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Fr. James Martin.Cindy Ord / Getty Images for Sheen Center

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September 8, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A Jesuit priest, well known for his pro-LGBT activism and for his recent seamless garment litany benediction at last month’s Democratic National Convention, has told priests to stop claiming that a vote for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is a “mortal sin.” 

Fr. James Martin, S.J. told Newsweek Magazine that Catholics should care as much about the LGBT community, the poor, and the homeless as they do about abortion.

“I’m seeing more priests saying that voting for Joe Biden is a mortal sin. It is not,” insisted Martin in a series of tweets. “It is not a sin to vote for either Mr. Biden or Mr. Trump. Nor is it a sin to be Democrat or Republican. Listen instead to what the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops says in their helpful document Faithful Citizenship about the role of conscience.”

“[We] bishops do not intend to tell Catholics for whom or against whom to vote. Our purpose is to help Catholics form their consciences in accordance with God’s truth,” said Martin, quoting the USCCB’s document, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.” “We recognize that the responsibility to make choices in political life rests with each individual in light of a properly formed conscience, and that participation goes well beyond casting a vote in a particular election.”

Perhaps more important than the USCCB’s official document is the series of videos the U.S. bishops produced to complement their document. Despite the videos being far more accessible and digestible to Catholics than the USCCB’s 60,000-word print output, the videos have barely been seen by American Catholics: seven months after their publication on YouTube, the videos have had on average about 7,400 views each, a drop in the bucket among America’s 70 million Catholics. 

While the “pre-eminence” of abortion is maintained in the document, it is nowhere to be found in the videos.

Some might dismiss this as having been an oversight, but the omission was a loud declaration that the USCCB has chosen to let abortion fade as a top life issue while quietly embracing the view of a minority — but powerful — cadre of liberal prelates aligned with Pope Francis and papal nuncio Christophe Pierre.  

While he doesn’t mention any names, Fr. Martin’s warning seems to take dead aim at Fr. James Altman’s video, “You cannot be Catholic and be a Democrat,” which went viral, accumulating more than 360,000 views and still climbing. 

The video is a powerful rebuke to the Democratic Party, highlighting the hypocrisy of the Catholic hierarchy, clergy, and laity who support its “platform.”

“When politics and politicians act in an immoral way, we most certainly do have the duty and obligation to speak up about it,” explained Altman, a priest of the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Fr. Altman criticized Fr. James Martin during his video, calling the Jesuit a “hyper-confusion-spreading heretic. ”

“I guess it’s OK for James Martin to spout off for the Democrats on their national stage, but God forbid if a priest speaks out against their godless platform,” declared Altman.

“Fr. Martin, do you accept the Church’s teaching on marriage and the whole concept of sexual sin?” asked Bishop Rick Stika of the Jesuit in a now-deleted tweet.

“How about sex same marriages? Do you think they are sacramental?” continued Bishop Stika. “How about supporting Catholic families who believe in parental choice? Do you support the Little Sisters of the Poor?”

Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas has taken heat from liberal Catholic media after publicly supporting Fr. Altman’s video.

“As the Bishop of Tyler I endorse Fr Altman’s statement in this video,” said Strickland.  

“My shame is that it has taken me so long,” he continued. “Thank you Fr Altman for your COURAGE.

“If you love Jesus & His Church & this nation…please HEED THIS MESSAGE,” Strickland urged his followers.


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