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Fr. James Martin in a March 7, 2018 America Magazine Youtube video titled ‘Spiritual Insights for LGBT Catholics.’ America Magazine / Youtube

CINCINNATI, Ohio, March 12, 2018  (LifeSiteNews) – Ohio Archbishop Dennis Schnurr has issued a stern statement warning clergy in his diocese about an upcoming pro-LGBT event at a state-run university featuring pro-gay Vatican consultant Fr. James Martin and dissident nun Sr. Jeannine Gramick.

In a March 9 letter addressed to “Fathers and Deacons” within his diocese, Cincinnati’s Archbishop said the March 24 event to take place at the University of Cincinnati, “is in no way sponsored by, sanctioned by, or associated with the Catholic Church.”

“In fact, one of the scheduled speakers has been ordered to not speak on behalf of the Catholic Church in the United States due to the grave error of her teaching,” continued Archbishop Schnurr, referring to Gramick.  “The Code of Canon Law (Can. 216) states in part that “no undertaking shall assume the name Catholic unless the consent of the competent ecclesiastical authority is given.” 

“My permission was not sought in this case, nor would it have been given,” concludes the Archbishop. 

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The one-day symposium is titled Building Bridges: A Dialogue on Faith, Catholicism, and the LGBTQ Community. The title is drawn from a book by Fr. Martin on normalizing homosexuality within the Catholic Church. 

The Jesuit priest has called for the Church to change it’s language about homosexuality, especially as found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. He has expressed his hope that in the near future same-sex couples will be able to “kiss” during the sign of peace at Mass. He has said that some saints in heaven are “probably gay.” He has dismissed Catholic teaching, saying God made homosexuals “who they are.”

With the publication of his June 2016 book Building a Bridge, Fr. Martin has been able to push his campaign against Church teaching on homosexuality to major media outlets as well as through his massive social media following. The book has been heavily criticized by Catholic leaders for seeking to open inroads to the normalization of homosexuality and transgenderism within the Catholic Church.

Archbishop Schnurr is not the first prelate to warn the faithful about efforts to normalize homosexuality within the Catholic Church. 

Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, wrote in The Wall Street Journal last August that Fr. Martin's book has made him “one of the most outspoken critics of the church’s message with regard to sexuality.”

Others include Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, who criticized Fr. Martin for failing to be clear about the sinfulness of homosexual acts. 

Respected Catholic lay academics who have read and criticized Fr. Martin’s teaching for departing from Catholic sexual morality include moral theologian Janet Smith, Princeton professor Robert P. George, and professor Anthony Esolen.

Earlier this year, Tradition, Family and Property (TFP), a lay Catholic group known for its fidelity to Church teaching on life, marriage, and family successfully campaigned to have a New Jersey Catholic parish cancel a talk offered by the pro-homosexual priest. Fr. James Martin went on the warpath against the Catholic group, slamming them on social media as “bullies.”

The lay group noted how the pro-LGBT priest acted like a “wolf in sheep's clothing” when it came to Catholic teaching on sexuality.

Other speakers slated to speak at the symposium include dissident pro-gay “marriage” advocate Jeanine Gramick, LGBT activist and women's ordination supporter Jamie Mason and gay theologian Andy Buechel who will moderate the panel discussion.

Gramick, co-founder of the pro-homosexual New Ways Ministry, has been disciplined by the Church for activities in defiance of Church teaching. 

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