Bogotá, Colombia, Jun 4, 2021 / 13:20 pm (CNA).
Fr. Nelson Medina, a Dominican priest from Colombia, responded to the June 2 Instagram video posted by Fr. James Martin in which he maintained that a Catholic can celebrate gay pride month in June.
This is not the first time that Fr. Medina has responded to statements made by Fr. Martin, who on other occasions has also expressed positions contrary to Catholic morality.
On Wednesday, Fr. Martin posted a video justifying Catholics’ celebrating gay pride month in June, the same month the Church dedicates to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
In the video, the Jesuit considers two definitions of the word pride. The first is “the pleasure from your own accomplishments which can morph into vanity which is bad,” and the second is based on “awareness of your own dignity, which is closer to what pride month is: a celebration of the human dignity of a group of people who for so long have been treated like dirt.”
For the American Jesuit, “perhaps the best way to understand pride is to imagine what you would say to a young person who finally summoned up the courage to tell you that they are LGBTQ. You know that God created them, that God loves them and you know that God wants you to accept who they are. ”
“So you would probably say ‘I’m very proud of you’ for you being able to say that. That’s the kind of pride we celebrate. So, happy pride!” Fr. Martin concluded.
On Thursday, Fr. Medina told ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish language news partner, that “statements like those of Fr. James Martin cause confusion,” which has taken hold in many Catholics, and “a kind of false mercy that seeks to approve the practice of sin so the sinner doesn’t feel rejected.”
“In that sense, any invitation to celebrate pride day, marches or pride month is ruled out for us Catholics because all of them are part of the effort to remove the state of sin from the practice of homosexual tendencies or other similar or related tendencies. It’s not right for us to do that, the Dominican friar said.
“Nor should we try to humiliate, belittle or destroy people who have these tendencies, even if they practice them,” the Colombian priest stressed.
Fr. Medina explained that “what we should do, out of respect, is have the attitude of presence, accompaniment, sincerity, prayer and invocation together with them, out of the grace we all need to be and live as true children of God.”
Regarding the pastoral consequences of Fr. Martin’s statements, Fr. Medina said that “they’re actually the opposite of what he’s presenting. Because if what you want to offer is love, love is transforming and Christ shows us that in how he practiced it. He doesn’t leave in the same condition those he finds in sin but calls them to a transformation, calls them to a change. He extends his hand and gives them the grace to change.”
“So these statements like so many others by Fr. James Martin are very unfortunate, they establish a wrong point of view, and as a pastoral practice distract from the true work and the true emphasis of our Christian faith which is always to preach and fully present the message of Jesus Christ,” the Colombian priest explained.
Fr. Medina also said that to better understand Fr. Martin’s statements it is necessary to understand that “Catholic moral theology teaches us that there are three typical ways of reacting to sin.”
The first way is “despair. The person considers what he’s doing is bad but doesn’t see a way out of it and sinks into guilt, sadness and self-destruction. That’s not the true Christian way.”
The second way to react is “cynicism.” The person “acknowledges the action but denies it’s wrong or even perverse. When this path is taken, the person turns his sin into a source of pride. That’s the psychological reaction necessary to completely close the door to sadness and the acknowledgment that we’ve done something wrong.”
“The third way, the properly Christian way, unlike cynicism, is conversion. With conversion we recognize that there is sin in the world and in us, as well as our own weakness in getting out of the practice of sin and then we take the path of conversion,” the Colombian priest said.
All of this, Fr. Medina stressed, “makes us see where the true Catholic attitude lies. It’s not an attitude of simply accusing the sinner to beat down and destroy him, but neither is it an attitude of applauding and approving of sin.”
“Our attitude, always out of respect and an understanding of human weakness, is to call for conversion through the action of divine grace and our humility and sincerity as our Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostles did.”
The Dominican friar also told ACI Prensa that “it’s important to bear in mind that diversity in itself is not necessarily a good thing.”
The Colombian priest explained that two examples of good diversity are in the diversity of God’s creation, recounted in the Bible, and the diversity of gifts of the Holy Spirit that “reflect the way in which God renews the creation that was subjected to sin.” .
However, the friar said, “there is instead a diversity that’s not right. Thus, for example, in the first chapter of the Letter to the Romans we are told about all the practices into which the pagan world has fallen. That includes forms of violence, abuse and perversion; and that diversity pointed out and denounced by the Apostle Saint Paul, is of course not positive.”
“So to take the position that a Catholic should celebrate diversity is to fall into a very serious mistake” that “can even war against the Gospel,” the Colombian priest warned.
“We celebrate diversity within the good of creation, redemption and sanctification. These diversities are to be celebrated because they speak, as Saint Thomas teaches, of the multiplicity of divine works and they tell us something of the inner richness of God himself,” the Dominican priest concluded.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that homosexuals “must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”
Homosexuality as a tendency is “objectively disordered” and “this inclination constitutes for most of them a trial.”
Tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” and “do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”
“Homosexual persons are called to chastity” and through “the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.”
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