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Fr. James Martin at Boston College, 2014. Youtube.

WHITEHOUSE, New Jersey, January 29, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A lay Catholic group known for its fidelity to Church teaching on life, marriage, and family has successfully campaigned to have a Catholic parish cancel a talk offered by pro-homosexual priest and Vatican adviser Fr. James Martin. The Jesuit priest is now on a warpath against the Catholic group, slamming them on social media as “bullies.”

Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) launched a petition after learning that Fr. Martin was scheduled to give a Lenten reflection at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Whitehouse, New Jersey on February 15, 2018. 

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.

The group stated in its petition: 

  • Fr. Martin said Catholics should “reverence” homosexual unions
  • Fr. Martin supports the acceptance of transgenderism for children
  • Fr. Martin favors homosexual kissing during Mass (sacrilege against God)
  • Fr. Martin calls dissident, pro-homosexual nun a “saint”
  • Fr. Martin welcomed an award from New Ways Ministry, a group condemned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops​

“Fr. Martin's push to normalize unnatural vice inside the Church, prompted Catholic leaders to cancel some of his recently scheduled appearances,” stated TFP. 

“Ask Our Lady of Lourdes Parish to cancel Fr. Martin's speech on campus and find a true Catholic speaker who respects Catholic moral teaching and honors God's law. With prayerful action, you and I must oppose the 'smoke of Satan' from harming more young souls.  And with discernment, we must distinguish between the True Shepherd and the wolves,” TFP added. 

The petition reads: 

Rev. Leonard F.A. Rusay, Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish:

I prayerfully urge you to cancel Fr. James Martin as speaker on February 15, 2018 and find a new speaker who respects and loves the perennial doctrine of the Catholic Church.  Fr. Martin’s public pro-LGBT activism and open revolt against Catholic moral teaching causes scandal, especially among faithful Catholics.

The petition, signed by over 12,000 people, proved effective. The Diocese of Metuchen confirmed to Church Militant that the parish “is no longer hosting the planned talk.” The pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes allegedly said that he had received too much protest over the planned talk and that he was “not going to do it this year,” reported Church Militant. 

A catering hall has now agreed to host the canceled talk. 

Fr. Martin was not pleased with the decision. 

“This is accurate: under pressure from ‘Tradition, Family and Property,’ a far-right online group, a parish in New Jersey, where I had spoken before, moved a lecture from the church to conference hall.  I lament this caving into bullies. And the talk was a Lenten lecture on Jesus,” he tweeted. 

Martin took another shot at the Catholic group later in the day, tweeting, “It's time for bishops, priests and lay leaders finally to stand up to the hate-mongering of online groups with no standing whatsoever in the church, who seek to substitute their spurious authority for legitimate church authority, and who seek to run the church by fear and hatred.”

Staff at American Magazine, where Fr. Martin is editor-at-large, were also not pleased with the cancelation. 

“The social media mob strikes again, this time pressuring a parish into canceling a talk about, wait for it, Jesus,” tweeted Michael O’Loughlin, a reporter for the Magazine.  

Martin later took to Facebook where he accused TFP Catholics of “pure hatred” and “virulent homophobia.”

“We need to admit how much of these online petitions are driven by pure hatred and, more often, virulent homophobia. All one has to do is spend five seconds on these websites to see what motivates them: hate. And if the church starts allowing groups that use doctrine as a cover for hatred to replace true church authority, we will end up with a church run by hate,” he wrote.  

But Austin Ruse, President of C-Fam corrected Martin, tweeting in response that TFP was, in fact, a “legitimate and recognized part of the Church.”

Fr. Martin is best known among faithful Catholics for his efforts to normalize 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.

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 the priest’s book has made him “one of the most outspoken critics of the church’s message with regard to sexuality.”

Other prelates 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.