Update June 12, 2018 at 10:48 a.m. EST: Martin Long, communications director for Archbishop Eamon Martin, told LifeSiteNews, “The Pastoral Congress programme has been approved by the Dicastery for Laity[,] Family and Life.”
June 11, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Father James Martin, the Jesuit priest who uses his large social media following to advocate for the Catholic Church to embrace homosexuality, has accepted the Vatican’s invitation to speak at the 2018 World Meeting of Families in Dublin.
Martin’s presentation is titled “Exploring how Parishes can support those families with members who identify as LGBTI+,” in what may be the first instance of the Vatican seemingly denying the reality that there are only two genders.
The World Meeting of Families is a massive Vatican-sanctioned Catholic conference scheduled to take place in Dublin in August 2018. Pope Francis is speaking at it, just as he spoke at the Philadelphia Meeting in 2015. The gathering’s 2018 theme is Amoris Laetitia.
At 11:00 a.m. Irish time on Monday, the Holy See Press Office published the pope’s Ireland schedule along with what it called “Highlights from the Pastoral Programme for the 9th World Meeting of Families in Dublin.” Martin’s talk was included on that list.
Father Martin “causes scandal wherever he goes,” Austin Ruse, president of the Center for Family and Human Rights, told LifeSiteNews. “It is deeply disappointing but not at all surprising he was invited to this event.”
“He says he does not challenge Church teaching, yet he says homosexuality is not disordered but merely differently ordered,” continued Ruse. “My hope is that faithful Catholics in Ireland will strenuously object to his appearance. He undermines the great work of groups like Courage and he confuses young men who may be same-sex attracted.”
Father Martin wrote on Facebook today that he was “delighted to share some news that has been in the works for some time.”
“At the invitation of the Vatican's Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, and the Archdiocese of Dublin, I'll be speaking at the World Meeting of Families #WMOF2018 in August, as part of the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland, on how the church can welcome families with LGBT members,” he wrote. “The invitation sends a clear and powerful message from the Vatican to LGBT Catholics, their parents and their families: you belong and you are welcome.”
“The message [of the World Meeting of Families] to L.G.B.T. Catholics seems straightforward: you're an important part of the church,” Martin told America magazine. “I’m tremendously grateful for this invitation, not so much for what it says about my own ministry or writing but what it says to L.G.B.T. Catholics, a group of people who have for so long felt excluded. I hope they see this invitation, which had to be approved by the Vatican, as an unmistakable sign of welcome from the church.”
Archbishops Diarmuid Martin of Dublin and Eamon Martin of Armagh, who are neither related to each other nor Father Martin, held a press briefing today on the pope’s newly-released itinerary for his Ireland visit. Archbishop Eamon Martin is the Primate of All Ireland. His office did not immediately return a request for comment on Father Martin’s inclusion on the program.
The Vatican appointed Father Martin as a communications consultant in 2017. After Father Martin accepted an award from the dissident pro-gay group New Ways Ministry, he published a book on how the Church should be more accepting of the homosexual lifestyle. Four U.S. Catholic bishops have endorsed it.
Although Father Martin has won the praise of liberal bishops like Cardinal Blase Cupich and Cardinal Joseph Tobin, the head of the Vatican’s liturgy office, Cardinal Robert Sarah, has publicly rebuked the Jesuit for his errant views. Cardinal Sarah labeled Martin “one of the most outspoken critics of the church’s message with regard to sexuality.”
Father Martin says language about homosexual activity and inclinations (not people) being “disordered” needs to be removed from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. He supports gay men kissing each other during the sign of peace at Mass, says that a Catholic attending a same-sex “wedding” is like attending a Jewish wedding, and suggests that his critics are secretly gay themselves.
His record of pro-gay activism is lengthy and ranges from his many speeches and media appearances promoting homosexuality to his retweeting of a complaint that priests can’t “bless” gay unions to suggesting that the Church is full of “homophobia” and “marginalizes” the same-sex attracted.
Father Martin says homosexual priests should “come out” about their sexual proclivities, but has publicly declined to say whether he himself is gay.