VATICAN CITY, August 31, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Jesuit Father James Martin was uninvited from a speaking engagement set for later this fall for the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, an email from the Order said.
“The invitation to Father Martin was extended last year before the most recent controversies,” the correspondence stated.
Withdrawal of his invitation to speak came in an email to ChurchMilitant.com from a lieutenant in the Order, H.E. Vicki Downey.
The August 29 email states:
Greetings from the UK.
I can confirm that the invitation to Father Martin was in fact rescinded a little while ago, although we wanted to organize a replacement speaker before we made the official announcement. As I'm sure you can appreciate planning an event of such a size in New York takes a long time, and as such the invitation to Father Martin was extended last year before the most recent controversies.
The email identified Father Benedict Kiely, founder of Nasarean.org, which supports Christians worldwide suffering persecution from militant Islam, as Father Martin’s replacement at its October 20 gala at the Grand Hyatt in New York City.
Father Martin has been persistent in his public affirmation of individuals in their existing LGBT inclinations for some time.
His advocacy has ramped up since his award last November from a pro-homosexual group “for his strong promotion of LGBT acceptance through his communication ministry,” and the release this past spring of his book derived largely from the address he gave when accepting the LGBT award.
The editor-at-large of the Jesuit order’s America Magazine remains vocal about affirming LGBT issues on his high-volume social media accounts, achieving heightened prominence after his April appointment office as a consultant to the Vatican’s communications office.
Church Militant previously reported how Knights in the Order were upset over the invitation for Father Martin to give the keynote address at the Order’s gala.
The media outlet had also obtained a letter to members of the Order from earlier in August announcing the Jesuit priest’s appearance, which was signed by the head of the U.S. Eastern region whose office is located in the New York archdiocese chancery.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, as archbishop of New York, is grand prior for the order's Eastern Lieutenancy, and according to Church Militant, the cardinal is celebrating the October 20 gala Mass and would likely be aware of the Martin appearance invitation.
The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre rescinding the speaking engagement is the first known instance of a Church entity reversing an invite for Father Martin, who has continued to make appearances, including at Catholic venues, especially since publishing his book.
Father Martin is critical of the Catholic Church for, in his view, not being welcoming enough to LGBT persons.
He opposes firing Church employees who publicly defy Church teaching on sexual morality, despite their employment being contingent upon the expectation for them to uphold that teaching, and he has expressed public support for homosexual “marriage” and transgender bathroom access.
The Catholic Church teaches that sexual relations are reserved for marriage between one man and one woman.
The Church says as well that individuals with homosexual tendencies are to be treated with compassion and respect; however, the Church also teaches that homosexual inclinations are disordered and that homosexual activity is immoral and can never be condoned.
While individuals experiencing gender dysphoria are also to be afforded their human dignity, Church teaching says they must accept their biological gender.
All Christians — whether married, single or clergy, same-sex attracted or not — are called to be chaste, the Catholic Church says.
The human person is not defined by any inclinations they may have, according to the Church’s teaching — which differentiates between the person and their tendencies.
And the Church, in Her mission to save souls for Christ’s kingdom, calls on all sinners to reject sin in their lives, to repent and work for redemption.
Father Martin advocates for a change in the Church’s catechism language regarding homosexuality that suggests affirmation of same-sex inclinations.
The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, or the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, is a Roman Catholic chivalric order under the protection of the Holy See. The Order financially supports the Church in the Holy Land and has a worldwide presence. It dates to the First Crusade, used to be personally overseen by the pope, and today has a Church cardinal as its grand master.