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Pope Francis meets with Fr. James Martin at Vatican

Martin said on Twitter Sept. 30, that his meeting with Pope Francis lasted 30 minutes, and that he shared with him “the joys and hopes, and the griefs and anxieties, of LGBT Catholics and LGBT people worldwide.”

A screenshot of Fr. James Martin, S.J., giving a March 2018 a presentation titled "Spiritual Insights for LGBT Catholics". (YouTube)

Vatican City, Sep 30, 2019 / 09:20 am (CNA).- Pope Francis met Monday with Fr. James Martin, SJ, in a private audience in the apostolic palace inside the Vatican.

Martin said on Twitter Sept. 30, that his meeting with Pope Francis lasted 30 minutes, and that he shared with him “the joys and hopes, and the griefs and anxieties, of LGBT Catholics and LGBT people worldwide.”

One of the highlights of my life. I felt encouraged, consoled and inspired by the Holy Father today. And his time with me, in the middle of a busy day and a busy life, seems a clear sign of his deep pastoral care for LGBT Catholics and LGBT people worldwide. (Foto@VaticanMedia). pic.twitter.com/1BeaiVh0Q4

— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) September 30, 2019

Martin added that he “was so grateful to meet with this wonderful pastor.” The audience was private except for the presence of a papal interpreter.

Dear friends: Today Pope Francis received me for a private 30-minute audience in the Apostolic Palace, where I shared with him the joys and hopes, and the griefs and anxieties, of LGBT Catholics and LGBT people worldwide. I was so grateful to meet with this wonderful pastor.

— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) September 30, 2019

In another tweet, Martin said the meeting was one of the highlights of his life. “I felt encouraged, consoled and inspired by the Holy Father today. And his time with me, in the middle of a busy day and a busy life, seems a clear sign of his deep pastoral care for LGBT Catholics and LGBT people worldwide.”

The Vatican does not customarily comment on papal meetings with individual priests or bishops.

Martin has been in Rome since Sept. 21. He attended the plenary assembly of the Dicastery for Communication Sept. 23-25. He was named a consultor of the dicastery in 2017.

Martin also attended the Vatican conference on “the Common Good in the Digital Age.”

The priest said via Twitter he will be in Rome through Oct. 6 for meetings and to attend the consistory to create 13 new cardinals Oct. 5.

Martin 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,” and speaks frequently on issues pertaining to homosexuality and Catholicism.

Earlier this month, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia urged caution about Martin’s message after the priest spoke at a Philadelphia university.

“Father Martin has sought in a dedicated way to accompany and support people with same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria. Many of his efforts have been laudable, and we need to join him in stressing the dignity of persons in such situations,” Archbishop Charles Chaput wrote in a Sept. 19 column published on his archdiocesan website.

“At the same time, a pattern of ambiguity in his teachings tends to undermine his stated aims, alienating people from the very support they need for authentic human flourishing. 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, and to caution the faithful about some of his claims,” Chaput added.

Martin responded to Chaput’s column, thanking the archbishop for his careful tone and for encouraging people to not engage in “ad hominem” attacks.

The priest said that he is always careful to not challenge Church teaching on matters of sexual morality in his writings and talks, but argued that one reason he does not focus on “same-sex relations and same-sex marriage, which I know are both impermissible (and immoral) under church teaching, is that LGBT Catholics have heard this repeatedly. Indeed, often that is the only thing that they hear from their church.”

Chaput said in response that he appreciates Martin’s “typically gracious comments,” but he does not think they change the need for his column.


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54 Comments

  1. We read that “Martin responded to Chaput’s column, thanking the archbishop for his careful tone and for encouraging people to not engage in ‘ad hominem’ attacks.”

    So, apparently Fr. Martin, for whatever reason, did not pick up on the message that the politicized label “LGBT Catholic” is a logically unacceptable categorization/redefinition of “persons”–and is itself an “ad hominem” attack (!) on even these “persons,” as such.

    Group-think double-speak. Babel. Smoke. To borrow Martin’s comment: “often that is the only thing that they [read: anyone outside the bubble] hear[s] from their church.”

  2. If Martin had real compassion for the active homosexual, he would be leading him to Christ and not away.

    With the German Church claiming binding synodality, this meeting with Martin seems ominous.

  3. The Catholicism I read about on paper seems to exist less and less in real life. The Church proclaims one thing in the Catechism etc. but acts in an entirely different way in terms of praxis (heck, even the Catechism is open to revision). I’m literally a bad Catholic for believing what JP2 wrote. I feel like I’ve been swindled.

    I’m starting to understand the Protestant approach. When faced with all of these mixed messages and conflicting teachings, I have to ask myself what’s the one thing they can’t change? The Bible! Maybe I’ll just stick with that.

    • yes and if you do that then satan wins….stay with Christ and His Teaching in those who have authentically received and passed this is on…for the rest do not be disturbed, Jesus says this would come to pass so it is not a surprise, but an evil that will be conquerored, but don’t do the opposite of Jesus says both from without and within the Bible….and protest against Jesus and His Providence and Love punishing His Spousal People for their sins as He has always had to do throughout Salvation Covenant History – this is His hesed….Dives in Misericordia…blessings

      • Agreed, but what does being in “full communion” with the Church mean anymore when the Pope himself winks and nods at people who dissent from Church teaching while faithful Catholics and priests are pushed to the sidelines or outright persecuted? What does it mean to be a member of the Church when the structures of that same Church and many of its pastors are corrupted? It seems that Francis holds people like me (a struggling orthodox Catholic) in total disdain Lately, I’ve been asking who and what am I actually in communion with and are they in communion with me? I would appreciate any advice, especially from the priests who read this site.

    • Except that many Protestants have de-constructed, contextualized and de-mythologized the Bible and reformatted it for the sensitivities of modern readers. They had to do this, you see, since the Bible was otherwise a racist, misogynist, homophobic, tribalist text, the product of a benighted long-ago patriarchalist society. Similar to what Catholic biblical exigetes have been seeking to emulate.

      • Yup and many Catholics, right up to the Pope, are doing the same thing with Church teaching. Personally I don’t care what Protestants do. What I am trying to do is find something that cannot change and on which I can build my life. I came to the simple conclusion that its the Bible. I am still a Catholic, but I really think many Catholics need to look up from their apologetics books and realize that the Catholicism they read about in books largely a myth in real life.

        • Read Good Pope, Bad Pope by Mike Aquilina and Love for the Papacy and Filial Resistance to the Pope in the History of the Church by Roberto de Mattei. The Church has had rotten Popes (and Bishops) before, and will likely again in future. Don’t leave the Church of Christ because of the betrayal of Judas.

          • Thanks. I will definitely check those books out. I won’t leave the Church. I need the sacraments. But I am definitely keeping my faith sources simple. Bible, rosary, sacraments and writings of saints. That’s it. No more Church documents for me. No more Francis etc. I’ve also started exploring an Eastern Catholic parish for refuge. I’m unplugging from Francis and friends as much as I can. Not playing his game anymore.

    • The magisterium of the one true church has not been overturned. Yet. I understand the “swindled” thing as I saw all the mechanizations of “dialogue, nuanced statements, getting beyond all that and weaponized ambiguity” 20-25 years ago as an Episcopalian. And now it has invaded the Catholic faith.
      Take heart, and stand firm. Our faith is worth striving for.

      • But it has been severely compromised by the current occupant of the chair of Peter and certain bishops and priests. They are not to be depended upon. At least I for one do not look to them for guidance. “Our faith is worth striving for.” Yes, but we are left to do it by ourselves, individually and with other companionable souls–hardly the Catholic way. I don’t know about this being the “end times”; who can? I do know I want these times to end, which is another matter. How that will happen we cannot tell at this juncture. The old saw rings perenially true: “This too will pass.”

    • I’m starting to understand the Protestant approach. When faced with all of these mixed messages and conflicting teachings, I have to ask myself what’s the one thing they can’t change? The Bible!
      One well documented tactic of the cornucopia of protestants was to ignore the Bible and change it to their liking.

    • No need for a “paper pope” of innumerable Protestant sects. Just go home to the church of the fathers, the Eastern Orthodox
      Church. I did so 15 years ago after reaching your position and each passing passing year further confirms my decision.

    • Don’t fool yourself, brother, how many liberal Protestants are ignoring or even re-writing the Bible right now?? Do you seriously think that’s beyond attack? Yes we are in the Last Days, but the Lord will not abandon us….

    • Do no be deluded by the current lunacy. It’s not the first time. It’s a cliche, but look up Alexander Borgia and see just one instance. The Barque of Peter is more and better than the present steersman. If you want to find out what the Church is REALLY about, check out the INSTITUTE OF CHRIST THE KING, SOVEREIGN PRIEST, or CLEAR CREEK ABBEY, or the Dominican Sisters in Tennessee. They are young, they are vibrant, they are ALIVE! And pray for our Holy Church as well as our beloved Benedict, who must be suffering intensely. Also, pray for the Pope. He needs prayers desperately!

  4. The purpose of this meeting was to create press releases in the secular media. The laughter they shared? This was NOT really a “private” meeting but one within Bergoglio’s public schedule (as indicated in Reuters)…nothing less than what would be then publicized as an “endorsement.” This is well choreographed…headed by Bergoglio who is also calling Catholics to Scripture and Tradition…but minus any “pendantic” doctrine/moral teaching.

    How anyone could now question the necessity and integrity of the “Open Letter” is beyond me…unless they themselves are simply indifferent? clueless? or among the truly faithless “believers” and in favor of the faithless “new church” which will culminate in the enthronement of anti-christ.

    The perversity of it all is that according to Martin’s formulation, any group/constituency that hasn’t “received” a particular teaching…

    This is not a time for papolaltry.

  5. I think Abp. Chaput said it rather well – he said lots of nice things about Fr. Martin, and then said “I find it necessary to emphasize that Fr. Martin does not speak with authority on behalf of the Church, and to caution the faithful about some of his claims.” – he said it quite diplomatically.

    What will Fr. Martin do? That’s up to him, but if he thinks he’s as smart as Abp. Chaput- he’s not.

  6. Pope Francis, like his predecessor Good Pope John XXIII, gives clear evidence of his synchcronicity with the Love of Christ in the Gospels. Jesus was crucified for his generous liberality towards the disenfranhised – the people on the margins of society. Pope Francis is walking in His footsteps. Deo Gratias!

    • “Jesus was crucified for his generous liberality towards the disenfranhised”

      Ummmm, no, He wasn’t. The more so since nobody voted then, so there was no franchise to begin with.

    • Father Ron Smith ,
      Amen, but people can end up on the margins of society for legitimate reasons. I can think of a number of examples, the most obvious being pedophiles.
      Christ died for everyone. Each one of us is a sinner with an immortal soul worth saving, but enabling or encouraging sinful behaviors doesn’t help our brother’s journey towards salvation. If we don’t speak the truth in charity we will one day be held accountable for that.

    • Romans 5:8-21

      8 But God commendeth his charity towards us; because when as yet we were sinners, according to the time,

      9 Christ died for us: much more, therefore, being now justified by his blood, shall we be saved from wrath through him.

      10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son: much more being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

      11 And not only so: but also we glory in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received reconciliation.

      12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into this world, and by sin death, and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned.

      13 For until the law, sin was in the world: but sin was not imputed, when the law was not.

      14 But death reigned from Adam unto Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of the transgression of Adam, who is a figure of him that was to come.

      15 But not as the offence, so also is the gift: for if by the offence of one, many have died: much more the grace of God, and the gift in the grace of one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

      16 And not as it was by one sin, so also is the gift: for the judgment indeed was by one unto condemnation: but the grace is of many offences, unto justification.

      17 For if by one man’s offence, death reigned through one: much more they who receive abundance of grace, and of the gift, and of justice, shall reign in life, through one, Jesus Christ.

      18 Therefore, as by the offence of one, unto all men to condemnation: so also by the justice of one, unto all men unto justification of life.

      19 *For as by the disobedience of one man, many were made sinners: so also by the obedience of one, many shall be made just.

      20 Now the law entered in, that sin might abound. But where sin abounded, grace hath abounded more.

      21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, so also grace might reign by justice, unto everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

      Jesus was not crucified for his “generous liberality for the disenfranchised” but to save us sinners from eternal damnation if we repent and follow His commandments.

    • Father Ron Smith, whether you are an actual Catholic Priest, Orthodox Priest, etc. or just pretending to be one and are hiding behind the title, the result is the same, your assertion about Jesus as being a social/political activist (“Jesus was crucified for his generous liberality towards the disenfranhised – the people on the margins of society”) is a total lie. Jesus was never ever political or a social activist and therefore rejected all the times they wanted to make him a revolutionary leader. He pointed sin as the core problem of all human misery, infinitely worse than any poverty or political/social injustice.

      He is uncompromising toward sin, telling even the woman found in the middle of adultery: “Sin no more”, even if He knew very well that the man involved in the same adultery was not brought forward to Him. He offered her mercy but absolutely no excuses for sinning again, as homosexuality has always demanded and continues to demand today. Homosexuality is totally in love with its core “gospel”: being the greatest enabler and empowerment of all sins and all evil, through political/spiritual seduction.

      Jesus “liberality toward the disenfranchised” was not a liberality of INCLUDING all their sins, as Father Martin and all like him demand, but in demanding with Divine Authority that they totally REJECT their sins to become part of the Kingdom of God on this earth and eternity, which is infinitely superior to the Kingdom of “Holy” Hybrids of Sin and Evil that radical homosexuality demands on this world. Pope Francis is walking the path of the political-occultic-sexual seduction strategy of the sinful world.

    • Is it really true that “Jesus was crucified for his generous liberality towards the disenfranhised (sic) – the people on the margins of society?” Not unless we are ALL the “disenfranchised” in a much more profound way. More than the margins of “society”. And THAT is a much larger and, therefore, different message:

      “Christ the Lord…by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and His love, fully reveals man to himself and makes his supreme calling clear” (Gaudium et Spes, n. 22).

    • Hmmm, no.
      Jesus was crucified because he was and enemy of the Sanhedrin, Caiaphas, Judas and Rome/Pontius Pilot.
      Christ’s generosity toward anyone had nothing to do with his death. He died because he called himself the Son of God and a king. Amen. Deo Gratias.
      You should know much better…Father.

        • Anglicanism is in its last throes. Anyone who has been a serious Anglican/Episcopalian has long left for Orthodoxy or the Holy Catholic Church. It is nothing now but a tiny, heretical sect attempting to look Catholic–led by female clergymen, and a purveyor political correctness. Mainline churches are all in the same boat, and it’s never been Peter’s.

    • Pope Francis is smacking the sexually abused in the face by paying such attention to gay activists. I don’ t see this as ‘compassion’. The focus should be the victims, and the gay agenda has invaded the Church and abused tens of thousands. P.Fr. soft-pedals it, the left love it and the Church is disintegrating. This is mercy, compassion? .. they’v lost their meaning.. they don’t have much meaning with this Pope who allows for anything wxcept he delights in yelling at the main flock who do all the work, pay the bills and are on our knees. Favouritism, as in a family, is lethal. It ALWAYS causes division. ALL the faithful have needs.. A universal mind sees this, that those in the peripheries (?) will overcome.. no one should overcome anyone.. all should be treated with equal dignity where they are at. P.Fr. is too cowardly to call out the gay agenda in the Church.. billions of dollars spent, tens of thousands victims.. and he makes no link between the two: gayism and sex abuse. His credibility is very low, the numbers show it too. Never dreamt in a million years I’d see a Pope like this. Soon, he’ll be talking to the wall, sadly.

  7. I can’t wait to read that Fr. Frank Povone was received by the Pope for a talk about how millions of souls are not even given the chance to “hear” the gospel message, and what the Church plans to do to open up the Gospel to those unfortunate souls, without proselytizing of course.

  8. That James Martin could be overjoyed at his reception by Pope Francis is really the most damning indictment I have yet read of this pontificate.

    • Heartily recommend . THE JESUITS by MALACHI MARTIN–a marvelous, revealing book from a brilliant Jesuit. It explains so much, and you will no longer be surprised by what is going on in Rome and Amazonia.

  9. Admonition of the sinner is a spiritual work of mercy. One recalls the encounter between Marxist Ernesto Cardenal and Pope John Paul II.
    “It is where he loves that he bestows correction; there is no recognition for any child of his, without chastisement.” Hebrews 12:6
    “It is where he loves that he bestows correction, like a father whose son is dear to him.” Proverbs 3:12
    Codependency, a two way street, blinds.

  10. I’m a little confused. How exactly is a closeted, LGBT activist “priest” like Martin permitted to continue in ministry, let alone be invited to an audience with the pope? Who is his bishop, and why has no disciplinary action been taken against him? Why did he leave the pope feeling “encouraged, consoled, and inspired” instead of being threatened with excommunication, which would have been a more appropriate response in light of biblical teaching and the church’s own catechism? Why are the very people who actively and intentionally created the sexual abuse crisis in the church – people who think just like Martin – being protected by the church’s hierarchy?

    • No need to be “a little confused.” Try this: only one week before Martin met with the Pope, Francis addressed the media thusly in the Vatican: ““This is the mission of communication: to communicate the reality, without sweetening it with adjectives or adverbs.” He doesn’t like clarifying expressions like “authentic Christians.” Better a language of limited vocabulary and few distinctions. There is a point here, but then something more…

      Take the case of “LGBT” which is an adjective in the gratuitous term “LGBT Catholic.” Martin walks away still using this particular adjective, and gets away with it. Churchill had this to say about that: “’Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.”

      We are again in this (confusing) place where we can either assume that Pope Francis in private said what needed to be said, but that he’s not quite the man to then impose a leash and that he now is being used by Martin as a decorative fisture on the Rainbow; OR that (thinking with Orwell): “All adjectives are equal, but some adjectives are more equal than others.”

      • Good points. My “confusion” was tongue in cheek. And I agree – there’s no such thing as a LGBT Catholic. I think Christians lose the argument from the very beginning when they use the left’s terminology. We need to stop participating in that and call a spade a spade.

  11. The meeting took place in his library where the Pope greets dignitaries sending a disconcerting message. Jesuits tweeted words to the effect No fanfare, no agenda simply two brothers in the Lord in honest conversation. Other Jesuits Thomas Reese spoke of the lesser sexual sins compared to exploitation and injustice. That most Catholic moralists believe there is insufficient knowledge and consent of the will in most sexual acts repeating the Big Kahuna premise of mitigating circumstances in Amoris Laetitia. Consent between adults [homosexuals] among the lesser sins consistent with the pattern of Vatican merciful embrace of adult homosexual relationships. Four Cardinals Cupich, Tobin, Farrell and Bishop McElroy pave that wide path in Am. The trend is evident. A softening of responsibility for deviate behavior appointments of advocates to relevant institutions pointing toward sooner than later reconciliation not with Christ and repentance rather with the powers to be and acceptance. That major Amoris premise mitigation coupled with another enshrinement of personal conscience are the loosening of the hawsers permitting the Barque of Peter to drift off into the Darkness. The Apostle survived I believe two shipwrecks nights treading turbulent ocean water seemingly an example for today’s faithful. Paul also said with Christ he could do all things.

    • Srubin I won’t worry about food if it indeed happens. I do have an abundant supply of altar breads and sacramental wine [though any authentic wine will do] and memorized knowledge of the Latin and English versions of Eucharistic Prayer II [I prefer the Latin]. Your response recalls Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory and the reprobate alcoholic priest who stays with the people furtively offering Mass and confessions to be eventually martyred while many ‘upright’ priests fled during the murderous 1928 Mexico persecution of Catholicism during which Fr Pro was martyred. I envision reprobates suddenly coming out of the woodwork to heroicly defend the faith. Just a pietistic thought. I’m addicted to pious fantasies.

  12. The problem with Fr. Martin is he is cagey. He doesn’t come out and explicitly go against moral doctrine and yet a lot of people in his orbit do. This is his problem. OTOH this is our advantage if he says at least on paper or in public he won’t go against Church teaching on homosexuality then we can hold his feet to that fire till he either gives in to makes himself more explicit.

  13. Getting back to Archbishop Chaput, he missed a stellar opportunity to remind the Catholic world—AND Mr. Martin SJ—that the Church already has a bonifide and successful ministry for SSA individuals: Courage International, and its sister ministry, EnCourage for loved ones. Best kept secret that is out in the open, led by the caring and compassionate Father Philip Bochanski.
    Martin, the liar, claimed he never heard of it. And he continues to ignore Courage as well as lie about the Church’s response to SSA. Courage International. Promote it, spread the good news about it and show the world that Little Jimmy Martin is a liar and a thief of souls.

  14. While I am not so learned as many of those who post here, I wonder, can so many of you not see that you are agreeing with each other? Yes, there is a core truth in the Gospel that the Church continues to defend and proclaim. Yes, Jesus consistently shone light on sinfulness and pointed sinners to the salvation which he accomplished for us. And yes, Jesus did descend from the glory of heaven to become a messy, fleshy human so he could dine with us, kneel in the dusty streets, suffer shame and isolation and death. Jesus is present to us in the very place of our sinfulness and suffering even as he offers the way to new life. Jesus showed us how to welcome and accompany and love, not just tolerate or correct. People who are wounded will learn more from who we are than what we say. We must be present, be known to them, to bring Jesus to them in their place. Be encouraged to place your confidence in love and be not afraid brothers and sisters to proclaim God’s love in your silence as well as your words.

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