ARLINGTON, Virginia (LifeSiteNews) — A Catholic bishop has issued a short catechesis to help members of his diocese who may feel ill-equipped to deal with the spreading contagion of transgenderism now afflicting many families, especially those with children in public schools.
“A Catechesis on the Human Person and Gender Ideology,” published by Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, has drawn the ire of pro-transgenderism & homosexuality forces within the Catholic Church because of its simple proclamation of the most basic truths of Catholicism and natural law.
The Arlington diocese lies across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., and is notably comprised of increasingly liberal suburbs and exurbs in which gender identity battles are being waged in public school systems.
“No one is transgender,” declares the document. “To use names and pronouns that contradict the person’s God-given identity is to speak falsely.”
“We can never say something contrary to what we know to be true,” advises the document, so the “faithful should avoid using ‘gender-affirming’ terms or pronouns that convey approval of or reinforce the person’s rejection of the truth.”
Immutable truth is an existential threat to transgenderism
The unambiguous language of the document was quickly condemned by Fr. James Martin, SJ —the loudest voice advocating for the normalization of homosexuality and transgenderism within the Church— as an assault on the messaging he has been free to promote in recent years.
Martin has long given credence to the notion that God has created some people to be transgender.
“The worst kind of marginalization, the worst kind of discrimination and the worst kind of hatred is to claim that someone doesn’t exist,” ranted the Jesuit in a tweet. “‘No one ‘is’ transgender,’ says the Diocese of Arlington. Transgender people exist and are beloved children of God.”
The worst kind of marginalization, the worst kind of discrimination and the worst kind of hatred is to claim that someone doesn't exist. "No one 'is' transgender," says the Diocese of Arlington. Transgender people exist and are beloved children of God. https://t.co/J6NSYm4Tfr
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) August 19, 2021
In a subsequent tweet, Martin lamented “As the beginning of the school year approaches, some Catholic high schools are barring students from choosing their own pronouns (he/him; she/her; they/them, etc.).”
As the beginning of the school year approaches, some Catholic high schools are barring students from choosing their own pronouns (he/him; she/her; they/them, etc.).
Not long ago, a young trans person surprised me by telling me that the use of pronouns… https://t.co/i9kMltrYzc
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) August 21, 2021
While Fr. Martin and Bishop Burbidge are in complete agreement that all are beloved by God and that those who experience gender dysphoria are to be treated with respect, justice and charity, Martin believes their gender confusion should be affirmed and celebrated while Burbidge sees them as wounded beings, experiencing “disharmony and alienation between body and soul.”
Burbidge’s teaching refutes the tenets of transgenderism as promoted by Martin and others such as New Ways Ministry’s Robert Shine who over the years have repeatedly sought to undermine the sublime truth of the complementarity of man and woman.
Shine assigns the term “complementarity” a negative connotation, as if it were a social/theological construct conceived expressly to oppress the gender confused.
Burbidge’s catechesis “wholeheartedly endorses the gender complementarity theology at the core of LGBTQ oppression in the church,” asserted Shine, revealing that he views immutable truth as an existential threat to transgenderism.
The grave harm of false affirmation of the gender-confused
“The claim to ‘be transgender’ or the desire to seek ‘transition’ rests on a mistaken view of the human person, rejects the body as a gift from God, and leads to grave harm,” states the document. “To affirm someone in an identity at odds with biological sex or to affirm a person’s desired ‘transition’ is to mislead that person. It involves speaking and interacting with that person in an untruthful manner.”
“In no circumstances can we confirm a person in error,” explained Burbidge. “Indeed, there is ample evidence that ‘gender affirmation’ not only does not resolve a person’s struggles, but also can in fact exacerbate them.”
Burbidge sees the misinformation being promoted in the secular world of public schools and social media and by pro-LGBT activists within the Church as especially harmful for children:
A child needs to know the truth: He or she has been created male or female, forever. Affirming a child’s distorted self-perception or supporting a child’s desire to ‘be’ someone other than the person (male or female) God created, gravely misleads and confuses the child about ‘who’ he or she is.
‘Gender-affirming’ medical or surgical interventions cause significant, even irreparable, bodily harm to children and adolescents.”
PETITION UPDATE (6/29/2021):
The Pope has written a note to Fr. James Martin, SJ, praising his fellow Jesuit’s controversial pro-LGBT ministry, saying it "reflects the closeness of God" and is in the "style of God."
The Pope’s note was written in response to a communication that Martin had sent Francis earlier, informing him of an upcoming LGBT conference organized by renegade New Ways Ministry (NWM), which has been denounced as non-Catholic ministry by the U.S. bishops and whose leaders defied the Vatican’s order to cease their affiliation with NWM decades ago.
In spite of the fact that Francis has done this, the Church still teaches that homosexual acts are "intrinsically disordered," and "under no circumstances can they be approved." (Catechism of the Catholic Church Para. 2357)
Therefore, when a priest, like James Martin, SJ - and, New Ways Ministry - adovcate for the normalization of homosexuality and transgenderism, without calling for chastity and repentence, we know that this style is most certainly not in the style of God.
Please continue to SIGN and share this petition asking the bishops of the United States to stop Martin's LGBT advocacy.
'On eve of LGBT Catholic conference, Pope Francis praised Fr. James Martin, SJ’s pro-LGBT ministry' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/on-eve-of-lgbt-catholic-conference-pope-francis-praised-fr-james-martin-sjs-pro-lgbt-ministry
PETITION UPDATE (2/4/2020):
Fr. James Martin, SJ, can't resist telling bishops how to run their dioceses.
He recently opined that dioceses should stop firing homosexuals who are "married" by the state, saying that this is tantamount to discrimination.
But, of course, when it comes to such relationships, Bishops must discriminate between what is authentically Catholic and Christian, both under the natural law and in Revelation.
And, such people, who enter into a homosexual relationship and then have it publicly recognized by the state as something which nature and religion know can never be fruitful -- but, which conversely, can cause grave scandal to children -- cannot expect to hold positions in Catholic schools.
The two positions are contradictory, and not just in the way that other things are contradictory.
Homosexual "marriage" is a contradiction in terms, and is not only unnatural, but also confusing to young minds. And, not just about human nature, but also about the way that God has designed man and woman to be together, in marriage, in a lifelong, monogamous bond.
What Fr. Martin suggests is that bishops are free to take a sledge hammer to God's design...which, of course, is totally, totally wrong.
Bishops, please continue assert your right to protect the innocence of children as well as defend the institution of marriage.
Fr. James Martin, SJ recently issued a tweet questioning the Bible's condemnation of homosexual acts.
Fr. Martin’s tweet quotes an article from the Center for Action and Contemplation in which Fr. Richard Rohr, a priest with a long record of dissenting from established Church teachings, favorably shares a pro-homosexuality missive from his “dear friend,” Methodist minister Walter Wink. In June of 2018, Fr. Rohr declared in a speech that “historically, scientifically, culturally,” the Bible is “a mass of contradictions from beginning to end.”
This is decidedly NOT what the Catholic Church teaches.
Thankfully, Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, and Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban, South Africa, have both responded to Fr. James Martin’s tweet highlighting an article that questions the “biblical judgment” of “same-sex sexual behavior.”
Bishop Strickland issued a response yesterday evening on his own Twitter account:
“Thank you for acknowledging that you question scripture. If we go down that road where do we stop? I know you have lots of support but you are challenging the Deposit of Faith that I promised to defend. As a bishop I’ll keep defending it.”
This morning, Cardinal Napier also took to the popular social media platform to give his response to Fr. Martin’s tweet.
“How convenient to use slavery to justify support for homosexuality, totally overlooking the fact that the Bible is overwhelmingly the story of God freeing His People from all slavery — physical & political but also slavery to idols & false gods, to moral & spiritual aberrations!”
We give thanks to God for these examples of strong leadership from the episcopate!
But, we need more Shepherds to come out against Fr. Martin's LGBT advocacy, which is a stain on the Church's teaching and on Christ's admonition to, "Go, and sin no more!"
Thank you for SIGNING!
Fr. James Martin is perhaps the most notorious pro-LGBT priest in the Catholic Church today. His public statements are opposed to the Church’s perennial teachings on sexuality, marriage, homosexuality, and transgenderism. They blind souls to the truth about human nature and the harsh reality of sin.
And, in spite of meeting with the Pope recently, which gave the veneer of respectability to his morally dangerous positions on the Church's teaching on sexuality, no-one has the authority to declare morally good or neutral, something which is actually intrinsically disordered -- not even the Pope.
Thankfully, however, there are some pastors of the Catholic Church who continue to place the constant teaching of the Church on faith and morals, and on sexuality, above human respect.
This petition, therefore, asks the Bishops of the Catholic Church to stop bowing to human respect, and ban Fr. James Martin from spreading his spiritual poison in their dioceses..."spiritual poison", because encouraging someone to continue in mortal sin is like giving poison to someone's soul, no matter how well-intentioned one may be.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia released a statement noting that Fr. Martin’s “statements and activities” have caused confusion.
- “A pattern of ambiguity in his teachings tends to undermine his stated aims, alienating people from the very support they need for authentic human flourishing,” Chaput wrote. “Due to the confusion caused by his statements and activities regarding same-sex related (LGBT) issues, I find it necessary to emphasize that Father Martin does not speak with authority on behalf of the Church, and to caution the faithful about some of his claims.”
Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois quickly issued a statement supporting Chaput, saying that aspects of Martin’s teachings are “deeply scandalous,” and his “messages create confusion among the faithful and disrupt the unity of the Church.”
Bishop Stika of Knoxville, Tennessee has also opposed some of Martin’s statements.
And, in the Fall of 2018, Texas Bishop Joseph Strickland asked his fellow bishops to discern whether or not fraternal correction demands they ban from their dioceses Fr. James Martin and his pro-gay "marriage" message.
- Strickland said of Martin: “There’s a priest that travels around now basically saying that he doesn’t [believe the doctrine of the Church on marriage], and he seems to be very well promoted in various places.”
- “Brothers, I think part of the fraternal correction...we offer each other is to say, 'Can that be presented in our diocese? That same-sex ‘marriage’ is just fine, and the Church will one day grow to understand that.'”
- “That’s not what we teach,” he stated. “And I think we really have to ask those serious questions.”
Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, has called Fr. Martin “one of the most outspoken critics of the church’s message with regard to sexuality.”
And, Cardinal Raymond Burke has called Martin’s teaching “not coherent with the Church’s teaching on homosexuality.”
Over the years, Fr. Martin has made numerous remarks that indicate open hostility towards and deep opposition to unchangeable doctrine on matters related to men, women, and sexuality. Bishops need to stop allowing him to spread his un-Christ-like message in their dioceses. Below is an extensive list of things he has said or done. For instance, Fr. Martin...
- Wants active homosexuals to be “invited into parish ministries” like eucharistic ministers.
- Once claimed “some” saints were “probably gay.”
- Told a gay Catholic journalist that he hopes that during the exchange of peace at mass “you will be able to kiss your partner or soon to be your husband. Why not? What’s the terrible thing?”
- Tweeted support for transgender bathrooms, claiming that “It doesn't hurt anybody" which bathroom "they" choose to use.
- Believes God made “LGBTQ people…who they are.”
- Wants the Catechism’s use of the term “intrinsically disordered” scrapped. He believes it is “needlessly hurtful" to homosexuals and thinks “differently ordered” is preferable because it is more “pastoral.”
- Has said a Catholic attending a same-sex “wedding” is just as acceptable as a Catholic attending a Jewish wedding.
- Claims to have discovered a "very high correlation between people who are against [same-sex marriage] and people who are in fact homophobic."
- Received an award from a pro-homosexual group for his “lasting contributions to the safety and/or equality of people who are LGBTQ, their families, and allies.”
- Thinks the Church should recognize the “special gifts” homosexuals bring to the Church because of their sexual attractions.
- Claims the Bible has been taken out of "context” in its condemnation of homosexual acts.
- Urged homosexual priests to “come out” as “LGBT” in order to facilitate “dialogue” with bishops.
- Praised the “fidelity” of a “married” transgender couple and wondered what the Church can “learn” from them.
- Retweeted a liberal journalist who complained priests can’t bless “committed gay couples.”
- Was given the “Bridge Building Award” at the 2016 gathering of the pro-gay New Ways Ministry, a dissident group censure by the Vatican and the U.S. Bishops Conference.
The battle is very real; ‘We cannot remain silent’
The publication of Burbidge’s catechesis on the human person and gender ideology comes against the backdrop of recent red hot battles between Christian parents and teachers standing up to liberal school boards within the Arlington Bishop’s diocese.
The Loudoun County School Board voted 7-2 last week to expand the “rights” of “transgender” students. Policy 8040 requires teachers to use “preferred pronouns” and allows boys who identify as girls — and girls who identify as boys — to use restrooms and locker facilities which correspond to the students’ childhood and adolescent self-perceptions.
“Many of our parishioners have children in public school where they are indoctrinated so that they accept ideas opposite to those expressed in this document,” Burbidge explained in a Catholic World Report interview. “Pastors convey to me how concerned parents are, telling them, ‘This is what the school board just voted to do, or our school just adopted this new curriculum.’”
“We cannot remain silent. We must defend the truth and what is right. This document is a response to the requests of our parents,” said Burbidge.
“Just a few years back, I would never have thought we would reach the point where saying that God created us male or female would be a controversial statement,” he continued. “But people in the workplace are now paying a price for saying it. It is difficult to understand. The ideas this document expresses are now countercultural.”
“As a Catholic Church, we have a sacred duty and obligation — out of our love for our young people and God’s family — to speak the truth,” insists Burbidge. “Not only to speak the truth but to explain why we believe what we do and to give Catholics the language they need to explain this to others.”
“Once you deny the truth and what is real, it will lead to extremes of all kinds,” said Burbidge. “There is no limit to the error that flows from gender ideology.”