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Fr. James Martin SJ on the Colbert Report, Sept. 24, 2013. Colbert Report

October 30, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Fr. James Martin, SJ, is making stunning claims about why not a single reviewer has paid attention to the second half of his pro-LGBT book, Building a Bridge, ignoring what he considers to be “the more important part of the book.” 

Speaking recently at Washington’s Holy Trinity Church, Martin said, “Not one reviewer has mentioned the second half of [my] book.  Imagine reviewing Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace’ and just doing ‘War?’”  

Fr. Martin explains that while “The first half is an invitation to dialogue, the second half is an invitation to prayer.  It’s Scripture meditations, and prayers and reflection questions for the LGBT Catholic.”  

The Jesuit accuses his challengers of disrespecting the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of those who identify as LGBT.  The reality is that Fr. Martin is delegitimizing the authentic work of the Holy Spirit in the consciences of SSA and gender dysphoric who cry out to God for help and salvation, or who seek a deeper relationship with Him.

Outrageous Claims

“On the ‘Religious Right,’” wonders Martin, “why are online sites and reputable journals not looking at Part II?  

The Jesuit priest concludes:  

“One:  They don’t think LGBT people should have access to prayer or the Holy Spirit.”  

“Two: They don’t think LGBT people –what’s going on in their interior lives or in their prayer– is worthwhile or worth listening to.”  

“Three:  They’re afraid of what LGBT prayer might tell them …. or what their own prayer about these passages … Zacheus and the Roman Centurion and the woman at the well.  It’s fascinating to me.   People are more comfortable with debate than they are with prayer.  But the second half of the book is the more important part of the book.”  

These are not reasoned explanations:  They are stunning accusations, impugning all who disagree with him as impeding the work of the Holy Spirit –the work of salvation– in the lives of the same-sex attracted.  Three times, in rapid succession, Martin willingly bears false witness in order to bolster himself and his alien interpretations of the Gospel.   

Martin perhaps overlooks a more obvious reason:  His reflections and meditation passages are flawed, often starting off with wonderful scriptural truths, but directing readers to dangerous, ill-advised false conclusions.  

Meditation #1:  On Names and Naming 

Martin starts off well enough discussing the significance of God renaming Abram, “Abraham” and telling Moses that He is “I AM who I AM.”  But his questions depart from Scriptural truth, seeking to affirm same-sex attracted (SSA) readers of their ‘gay identity.’  

“When you think of your own sexual orientation, what word do you use?  Why?  Can you speak to God about this in prayer?”  

“For families, friends, and allies:  How did you feel when you first heard of your family member or friend name his or her sexuality.  Did that ‘naming’ change or deepen your relationship with that person?”  

Martin funnels readers toward a personal sense of “Gay” or “Lesbian” or “Bisexual” or Transgender” as their ‘identity’ while also nudging friends and family to accept that identity.  He makes no attempt to dissuade or offer alternative interpretations. 

Daniel Mattson, author of Why I Don’t Call Myself Gay, has reached a completely different conclusion than Fr. Martin, one firmly grounded in magisterial truth.

Mattson is a same-sex attracted Catholic author who Fr. Martin consistently avoids debating or even acknowledging, speaks of the “empty promises of coming out” that “leads to a belief in what is ultimately an unreal condition — it paints a false image of the human person and traps people into sexual identities that are disconnected with reality.” Mattson rejects sentimentality, which misleads so many gays and their supporters, and instead, like a laser, he focuses exclusively on known truth.

Martin rejects via omission the important truth Mattson points out:  “When a man or woman, a boy or girl, accepts the way of loneliness for Christ’s sake, there are cosmic ramifications. That person, in a secret transaction with God, actually does something for the life of the world. This seems almost inconceivable, yet it is true, for it is one part of the mystery of suffering which has been revealed to us.”

Meditation #2:  Different Gifts

Introducing St. Paul’s beautiful exposition on the gifts the Body Of Christ in 1 Corinthians 12, Martin notes, “St. Paul focuses on the parts of the body that are ‘less honorable,’” and that “Sometimes LGBT people are, tragically, made to feel that way.”

He asks, “Have LGBT people brought their gifts to your own life and your own ministry?  How do you recognize those gifts?  Has your ministry lost out on gifts because of prejudice?” 

Martin is appealing to the notion that those who are ‘gay’ or ‘transgender’ bring special gifts to the Church.  Whatever gifts and talents we Christians have to share with the Body of Christ, none spring from intrinsic human disorder.  These gifts are from the Holy Spirit.

Some SSA Catholics who are chaste now seek not to reject “LGBT” identity but to cherish and enshrine their “gayness” as a personal identity beyond male or female. They are proud to simultaneously call themselves “Gay and Catholic,” abandoning Church teaching that homoerotic desire and is intrinsically disordered. Though chaste, they prefer to celebrate being “gay” and to divine special gifts from it.

Fr. Martin goes a step further.  He affirms not only chaste Gays who view themselves as having been made ‘gay’ by God; He affirms practicing homosexuals and those who claim to be in ‘gay marriages.’ 

Meditation #5:  You Are “Wonderfully Made”

While Martin supplies a total of ten prompts for meditation and reflection, space limitations prevent comment on all.  

So I’ll skip to #5.  Most troubling to me, a same-sex attracted Catholic, is Fr. Martin’s explanation of Psalm 139, which was pivotal in my conversion as an 18-year-old college student.  The Psalmist explains that each of us is, ‘fearfully, wonderfully made,” and that God “knitted” us together in our mothers’ wombs. 

Martin wants his LGBT readers to conclude that God ‘wonderfully made them gay lesbian, bisexual and transgender, and for their friends and family to accept this as Scriptural truth.  

To me this is horrifying.  On the night of July 8, 1976, Psalm 139 saved this former 18-year-old kid who had begun to identify himself as ‘gay’ all the way down into the core of my being.  Reading Psalm 139 for the first time in my life, the Holy Spirit didn’t affirm my ‘gayness.’  Not at all.  On the contrary, the Holy Spirit set me free from a diabolical lie which, in our current age, seems to entangle, entrap and weigh down ever-increasing numbers of young men and women, boys and girls.  

The world wanted me for its own, but it lost me that night.  Psalm 139 pulled me back from the brink; Yet Fr. Martin uses Psalm 139 to nudge ‘LGBT Catholics’ over the edge.

I agree with Fr. Martin.  I wish more reviewers would address Part II of Building A Bridge.  His flawed meditations and Scripture interpretation reveal the syrupy sweet depravity of his mission.  

I am reminded of Job 32:2: “Who is this that obscures my plans  with words without knowledge?”

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Doug Mainwaring is a journalist for LifeSiteNews, an author, and a marriage, family and children's rights activist.  He has testified before the United States Congress and state legislative bodies, originated and co-authored amicus briefs for the United States Supreme Court, and has been a guest on numerous TV and radio programs.  Doug and his family live in the Washington, DC suburbs.