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

SOUTH BEND, Indiana, February 27, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A University of Notre Dame homosexual alumni group is presenting Jesuit priest and Vatican advisor Father James Martin a leadership award on March 30.

The Gay and Lesbian Alumni of the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College (GALA-ND) will award the country’s leading pro-homosexual priest the “Thomas A. Dooley Award” at its “LGBT Leadership Award Weekend.” While GALA-ND is not an officially recognized alumni group, the ceremony and a dinner will, nevertheless, take place on Notre Dame’s campus. 

According to the pro-homosexual alumni group, the award-giving ceremony will “recognize and honor LGBT leaders in the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s community.”

The university did not respond to LifeSiteNews’ request for comment.  

GALA-ND noted on its website that Fr. Martin will not receive the “Tom Dooley” award in person, saying the priest “will be accepting his award virtually from NYC.” Fr. Martin is editor-at-large at America magazine and a consultor for the Vatican Dicastery for Communication. Martin is also the author of “Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity.” 

The annual Thomas A. Dooley Award is named for a Catholic physician and CIA operative who became celebrated for his philanthropic work in Southeast Asia while the U.S. was becoming more involved in Vietnam. Dooley attended Notre Dame during the Second World War but did not graduate from the institution. According to the GALA-ND website, Dooley was a homosexual. 

GALA-ND will also honor Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) of South Bend, Indiana, as well as attorney John Sullivan. Buttigieg blocked the opening of a pro-life pregnancy center next door to a planned abortion facility and is “married” to a man. Notre Dame Law School grad Sullivan worked for the Human Rights Campaign, a powerful homosexualist group that campaigned in favor of same-sex “marriage.”

William Dempsey of the Sycamore Trust – a group of Notre Dame alumni which seeks to maintain the Catholic identity of their alma mater – commented to LifeSiteNews about Fr. Martin being awarded at the pro-homosexual event: “It’s no surprise that GALA would honor Fr. Martin, Pete Buttigieg, and John Sullivan. GALA is hostile to Church teaching on homosexual/lesbian sex and same-sex marriage and so are Buttigieg and Sullivan, and while Fr. Martin does not attack that teaching frontally he undermines it every way he can.”

“To its credit, Notre Dame denied GALA’s application to be recognized as an official alumni organization, but it should no more open its facilities to this event than it would for, say, an organization of ‘Notre Dame Alumni for Reproductive Freedom,’” he said. 

Martin has come under fire for his speeches in which he advocates for what his critics say is the normalization of homosexuality within the Catholic Church. He has, for instance, said Catholics should “reverence” homosexual “marriage” and has favored homosexuals kissing each other at the sign of peace during Mass.

Cardinal Raymond Burke has criticized Fr. Martin as being “not coherent” with Church teaching about sexuality. “God did not make us to engage in sexual relations between two people of the same sex,” the Cardinal said. 

Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, rebuked Martin in an August 2017 op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. The revered Guinean churchman identified Martin as “one of the most outspoken critics of the church’s message with regard to sexuality.” 

“He repeats the common criticism that Catholics have been harshly critical of homosexuality, while neglecting the importance of sexual integrity among all of its followers,” Cardinal Sarah wrote.