Archbishop pings Jesuit over homosexuality and Catholicism

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia is urging caution regarding about information about homosexuality and Catholicism from Fr. James Martin, SJ.

He says there is “a pattern of ambiguity” in Martin’s writing and teaching.

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,”.

“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 says.

Other bishops have also weighed in on Martin’s message regarding homosexuality and Catholicism.

“Father Martin’s public messages create confusion among the faithful and disrupt the unity of the Church by promoting a false sense that immoral sexual behavior is acceptable under God’s law,” one bishop, Thomas Paprocki wrote last week.

“People with same-sex attraction are indeed created and loved by God and are welcome in the Catholic Church.

“But the Church’s mission to these brothers and sisters is the same as to all her faithful: to guide, encourage, and support each of us in the Christian struggle for virtue, sanctification, and purity.

Father Martin – no doubt unintentionally – inspires hope that the Church’s teachings on human sexuality can be changed,” the Paprocki’s statement continued.

“… On the one hand, [he] correctly expresses God’s love for all people, while on the other, he either encourages or fails to correct behavior that separates a person from that very love.

“This is deeply scandalous in the sense of leading people to believe that wrongful behavior is not sinful,” Paprocki’s statement said.

“This matter is not one of opinion, it is our Lord’s own teaching, as we hear in Luke’s Gospel: ‘Take heed to yourselves; if your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him,’” the bishop added.

In response Martin said he doesn’t want to challenge church teaching.

He said one reason he doesn’t focus on same-sex relations and same-sex marriage, which are impermissible (and immoral) under church teaching because LGBT Catholics have heard this repeatedly.

“Indeed, often that is the only thing that they hear from their church,” he added.

Instead, Martin said he’s trying to encourage Catholics to see LGBT people as more than just sexual beings, to see them in their totality, much as Jesus saw people on the margins.

Chaput responded saying he is sure Martin would agree ‘official’ Church teaching is “based on the Word of God and centuries of experience with the human condition.

“Moreover, the point is not to ‘not challenge’ what the Church believes about human sexuality, but to preach and teach it with confidence, joy, and zeal.

“Biblical truth liberates; it is never a cause for embarrassment,” Chaput said.



  1. Catholic News Agency
  2. Image: Catholic World Report
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