and amendment of life, if they have not heard that call (cf. Rom 10: 14-17). But “how can they hear without someone preaching to them” (vs. 14). Thus, when proclaiming the Father’s mercy in Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit towards others it must be clear to them that our action is rooted in God’s prior act of mercy shown to us in and through the finished work of Christ. Thus: “if we confess our sins he is faithful and just, and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us” (1 Jn 1: 9-10).

Pope Francis has written: “Although it sounds obvious, spiritual accompaniment must lead others ever closer to God, in whom we attain true freedom. . . . To accompany them would be counterproductive if it became a sort of therapy supporting their self-absorption and ceased to be a pilgrimage with Christ to the Father” (Evangelii gaudium, nos. 169-170). Fr. Martin’s book does not tell the LGBT community the truth, indeed, the gospel truth, and hence he cannot help people avoid the danger of what Francis calls here therapeutic self-absorption. Chiefly, spiritual accompaniment calls for conversion. As CCC teaches, “This endeavor of conversion is not just a human work. It is the movement of a ‘contrite heart’, drawn and moved by grace to respond to the merciful love of God who loved us first” (Ps 51:17; Jn 6:44; 12:32; 1 Jn 4:10).

Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity
by Fr. James Martin, S.J.
New York: HarperOne, 2017
Hardcover, 160 pages

About Eduardo Echeverria 8 Articles
Eduardo Echeverria is Professor of Philosophy and Systematic Theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. He earned his doctorate in philosophy from the Free University in Amsterdam and his S.T.L. from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome.

45 Comments

  1. It shows how impoverished and colonized the current papacy is, and so many of the current Vatican dwellers, that James Martin – promoting the false path of New Ways Ministry – would be chosen as a Papal / Vatican spokesman. A deliberately false choice, rejecting the true path of Courage.

  2. The trend within the Church is emotive rather than intellectual. It is the intellect that most identifies Man with God and the faculty of discerning good from evil. Sentiment as Prof Echeverria shows is the measure of good behavior. Fr Martin defines this form of moral discernment “Saying that one of the deepest parts of a person—the part that gives and receives love—is ‘disordered’ in itself is needlessly cruel” (BB, 46-47). Echeverria is concise and pointed explaining that the implication is that homosexual behavior is not a disorder. It must then be ordered by God. It’s the heresy I’ve encountered in parishes that If God permits it on such a wide scale it must be sanctioned. I would add to Prof Echeverria stating such behavior is a deviation from an interior direction not simply due to exterior rationale such as procreation. God created man and woman with natural desires for mutual attraction. That is not merely learned. It comes from within our ordained nature. Man’s difficulty is freedom of will and the capacity of the intellect to deviate and sublimate, to electively redirect natural desires away from their due end. The greater percentage of persons practicing disordered sexual behavior do so by choice, however varied and subject to external influence. The highly complex human intellect is capable of the presumption that what satisfies emotively is innate and natural. The Church must be clear as Echeverria holds. The appointment of Fr Martin as well as others including Biggar regarding abortion belies that. The Pontiff’s soup thickens. I add with some humor and real dismay it seems a witches’ brew.

  3. Great article. Many Catholics feel very unequipped to have loving, merciful, *and* theologically correct discussions on this topic. Fr. Martin, unfortunately, adds noise and confusion to the discussion. The Catechism does not need a rewrite. The Catechism has it right.

  4. “Saying that one of the deepest parts of a person—the part that gives and receives love—is ‘disordered’ in itself is needlessly cruel” (BB, 46-47)” — Statements like that make me think some priests have lost sight of what love (caritas) really is. True love is not found in the commission of a sinful act. True love is also not revealed in allowing one to follow the road, or lifestyle, that leads to perdition. For there is an urgency in our need to convert. This world is passing, and we know not the day nor the hour of His return. Furthermore, the exchange of love, or love in action, is not limited to an ordered, chaste sexual act between spouses. An act of love can be committed by a virgin, or a celibate religious person, who never engages in a sexual act throughout their life. The act of love, par excellence, came in the person of such a man. Does Fr Martin make reference to this reality anywhere is his book?

  5. Martin should simply stop his charade and publicly admit that he is an unrepentant homosexual who has no intention whatsoever of amending his life.

  6. The brother of homosexual bedroom practices is fornication. You can’t accept one without the other. Both OK or both sinful. Guess some folks believe that there are not many sins in this area anymore. Time for us to rebuke the sinner and stand with those who do. Thanks for the article.

    • What underpins the acceptance of all of the sexual practices which you mention is the acceptance of contraception and of abortion as morally right (which they are most certainly NOT). If the unitive is divorced from the procreative, then truly “Anything Goes” – and the result is what could be termed “Sex Without Sin.”

  7. The LGBT community exists, has existed, and will always exist. They are sisters and brothers who wish to enter into churches, grow in community and join in receiving Christ in His fullness during the celebration of the Mass. The LGBT community has been shut out of the Church through language such as this, and these closed doors are sins we as a Church will have to answer to Christ. Jim’s book is a hand reaching out to the LGBT community, a loving gaze as Jesus did many times throughout the Gospels. Being gay, lesbian, or bisexual is not a sin, and never has been. The entirety of the Church and everyone who fills Her pews must accept this scientific fact, before any ground can be made. Building a Brdige is not a book about human sexuality but instead a book about how to welcome a community into the Church who has been locked out for far too long.

    • The door has never been closed to anyone unless they want it to be closed. Life would be a lot easier if certain things weren’t sins, but they are. “bridge building”, “reaching out” etc can’t change that, but when these are just euphemisms for “pretend it’s not sinful” or AL style acceptance… That’s bad.

      • Pat, in the current climate of the (American) Catholic Church an LGBT Catholic would have to deny their identity in Christ to enter the doors. We aren’t talking about sexuality morality we are talking about sexual identity. This misconception of Fr. Martin’s book is the problem with Mr. Echevarria’s article.

        • And what does it look like, in your opinion, when they don’t have to do so (deny their identities)? How far does it go? Making sure that everyone is ‘out’ and the everyone shows the proper amount of acceptance, or do we have to push the boundaries and blur the lines? Transgendered deacons or gay social clubs for example?

        • If, as you say, being gay is who they are, and if they wish to be in Communion with Christ, they must do what all of us must do to save our souls, and is to deny ourselves and to take up our cross and follow Christ. The cross gays carry is a tendency to love what is disordered– as is the behavior of heterosexuals whose lives are focused on sex outside of marriage.

    • “Being gay, lesbian, or bisexual is not a sin, and never has been.”

      Correct. Engaging in homosexual sex, however, IS a sin, and ALWAYS has been.
      The problem with “Jim”‘s book is not his attempt to reach out; that is admirable and sadly lacking in many parishes and, for the most part, the Church at large. The problem is that his book has no mention, not one, of the Church’s moral teaching on homosexual actions. He doesn’t need to harp on it, or even dedicate much time to it. A complete lack of mention, though, gives the impression, clearly received by many, that it is the Church’s TEACHING on homosexual actions, and not her rejection of the people, that is the issue.

    • Sounds as though you’ve come up with a couched version of the “in-your-face” expression, “We’re here, and we’re queer! Deal with it.”

      Well, IF you’re engaging in active sexual behavior and/or lifestyle based on same-sex attraction, then you need to “deal with it” – by waking up to the reality that said attraction is intrinsically disordered and sexual acts based on that disorder need to be avoided and resisted.

      As Eduardo Echevarria writes above in his excellent review and rebuttal of Father Martin’s most recent screed, true love wills what is good for the other. And that love which wills good for the other means telling the truth – not enabling or approving of behavior and/or a lifestyle which is not only disordered, but also destructive (physically, psychologically, spiritually, and morally), debasing, demeaning, degrading, and dehumanizing. Said behavior and/or lifestyle is, indeed, mortal sin – and it calls for true contrition, repentance, confession, penanace, and a firm purpose of amendment of one’s life to pull out of it. Father Martin addresses none of that in his book – nor has he ever done so, publicly.

    • The references to the Catechism of the Catholic Church supporting your rather dogmatically stated assertions are conspicuous by their absence, as the conflict between your views and that of the Church expressed in the CCC are profound.

      There are many heretical and schismatic “churches” quite willing to accept new members on the members’ terms. The Church of Christ can only be faithful to her Founder, Whose teaching on sexual morality are explicit, clear, and for many people of any orientation, difficult. What you are describing is not the freedom won by Christ but license to the contrary.

    • Shut out of the Catholic Church? gays? you gotta be kidding. gays have infiltrated the church. gay priests abused boys and caused the church inestimable damage.. it was gayism not pedophilia, it was gayism, not Catholicism that has abused thousands of young men.. so give your head a shake. All we hear about is ‘gay’. constantly.. you men need to change your ways; look at the hell you’ve caused.. and you want more ‘recognition… for what ? .. how about your gay abuse of all the boys.. when you own up to that we can have a serious talk.

  8. If Fr. Martin thinks having sex with someone is a sign of one’s love for the other the world would truly be a loving place with all the attention given to sexual relations these days. Also, father’s thinking is a good sign that priest should not marry.

  9. If so many priests, bishops and cardinals are being installed into high positions of the Vatican, what does that say about “this” pope?

  10. I am sorry, let me rephrase my question. If so many “Pro-LGBTQ” priests, bishops and cardinals are being installed into high positions of the Vatican, what does that say about “this” pope?

  11. Mr. Echeverria, My wife and I have a family of 4, 2 boys and 2 girls, mostly teenagers. We pray and do good works as often as we can. This kind of stuff truly does scare me, because this pope has installed so many Pro-LGBTQ priests into high positions of the Vatican, that he must really believe that this is good for Jesus’ Catholic Church. Change of this type seems to be a take over from within. This kind of installation of Vatican office is not to make these priests obedient to the pope, when these same priests are so visible in their opposing views of Catholic teaching. No, it looks like a take over from within, within the Vatican, and they are all in it together, including the pope.

    Now, it really seems like it is a matter of moments before Catholic teaching and dogma will be changed to become a heresy that is already in the works. This would be an blatant slap in GOD’S face, and all of heaven would cry out for vengeance.

    There is nothing as a parent/husband/Catholic that I can do, if I cannot speak to the clergy as a lay person about the greater call to humanity. The powers that control this heresy are from the top down on this earth, and a small insignificant man like myself has no meaning to men who believe that they are GOD’S Voice. Woe to me and to all my family, the world!

    Rev. cht.14 [13] And I heard a voice from heaven, saying to me: Write: Blessed are the dead, who die in the Lord. From henceforth now, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; for their works follow them.

    God have mercy on us all

  12. Mr. Echeverria, please take my last moderation of my view in this matter. Post it if you think it is important. I have to pray with my family. God bless you

  13. Welcoming LGBTQ folks in church communities is good. Engaging in identity politics simultaneously is not welcoming. Personal conscience IS the standard even in Church teaching. (Of course the Church says informed conscience). I don’t know how to reconcile dogma and welcome for LGBTQ folks, but I applaud Fr. Martin for his discussion. One more comment. We as Church judge the objective gravity of sins, but we can not judge the subjective circumstances of those same sins. That is precisely why we relate circumstances during confession.

  14. i believe that God loves each and everyone of us and he wants all of us to come home to him and he gave each an every one of free will.

  15. I pray for the conversion of Father Martin as he has drank deeply of the secular koolaid. An EXCELLANT book that tells just how “happy and free” the gay life style is Joseph Sciambra, but be warned reading his book is more frightening than anything King or Spielberg could come up with

  16. We need to find a way to minister to these people (LGBT) they are God’s children and need to be cared for. What I fear is that people want to make out these issues as they don’t exist or they aren’t a problem. I think of my own sinful tendiencies and my own imperfections, on one side I can’t beat myself up over them, “I’ll never overcome this sin” “I’m a horrible person because of these issues that I have.” at the same time being dismissive about them is bad too “Everyone sins what’s the big deal.” “my shortfalls aren’t that bad and I don’t have to deal with them.” What all of us must do is accept that we are sinful, we have our sinful tendiences and imperfections, and ask God to heal of these things if it be his will, and ask God to bring us to greater perfection and union with him. Same goes for those who have homosexual tendiences.

    • Tim if it’s relevant to you years past I assisted two parishes in lower Manhattan while taking U courses. At the time the clergy in Manhattan apparently did reach out to gays and apparently they were quite loyal to traditional doctrine. Confessions I heard at the parishes indicated that. Many of these men struggled but remained faithful to the sacraments. Some seemed saintly. The difference today is too many clergy are not doctrinally sound and don’t identify the sin. There are still some good priests like the former. Needless to say whatever your struggle is you’re in my prayers.

  17. About homosexuality. It’s not quite the happy embraces frequently shown. I rarely refer to movies in this case if you haven’t watched Cruising 1980 starring Al Pacino a NYC detective investigating an a suspected serial homo murderer and drawn into what he initially dreads. In the seventies and eighties body parts were frequently found in the E River and the Hudson. I know because I’m a New Yorker. Most of these crimes were considered homosexual related. The film is the most realistic portrayal of the homo night life scene in notorious ‘Leather Bars,’ where virtually anything goes [back then until Giuliani became mayor]. Much of the footage was actually filmed in these notorious hangouts and much of the filmed real acts are indescribable here. There are generally two types of practicing homos. The macho guy with peaked cap and leather jacket. The more effeminate type. Violence masochism and sadism are features of behavior [usually perpetrated by the macho type] frequently ending with the dismembered body floating on the waters. The movie caused an uproar among the homosexual community. Except for several more educated influential homosexual men who admitted that violence frequently deadly was the curse of their behavior. This set off another firestorm by outraged liberal media, needless to say critical op eds in the NYTimes. Although the Times reported the entire truth and comments from psychiatrists who perceived a link between deviate behavior and deadly violence. Sexual pleasure omitting transmission of life is always death dealing. And eternally so.

    • Yes, you don’t hear or see much of this film any longer.
      Much to real. Much to accurate, Very politically incorrect.
      It is way, way later than we think.

  18. I’ll make this even simpler; Father Martin is a plain old heretic, and obstinately denies Church teaching, and thereby God’s teaching, on the immorality of homosexual acts. Such a person should NOT be given a platform to corrupt souls until he repents and abjures his heresy.

  19. Fr. Martin uses “faith (fides)” as a sentimental tool for challenge and acceptance. He than uses “reason (ratio)” to put forth a logic NOT based on the fullness of The Truth (Divine Revelation) which is the corner stone of natural law. This causes a divergent thesis which appears to focus on the point where faith and reason must unit. However, Fr. Martin never establishes the foundation for the “bridge” he is trying to build.

  20. I could weep with gratitude to see this REAL AND HONEST REVIEW. I have been trying to get through to Fr. Martin and have asked him repeatedly to tell the fullness of truth to those who seek his counsel. He has refused and has since blocked me from commenting and completely on one of his Facebook pages. I am not “telling” on him to whine like a baby. I simply want the TRUTH to be told and those who are blindly following him to hear it. Every time I posted something, I sensed that some who were posting on Martin’s posts were hearing it for the first time. THIS IS TRAGIC. The fact that he wouldn’t answer me, even privately when I tried is a red flag that tells me that he doesn’t truly care about loving all of God’s children, but rather, only those who will reject the Church’s teachings right along with him. To have this exposed and open up REAL dialogue as to how each person can find AUTHENTIC love should be the goal for every good shepherd. If we are talking about compassion, the GREATEST compassion we can ever give another human being is to lead them to conversion. Thank you for this report.

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