Over the past year, Fr. James “spooky” Martin SJ has gone from the author of feel good Catholic bedside books for “take it easy” American Baby Boomer Catholics such as The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything and My Life with the Saints as well as the occasional visitor on the Colbert Report (where he infamously gave the “hail satan” 1970s style rock concert devil horns to introduce the aging members of Metallica), to the nervously smiling public face of the “LGBT Rights Movement” in the Catholic Church in America.
While marketing his book, Fr. Martin has had to endure an onslaught of assaults from traditionalist and conservative Catholics who have reached the end of their tether with the “Francis Church” and have decided that it is time for the empire to strike back--hard.
Fr. Martin’s continual argument is that the Catholic Church must reach out with compassion to the haunted house of “practicing” lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transexuals, “queers,” and “questioning”(LGBTQQ) who have traditionally felt excluded from the Church.
Michael Voris of Church Militant TV, despite his own scary shortcomings, has been brave enough to ask Fr. Martin what letter in the alphabet soup acronym for psycho-sexual disorders he considers himself part of.
In face of these attacks, strangely (or perhaps not), Fr. Martin has repeatedly emphasized that he is not trying to change the teaching of the Catholic Church. In America Magazine, Fr. Martin, responding to Cardinal Sarah’s criticism of his book, stated, “Building a Bridge is not a book of moral theology nor a book on the sexual morality of L.G.B.T. people. It is an invitation to dialogue and to prayer, and I’m sure that Cardinal Sarah would agree on the importance of both.”
Fr. Martin is here stating that he is not trying to change the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church; he just change the way the Church acts by implicitly telling Catholic who suffer from same sex attraction and gender dysphoria that it is OK to continue living their self-destructive lifestyles.
In fairness to Fr. Martin, Pope Francis has set the precedent for the hard rocking Jesuit’s clever tactic of not trying to change what the Church teaches but trying to change the way the Church acts. In 2014 while discussing Humanae Vitae, Pope Francis famously said, “The question is not that of changing doctrine, but to go into the depths, and ensuring that pastoral [efforts] take into account people’s situations, and that, which it is possible for people to do.”
Like Fr. Martin, Pope Francis explicitly states that he is not going to change Church teaching but, at the same time, implies that it is OK for people “to do” something contrary to the Church’s teaching.
It appears that Fr. Martin and Pope Francis are reading from the same spell book: they both give them impression that doing something contrary to the Church teaching is not bad (due to the historical, cultural, personal situation, etc.).
Where did these two nice men get this scary idea?
Fr. Martin and Pope Francis are dipping into the trick or treat bag of rotten goodies handed to the Church by Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez OP, the founder of liberation theology. Fr. Gutierrez, now comfortably ensconced at the university of Notre Dame where he can sip pumpkin spiced lattes and watch the leaves turn far from any third world poverty, famously wrote in his 1984 work, We Drink from Our Own Wells, “Any discourse of faith starts from, and takes its bearings from, the Christian life of Community.”
This ghoulish idea is known in Marxists circles as praxis, famously summarized by Karl Marx in his Theses on Feuerbach: “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.”
Liberation theology, like every left wing theology, becomes “Marxism for dummies” by the time it gets into the hands of theologians like Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez OP. However, the same idea lingers in Fr. Gutierrez’s teachings: changing the ideas of a people is a futile waste of time if the people’s practice or praxis is not changed. For a Marxist, such revolutionary praxis might be accomplished by setting garbage cans on fire and marching through the streets screaming with Antifa (for whom everyday is Halloween). However, in the Church, revolution is affected through immoral activity that violates the natural law as well as liturgical abuse and change (which always go hand-in-hand). Once the people change what they do, what does it matter what the Church teaches?
The radical vanguard in the Church led by Fr. Martin, Pope Francis and the Halloween line up of Francis appointees in the Church such as Blase Cardinal Cupich have utilized the Marxist method of praxis injected into the Church via liberation theology to convince many Catholics that sexual reassignment surgery, gay marriage, birth control, is OK (as long as one supports the demographic suicide of his or civilization via “refugee” resettlement, of course!) even though no Church teaching has actually changed.
While the horror story of the Francis era goes on, sowing bitter consequences throughout the Church and world (Google how many Christian countries have legalized gay marriage since and partially because of Pope Francis’s infamous, “who am I to judge” speech), we can be reassured that through our own reactionary praxis of living the ancient faith of our fathers and mothers, we will keep the faith alive and weather this spooky storm.
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