I’ve started about five articles in the past week, but all seemed a bit passé two seconds after the final edit was done. (Sorry to my editor!) There’s been rapid fire goodness and I just couldn’t keep up! In short, it’s been a very good week in the faith. Why? Well, it’s certainly not because everyone is getting it right. It’s because people are correcting what is wrong. Here are some of the great articles of the week. (Sorry if I missed any.)
On the topic of Cardinal Blase Cupich’s errors and, apparently, the buzz phrase talking points all good liberals are repeating – “paradigm shift”:
And, of course, all these articles point to the fact that Cardinal Cupich is THE last guy who should ever be doing this: http://www.catholicworldreport.com/2018/02/12/cardinal-cupich-launches-amoris-laetitia-seminars-for-us-bishops/
I’m hoping with these next two items, that we’ll move on to “Rebuke Fr. Martin Week” or “Rebuke Cardinal Mahoney Year”. My preference? Let’s go with Martin now that one of his heroes (Cardinal Roger “Religious Education Congress” Mahony) has crawled back into the hole from whence he came. It might have been nice if he had never been invited, but then again, I’m sure that some were hoping the Chile scandal would never come to light and remind us all what Cardinal Mahony did during his tenure.
Last week’s spotlight on Cardinal Cupich should be the norm for these guys leading souls into error. I was thrilled to see it. Sunlight is a great disinfectant, as they say. For too long, the Catholic world took the “If we ignore them, they might go away!” attitude. Up to now, the liberals have been encouraged, and clearly, they’ve got a Rolodex of writers, albeit really bad ones, in their back pockets. The secular people LOVE scandal and they love it no place better than the Catholic Church, so they will gladly eat up the goop given to them by the Martin Minions.
Honestly, while some were offended at Faggioli’s “Cyber Militia” comment, I was thinking “I soooooo want to be in that club. It’s about darn time!” If I had to guess, there’s probably some cyber meetings going on right now about how to go forth after the ridiculous barrage of articles that came when poor old Fr. James Martin, SJ, spontaneously combusted (But he’s at peace. Really, he is.) a few weeks back over one more cancellation notch in the Catholic Cyber Militia’s belt. If so, yay for finally organizing. Every little comment should be met with a swift correction.
Lastly, I saw this. Let the whining and crying resume!
Rather than war on Pope Francis, I think they represent a “total war” on Fr. Spadaro, Cardinal Cupich, and all of the other little minions roaming the world seeking the ruin of souls. Make no mistake, Tony Annett, it is a battle we’re in. If you think we’re dropping the armor because YOU call for an interdict, guess again. We couldn’t care less about your silly characterizations. You want to call it a war? BRING IT ON! This isn’t a jockeying for position in the hierarchy of the Church for us. It’s for the souls of our children. Again, BRING. IT. ON!
Keep pouring on the disinfectant, fellow militia members. The bacteria definitely needs a major beat back! Forward! Forward and forward again! That’s something we can all do.
I’ve started about five articles in the past week, but all seemed a bit passé two seconds after the final edit was done. (Sorry to my editor!) There’s been rapid fire goodness and I just couldn’t keep up! In short, it’s been a very good week in the faith. Why? Well, it’s certainly not because everyone is getting it right. It’s because people are correcting what is wrong. Here are some of the great articles of the week. (Sorry if I missed any.)
The Martin Machine is working overtime to protect their guy! I’m starting to wonder what’s really going on. I mean, is Fr. Martin’s ego so fragile it can’t take a few cancellations, or is there something bigger happening here? All of it seems a little over the top for even him.
The Rev. James Martin is a Roman Catholic rock star. His books, including one on Jesus Christ and another on the saints, have sold hundreds of thousands of copies. The director Martin Scorsese has twice hired him to consult on movies with religious themes. Television producers love him: Back when Stephen Colbert had his Comedy Central show, Father Martin popped up frequently as its “official chaplain.”
Let me just say, this means oh-so-much to those of us who take the Faith seriously. Scorsese is the paragon of Catholicism to those of us just trying to get to Heaven?! Come on. Might I point out that Stephen King has also sold a boatload of books? And? Plus, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say, apples to apples, Pope Benedict might outrank Martin in the bookselling business.
So the reaction when he agreed to speak this month to a group of parishes in central New Jersey was unalloyed elation, right?
Wrong. Within days of the announcement, parish officials were in a state better described as dread.
Oh my gosh! “Hollywood” Martin has been asked to speak?!?!? We should all get down on our knees and thank the Lord above! Mr. Bruni, a lot of us care a lot more about salvation than we’ll ever care about who does what in Hollywood. I mean, I’m obviously not a fan of Fr. Martin, but even I could come up with a better defense.
Check out the websites and Twitter accounts of far-right Catholic groups and you’ll see why. To them Father Martin is “sick,” “wicked,” “a filthy liar,” “the smoke of Satan” and a “heretic” on a fast track to “eternal damnation.” They obsessively stalk him and passionately exhort churchgoers to protest his public appearances or prevent them from happening altogether.
Has Mr. Bruni looked at Fr. Martin’s, say, Facebook page comments? Are we really going to go with glass houses here? I can’t speak for everyone, but I go days without thinking of Fr. Martin. In fact, I wouldn’t even be thinking about him now if he hadn’t lined up a barrage of articles slamming his critics. Interestingly enough, he/they never bother to take on the accusations. They just slander the characters of, well, everyone opposing them. If he were to speak in my local area, I’d probably work to get that cancelled too based on two things. First, he fails to encourage celibacy in our fellow Catholics suffering from same-sex attraction. Rather than a complete re-write on supportive evidence for this and many other mistakes, see Father Martin Pouring Gas on the Bridge and Lighting it on Fire. Second, he actually has said some heretical things. Before I comment on the latter, let’s take a gander at the next paragraph from the Times.
And they succeed. After the New Jersey parish in which his remarks were supposed to be delivered was inundated with angry phone calls, the event was moved off church grounds. Father Martin will give his spectacularly uncontroversial talk — “Jesus Christ: Fully Human, Fully Divine” — at a secular conference center in a nearby town.
Yeah, Fr. Martin is probably one of the last people who should do a talk entitled “Jesus Christ: Fully Human, Fully Divine” because he has, more than once, gotten that subject wrong.
Instead of babbling my own incoherent thoughts, I offer this piece by Fr. Thomas Petri, OP, on Martin’s errors. It’s a great read.
Why all this drama? What’s Father Martin’s unconscionable sin? In his most recent book, “Building a Bridge,” which was published in June, he calls on Catholics to show L.G.B.T. people more respect and compassion than many of them have demonstrated in the past.
That’s all. That’s it. He doesn’t say that the church should bless gay marriage or gay adoption. He doesn’t explicitly reject church teaching, which prescribes chastity for gay men and lesbians, though he questions the language — “intrinsically disordered” — with which it describes homosexuality.
Of course, Mr. Bruni, by his own admission, there are just some things he can’t say as a priest. I do like the way you use the term “explicitly.” Fr. Martin really doesn’t explicitly do much, but prefers the wink-and-nod tactic. Besides, he doesn’t have to say it. He just uses his surrogates to do the talking and collects the kudos and awards from them.
BTW, you kinda sorta have to admit he’s “advocating without advocating” for a whole lot of what you say he not advocating for in this piece: https://www.americamagazine.org/content/all-things/what-should-gay-catholic-do
I’d argue that I have more respect and compassion for “L.G.B.T. people.” You see, I want them to learn to take up their cross, follow Christ, and struggle with the rest of us towards everlasting life in our one, big Catholic family. Fr. Martin wants to keep the false narrative of how we hate them going. One should really, really stop and ask themselves why? Maybe that helps the book sales, but it doesn’t help reality and it doesn’t bring souls to Heaven.
Fr. Martin says he doesn’t touch on chastity and celibacy because it’s been covered. But where, Fr. Martin? Isn’t it covered by the people who supposedly hate the “L.G.B.T” community or are doing it all wrong? If you’re pushing the narrative that these people hate the “L.G.B.T.” community, shouldn’t you be teaching it, since you are apparently the only one whocan treat anyone with kindness? Hmmm???
If anyone knows me, you know I have friends who suffer from same-sex attraction. There’s ZERO hate on my part for anyone, including Fr. Martin. I’m just not one to put up with silliness, underhandedness, manipulation, and drawing people AWAY from the path of salvation found in the teachings of the Church. We just do the best we can to help each other get to Heaven. We talk about our struggles. We talk about how to conquer the sin in our lives, etc., etc., etc.
But that hasn’t stopped his detractors from casting him as a terrifying enemy of the faith — Regan in “The Exorcist” and Damien in “The Omen” rolled together and grown up into a balding and bespectacled Jesuit — and silencing him whenever they can. A talk about Jesus that he was supposed to give in London last fall was canceled. So was a similar talk at the Theological College of the Catholic University of America.
I find it odd that someone from the NY Times has done soooo little research into why people have problems with Fr. Martin. OK, I’m lying. I find it completely and utterly normal. Mr. Bruni is “gay” and as long as Fr. Martin keeps up with the “they hate gays” chant, why would he bother? I’m sure that Mr. Bruni also feels like he knows a lot about the Church because he was the “Rome reporter” for a while. I would hope that people would use due diligence, but when you’ve got an agenda to advance, truth is irrelevant.
And the vitriol to which he has been subjected is breathtaking, a reminder not just of how much homophobia is still out there but also of how presumptuous, overwrought, cruel and destructive discourse in this digital age can be.
“Inexcusably ugly” was how the Roman Catholic archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles Chaput, described the attacks on Father Martin in an essay for the Catholic journal First Things in September. Archbishop Chaput is no progressive, but still he was moved to write that “the bitterness directed at the person of Father Martin is not just unwarranted and unjust; it’s a destructive counter-witness to the Gospel.” He cited a recent article in a French publication with the headline “Catholic Cyber-Militias and the New Censorship,” observing, “We live at a time when civility is universally longed for and just as universally (and too often gleefully) violated.”
Thanks, Your Excellency, for plugging my #CatholicCyberMilitia shop (couldn’t resist), but more importantly, how about the “faithful-phobia” going on?!?! Just to be clear, I agree with Archbishop Chaput that fraternal correction should be done in charity and ad hominems are wrong. That said, Archbishop Chaput also says this:
Clear judgment, tempered by mercy but faithful to Scripture and constant Church teaching, is an obligation of Catholic discipleship—especially on moral issues, and especially in Catholic scholarship. The perceived ambiguities in some of Fr. Martin’s views on sexuality have created much of the apprehension and criticism surrounding his book. There’s nothing vindictive in respectfully but firmly challenging those inadequacies. Doing less would violate both justice and charity.
We lose ground when attack the person rather than his tactics, arguments, etc. That said, I have NO problem calling him out on his inadequacies.
After Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego published a similar defense of Father Martin in the Jesuit magazine America, one of Father Martin’s devoted inquisitors tweeted: “If you think the anti-sodomite bigotry in the church is bad, you should see hell.”
Well, whoever that inquisitor is has a point, doesn’t he/she? LOL! Seriously! I only wish people were as uncomfortable with actual sodomy as they are with the use of the word. By the way, Mr. Bruni, I’m going to touch on mean statements in my next post. It deserves a bit of individual attention. If you want a preview, check out the comments on Fr. Martin’s Facebook page.
I spoke with Bishop McElroy recently, and he said that while there are calm-voiced critics of Father Martin with earnest concerns about what they see as the church’s drift from traditional sexual morality, there are also out-and-out bigots whose methods are “incompatible with what we hope to be as a church.”
Hmmm…I actually agree with this statement. That said, it goes both ways, Bishop McElroy. It goes both ways. To illustrate, please read some of the “faithful-phobic” comments on Fr. Martin’s repost of the BuzzFeed article.
“We have to face the fact that there is a group of people across all religious views that are particularly antagonistic to L.G.B.T. people,” he told me. “That comes from deep within the human soul, and it’s really corrosive and repugnant.”
Again, I can agree to that, but I think you’re trying to say that it’s the Catholic Church and many of her followers. It’s not.
I have known Father Martin for many years and have long been struck by the painstakingly careful balance that he maintains. Is he telling his fellow Catholics to judge L.G.B.T. people less harshly, whether they’re chaste or not? Absolutely. When he and I talked a few days ago, he repeated a recommendation in “Building a Bridge” that Catholic institutions stop firing gay people, which has happened repeatedly.
Here’s where Bruni’s lack of Catholic understanding shows. We don’t judge anyone, we judge their actions. You are, however, correct in one way. For some reason Fr. Martin thinks the “L.G.B.T. people” should get a pass for their actions (please note the lack of chastity he cited). Why would I want anyone to do anything that is damaging to their body and soul??? Why would anyone want to give that a pass?
“Straight couples do not have their sexual lives put under a microscope like that, nor are they targeted,” he told me. “A couple living together before they’re married aren’t fired from a Catholic school.” But that arrangement runs as afoul of church teaching as a sexually active gay or lesbian couple’s does.
Well, I’ve known of people fired from Catholic schools for a myriad of their actions coming to light – same-sex attracted, straight, single, etc. Personally, I think that’s how it should be. Why are we still having a debate about private sins becoming public and people being removed for them? Why is this a problem?
From listening to Father Martin, it’s certainly possible to conclude that, or at least wonder if, he has qualms with church teaching about homosexuality.
BAH-HAH-HAH-HAH! I almost spit my cabernet on my keyboard! This was the most unbiased and most intelligent thing in the whole article!! Kudos for this one, Mr. Bruni. But then…
But he’s so restrained and respectful that the president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States officially approved “Building a Bridge,” which has also been endorsed by an array of prominent cardinals and bishops.
“Jesuit Conference” means about as much to authentic Catholicism as “Hollywood director.”
And he trails behind many members of his faith in his publicly stated views. According to a poll by the Pew Research Center last June, 67 percent of Americans who identify as Catholic support the legalization of same-sex marriage, in contrast to 62 percent of Americans across the board.
I’m not sure why Bruni’s so fixated on publicly state views. It’s irrelevant. Martin extols groups corrected and/or censured by the Church. He is purposely ambiguous. He’s agreed on video to a comment that there are some things he can’t say due to his position in the Church, etc., etc., etc.
But the far right isn’t quietly ceding the fight. That’s clear not only in the response to Father Martin but also in a federal education bill, drafted by Republicans, that would protect colleges that ban openly gay relationships or bar gays from certain religious organizations on campus.
Well, duh. You don’t give up the fight for the salvation of souls because of numbers, good, bad or indifferent. And, are you saying we should compel religious organizations to accept homosexual acts? Sure, you are.
And in the church as in the government, the scorched-earth tactics of ultraconservatives often gives them a sway disproportionate to their actual numbers. “These online hate groups are now more powerful than local churches,” Father Martin said, referring specifically to Church Militant and to the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, which started a petition demanding that the New Jersey parishes cancel his appearance. It gathered 12,000 signatures.
Fr. Martin! You’re a one-man online hate group. Haters gonna hate! LOL! See how whiny and ridiculous it all is? Let’s just state a few things accurately for a change. First, people disagree with many of the things you say. Deal! It’s not because they hate you or those suffering from SSA or any other disorders. It’s simply because you are wrong and mislead good people. People have problems with your moral and theological positions. As far as Church Militant and TFP go, they very clearly stated all of the problems they had with you appearing in a Catholic church. You have failed to rebut one point but, instead, called them bullies. I know this might be a shock, but “Bullies!” is not actually a rebuttal to accusations. Man up! Oh, and by the way, “We hate gays!” was not in the petition. In case you were wondering, Mr. Bruni, here’s the things they actually cited:
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 is not interested in actually rebutting the accusations. Are you?
Lyle Garcia, 72, one of the parishioners involved in the decision to invite Father Martin, admitted to me that he was “very concerned” that in changing the location of the event, they’d rewarded and emboldened the haters. But at least, he said, the talk would proceed.
As will Father Martin. An expanded edition of “Building a Bridge” will be published in March, and it includes material about L.G.B.T. Catholics who told him, as he promoted the book, that it had given them desperately needed comfort.
“I’m at total peace,” he told me. “I really am. An ocean of hate online is really wiped out by just a few tears from an L.G.B.T. person.” Only one thing to say to that: Amen.
Wait, what?! Nice, flowery line of poetry, Fr. Martin, but the firestorm of hit pieces from your minions against “the haters” tells a different tale. But, heck, playing the martyr card might garner you a few more sales. That said, might I offer you a few more tips? You should let your minions do the work. The quotes from you in every hit piece and all the tweets make it kind of obvious who is behind it all. I know it’s hard, but sssshhhhh! If you really want to score points, take to task those on your Facebook page, Twitter feed, and comboxes who are slandering your “haters.” That would go a long way to bolstering what big meanies “the haters” are, because screen captures might come back to bite you. Finally, give up on poetry.
Can’t wait to see what today brings!
Alrighty! This is what I was working on when the Buzzfeed article on Fr. Z dropped out of the sky like manna from the blogosphere.
So, in case you didn’t gather this from the BuzzFeed debacle, somebody got his feelings hurt and is now on a search and destroy mission.
Fr. James Martin Demands Bishops Censor His Critics for ‘Hate’
By JOHN ZMIRAK Published on January 30, 2018 • 27 Comments
Father James Martin, SJ has a problem with power. He craves it, as an addict dreams of the needle.
Not to quibble too much, but I’d also throw in attention. He acts as if he grew up an only child, who was never taught that the world did not revolve around him, and cannot handle attention going to anyone but himself.
What do I mean? On the issue that most threatens the coherence of Christian churches and their liberty in America, Martin collaborates with the Church’s persecutors: the powerful, prestigious, and culturally glamorous LGBT lobby. You know, the group that can get people fired, shamed, and in some places even prosecuted for cleaving to Christian orthodoxy. Yet Martin pretends that his stance is somehow courageous. When faithful Catholics speak out against him, he accuses them of “hate speech,” which in some places is borderline illegal. He casts the organizations that criticize his stance as “extremists,” even “alt-right.” He’s trying to smear orthodox Christians with the dung-soaked brush of disgraceful racism.
Nailed it. Fr. Martin really isn’t anything fancy. He’s a typical liberal with typical silly arguments wrapped in the word “Catholic”, which, to him, is nothing more than a word he uses to garner his version of moral superiority. He’s had a good year, what with his appointment by Pope Francis and all. I can’t possibly deny that, but his days are numbered, and he knows that he’s going back to relative obscurity sooner than he’d like.
Faithful Believers Push Back
Most recently, some lay Catholics protested Martin’s appearance at a parish in New Jersey. As LifeSiteNews reports:
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.”
I guess “bullies” is in and “haters” is out these days? Let’s call this for what it is. He’s spiraling. I think we’re up to at least three events he’s been dis-invited to lately. He sees the smoke and knows there’s fire.
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:
Martin said Catholics should “reverence” homosexual unions
Martin supports the acceptance of transgenderism for children
Martin favors homosexual kissing during Mass (sacrilege against God)
Martin calls dissident, pro-homosexual nun a “saint”
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.
So, Fr. Martin calls TFP bullies but did he bother to refute the claims?! I mean, if they are making this up, it should be a slam dunk for him. Of course, they are not. Every last one of these can be easily verified. This is what really ticks off Fr. Martin. His writings Twitter feed, and his pride have hung him. He thinks/thought he was untouchable with his new title, but now he’s realizing maybe not so much. He’s spontaneously combusting.
It seems like a little thing. A group of lay Catholics thinks that Martin falsifies ancient Jewish-Christian teaching on sexuality. So they used peaceful means to convince a pastor not to sponsor his talk. That’s within their rights. As Americans and as Catholics. It’s within the pastor’s purview to make that decision.
It’s not a little thing. It’s our duty, and EVERYONE needs to know they can and should TRY to support truth in the Church.
Time to Quash the Orthodox
But Father Martin is trying to cast free speech and lay activism as extremist bullying. And he wants it stopped. As he Tweeted:
“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.
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) January 28, 2018″
In case you doubt, here’s the screen capture:
Bahahaha! So glad he’s so opposed to name calling. Bullies and hatemongering nobodies? Wow! Who exactly are these “hatemongering” groups? And I’d REALLY like to know who the “lay leaders” to whom he is referring, wouldn’t you? That’s just creepy. Also, gotta point out New Ways Ministry, which has less than no standing in the Church, but he sure thinks they’re peachy. Like I said, typical liberal. “Let’s just say it, regardless of truth, and hope it sticks!”
I’m not involved with TFP and I’m sure we don’t agree on all subjects but TFP listed several facts about Fr. Martin, petitioned the lawful authority, and he answered. Fr. Martin, exactly how did ANYONE in the three cancellations you’ve received skirt “legitimate church authority?” Oh, yeah. They didn’t. If you’re going to continue with these calumnious accusations, you might want to pony up the proof.
Have you got that? Bishops should step in and condemn lay Catholics who criticize Fr. Martin. Or else they’re complicit in giving in to “hate.” Catholics should face public condemnation by their bishops if they dare to disagree with Martin’s new, Caesar-friendly stance on same-sex sin.
Obama would be proud. “Hate, hateful, hate, blah, blah, blah, and you’re gonna get that label too!” He’s so typical it hurts.
Think of Martin’s position as a special advisor to the Vatican. Of his friendly relations with many bishops. Of his long list of media buddies. (He worked with Martin Scorcese on the movie Silence, and appears on Stephen Colbert’s show.) Don’t be surprised if he finds some takers. He’s doubtless hoping to see compliant bishops condemn groups like TFP. He hopes they’ll ban them from churches, denounce them in Church newspapers, as if they were indeed some kind of hate group.
The internet is his worst nightmare. No way to stop the truth from coming out, and he REALLY hates that.
Father Quisling, Stooge of Caesar
I answered Fr. Martin this way:
“If immigration delivers the left permanent majorities, expect men like Martin to be the Quislings overseeing what’s left of our 1st Amendment rights. They’ll certify which groups are “legitimately” religious, and which are “hate groups” to jail. He’s salivating for that power.
— John Zmirak (@JZmirak) January 28, 2018″
Well, sadly, that’s true, but I’m not sure we need to worry about immigration causing that. We seem ready to hang ourselves some days.
Imagine an America under President Kamala Harris. As Attorney General of California she prosecuted David Daleiden for investigating Planned Parenthood. Her California Democratic Party tried to deny routine federal funds to any religious college that upholds Christian morals. How do you think her appointees to the federal anti-discrimination apparat would treat Christians who resist the LGBT agenda?
Oh, I’m totally sure that scenario would thrill Fr. Martin, because, well, seamless garment! No matter how many times Fr. Martin says “Abortion wrong!” he’s going to consider peeps like Kamala the lesser of the two evils, because abortion and euthanasia are not pre-eminent evils in his mind. He’s smarter than to say it, but my guess is that he thinks people who buy the Church’s teaching on homosexuality and transgenderism are the pre-eminent issues.
Let’s say such a catastrophe happens. Where do you think clergy like Fr. Martin will be standing? Will they speak up for religious freedom? Or will they serve as front men for Caesar and his soldiers? Will they certify that “mainstream,” “authentic” Christian churches have no quarrel with the government? That it’s just those “hateful” “extremists,” who are really no better than racists?
I think we’ve already had a taste of his response under Obama.
Bishops should step in and condemn lay Catholics who criticize Fr. Martin. Or else they’re complicit in giving in to “hate.”
I’ve always thought it telling how Martin helped write Scorcese’s Silence. Martin praised the priests who avoided martyrdom. Who instead chose to work with the pagan government. They took wives, nice homes, and salaries, and helped to hunt down secret Christians. Martin wrote in America magazine that they made that choice because Jesus told them to.
Like the sly Jesuit that he is, Fr. Martin is thinking ahead.
BAM! The last thing Fr. Martin wants is ANYONE who is willing to accept martyrdom, which is kind of ironic based on how many times he’s tried to play the martyr card.
Bahaha! This is gonna be good! I’m gonna pop some popcorn and watch the fireworks. Methinks Fr. Martin has called in some favors after his latest dis-invite. I have a whole other piece on Fr. Martin awaiting an edit but I could not help but jump on this one when a reader sent it to me.
Meet the Blogger Priest Firing Red Pills At the Vatican
Posted on February 1, 2018, at 11:17 a.m.
BuzzFeed News Reporter
Last January, a Catholic asked a priest for spiritual guidance. Upset by the progressive direction Pope Francis has taken the church since his election in 2013, the person wondered whether it was a sin to pray for the pontiff to abdicate, or even, to die.
“No,” the priest, Father John Zuhlsdorf, replied. “It is not necessarily sinful to pray for the end of a pontificate, one way or another … Popes come and go. In our prayers, we can, without sinning, discuss with God about His time table.”
It’s polite to put <snip> in there when you cut out something this BIG. So here’s how it really went:
“Given the rate things are going for this current pontificate, would it be sinful to pray that, if it be God’s will, that the pope either abdicates or dies and a new pope of a more conservative leaning is elected?”
I get this often.
No. It is not necessarily sinful to pray for the end of a pontificate, one way or another.
However, it depends on why and on your attitude. I urge people not to have hate in their hearts for the person of the Holy Father. He deserves our prayers. That doesn’t mean that we have to like him or what he does. We do NOT worship the Pope. Popes come and go. In our prayers, we can, without sinning, discuss with God about His time table.
Just a wee bit different sentiment.
It’s no secret that the Jesuit pope has angered conservative Catholics with his criticism of the church’s fixation on abortion, same-sex marriage, and birth control; and with his promotion of progressive pastors. But still, it was a shocking answer — an ordained Catholic priest sanctioning prayer for the untimely death of Christ’s earthly representative.
Dear Buzzfeed guy and moral theologian, please tell me exactly how this goes against Church teaching. And, btw, adding “untimely” is all you. Let’s say a person says “Hey God! It’s getting kind of scary down here. If the Holy Father is blowing it, can you please open his eyes or close them?” Where is the lack of charity in that? Wouldn’t this person be praying for God’s will to be done?
It is not necessarily sinful to pray for the end of a pontificate, one way or another.
And? I’m still waiting for the BuzzFeed moral theologian to answer us. Surely there has been more times in history where someone felt the current pope was hurting the Church. Surely Mr. BuzzFeed knows there were some pretty bad popes out there. Of course, after you read the rest, you might come to the conclusion he doesn’t know much.
What was even more shocking: This conversation didn’t happen in a confession booth or a rectory. Fr. Z, as he’s known, posted the exchange on his blog to a devoted readership of many thousands. He had pulled the question from his email. He chose to answer it publicly.
Shockers of shockers! He says in public what he would advise in private. What’s the point here?
And though he would later apologize for angering readers, a year later, he hasn’t changed his answer.
I think Fr. Z is a litte more worried about other things than angering readers.
“Frankly,” Fr. Z told BuzzFeed News, “It’s not a sin.”
Well, Mr. BuzzFeed moral theologian? Is it a sin? Do tell. Some may not feel comfortable with it but the question is, is it a sin? You seem to be saying “yes” but you also have skipped a lot and around in your quoting of Fr. Z.
The 58-year-old, Madison, Wisconsin–based Fr. Z is a leader in the thriving online community of conservative American Catholics who have used the Trump era to ratchet up their criticism of what they perceive to be a liberal Church establishment, and liberal culture in general. Fr. Z, who has over 40,000 Twitter followers, considers the 12-year-old blog, What Does the Prayer Really Say, his ministry. The site, which Fr. Z told BuzzFeed News is the largest English language Catholic blog run by an individual, has received more than 85 million visits since 2006, per Statcounter. According to Father Z, What Does the Prayer Really Say gets more than a million unique visitors a year.
Is her arguing with the stats? Not sure what the point is but then he goes onto this which is complete commentary:
And it draws just as much from the gospel of Roger Ailes as it does Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John — a pro-Trump, anti-Francis hybrid of personal blog, Latin translation, Christian scholarship, scriptural interpretation, and Fox News. (A sidebar on the blog describes it as “a fusion of the Baroque ‘salon’ with its well-tuned harpsichord around which polite society gathered for entertainment and edification and, on the other hand, a Wild West “saloon” with its out-of-tune piano and swinging doors, where everyone has a gun and something to say.”) Together with sites like Church Militant, a kind of Catholic-themed Breitbart that the Church has officially distanced itself from, Fr. Z is waging an online culture war that is deeply informed by the greater American political context.
And this is how I know this guy likely knows Fr. James Martin SJ. It’s no secret that Fr. Martin is a bit upset about his dis-invites from various institutions. He’s waged war on his Twitter feed and I’m thinking this is his next step. He wants the faithful Catholic blogosphere silenced.
“They think the liberal Catholic establishment must be dismantled,” said Massimo Faggioli, a professor of theology at Villanova University. “And anything that can get to that goal is fine.”
Really? Anything Massimo? How about bloggers like us just call it like we see it? Every once in awhile the “liberal Catholic establishment” (I thought it the “faithful Catholic establishment” that mattered but that might be just me.) gets it right. Personally, I have actually given Fr. Martin kudos for his comments on the unborn. Yes, I have to question his motives for doing so but, well, yay! When he spews the ridiculous and ambiguous that leads people into, say, sodomy, I’ll comment on that too. So, Massimo, while your goal may be to win “it” for the liberal Catholics, some of us are trying to win souls with truth.
Indeed, the sometimes shockingly antagonistic attitude of Fr. Z and his ilk toward the Vatican and liberal culture has invited comparisons to the alt-right, another group obsessed with waging a culture war against a supposedly liberal bureaucracy. Fr. Z, for his part, says he’s part of a “brutal” polemical tradition in the Catholic church that dates back millenia. More broadly, the popularity of Fr. Z’s blog and the power of his online following suggests that in 2018, even the longest-lasting institution in the Western world isn’t immune to the strains of the social internet.
Sorry, sweetie. We’re sarcastic. Deal. While Fr. Z is sometimes really “in your face” he’s not trying to take down the “longest-lasting institution in the Western world.” He’s trying to defend it.
“Thanks in no small part to the online world, the degree of open criticism of the Pope and church hierarchy is far greater than ever before,” said Mark Silk, the director of the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life. “It would have astonished people 50 years ago.”
Well, isn’t it shocking that Mark Silk had something to say about Fr. Martin’s being dis-invited to events? https://religionnews.com/2017/09/25/religious-cyber-vigilantism-on-the-rise/ Duh! You guys might want to keep your connections a bit more distant. If you doubt the Fr. Martin connection with this Fr. Z hit piece, please put on your independent thinking cap.
“The comparisons with the alt-right are loose. There’s no direct connection between Fr. Z and that movement, which he told BuzzFeed News he had to Google when it was first applied to him. The alt-right, which draws on the reflexive atheism of message board culture and dabbles in the forms of neo-paganism associated with white nationalism, has no coherent stance on religion. Much of the alt-right is ambivalent, if not supportive, of homosexuality, which Fr. Z has called “unnatural” and “disordered.” (Oh for heaven’s sake. Bothered to read the teachings of the Catholic Church, Mr. Buzzfeed?) Fr. Z has explicitly condemned anti-Semitism, which has dogged various factions of the alt-right (as well as the schismatic Catholic right.) And the comments under his blog posts are far from a Breitbartian vortex of invective; there are often long and thoughtful — albeit extremely conservative — discussions of faith, ritual, history, and bourbon.”
Oh ho! “Fr. Z has no obvious connections to alt-right groups but we’re going to mention it just so you put the two in the same sentence.” Can you say “Jumping the shark?!”
Wait for it!
But Fr. Z’s tone, politics, and tactics bring to mind the online mobs of Trump supporters who helped turn the current moment so divisive. Rhetorically, he’s a creature as much of the comment section as the canon, having honed his blogging style since the early 1990s, when he moderated CompuServe’s Catholic forum. He regularly rails against “libs,” “edgy social justice figures” and the “homosexualist agenda.” He has coined Trumpian epithets for his adversaries, referring to the progressive National Catholic Reporter as “fishwrap” and the “National Sodomitical Reporter” and liberal Catholics as the “Red Guard.” He casts himself as a defender of Western civilization and culture; In a recent post, he encouraged followers to buy Defeating Jihad, by the far-right former Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka. And his blog links to a webstore where he sells mugs and T-shirts reading “Holy Mass: Turn Towards the Lord Again” in the ubiquitous #MAGA font and color scheme.
Sorry. I cannot stop snickering. “He has no connection to the alt-right peeps but he does!” BTW, I’m for defeating Jihad too. And the Fishwrap? Many of us call it that and, guess what? I didn’t even vote for Trump. Some things are just common sense. I also call it the National Catholic Distorter, National catholic Reporter, and probably ten other things. Whaaa!
Also, his critics say, he has rallied his followers to carry out harassment and no-platforming campaigns that directly recall the alt-right. In September 2017, in a post entitled “Should a seminary headline a homosexualist activist as a speaker?” Fr. Z alerted his audience to an upcoming speech by the progressive Jesuit priest Rev. James Martin at Catholic University, shortly after the publication of a new book by Martin urging dialogue between the Church and LGBT Catholics. Following Fr. Z’s post, and denunciations by other popular conservative Catholic and schismatic websites, Martin became the target of an online harassment campaign, including threats of violence. And two days after Fr. Z’s post, Catholic withdrew its invitation to Martin, citing “increasing negative feedback from various social media sites.”
“For me the saddest thing about Father Z’s blog is how cruel it is,” Martin told BuzzFeed News. “It’s astonishing to me that a priest could traffic in such cruelty and hatred.”
AND HERE’S WHAT THE WHOLE ARTICLE IS REALLY ABOUT. Seriously, Fr. Martin has to turn to BuzzFeed because he’s never going to find a FAITHFUL CATHOLIC site to go after Fr. Z. Honestly, I like to comment as I read but you could see this coming from the beginning of this piece. Sadly, Fr. James Martin is in such a tail-spin he’s getting desperate.
So please, Mr. Buzzfeed, you’ve make a whole lot of accusations here. Let’s see the harassment and violence threats. Sure you must have nice screen captures of them. I mean, I’m still holding onto Fr. Martin’s totally loving tweet:
Put up or shut up, Mr. BuzzFeed.
Fr. Z told BuzzFeed News that it was not his intention to sic the Zedheads — as he affectionately calls his readers — on Martin, and added that though he did not think it was appropriate for Martin to speak, he, too, had been disinvited from similar engagements for his views.
“I don’t whine about it though,” said Fr. Z. “This isn’t bean bag.”
What?! No martyr complex? All the priests have them.
Indeed, Fr. Z’s response to liberal priests who object to his rhetoric is, more or less, Snowflake! In 2014, he told the Jesuit magazine America, “No one forces anyone else to get involved online. If we are going to descend onto the sands of the arena, we had better buckle it on … the notion that everyone has to play verbal patty cake all the time is a rather new idea, both in the church and in the public square.”
EXACTLY! We’ve all been called “haters” by Fr. Martin, Rosica and Reese at one point or another and we simply laugh because, well, we’re faithful Catholics. Christ was hung a cross and we should whine and cry about being, what, flogged on the internet? Boo hoo!
And Fr. Z buckles it on in the public square with astonishing frequency. In December 2017, Fr. Z posted 141 times, an average of 4.5 posts a day. His detractors are quick to point out the irregularity of his priestly circumstances. Though Fr. Z lives in and blogs from Madison, he was incardinated — basically, given the right to perform the duties of a priest — in an Italian diocese. That, according to several church sources, is highly unusual. Though Fr. Z has faculties in the Madison diocese, his blog comprises the vast majority of his ministry.
Really? We’re going to go there? I’m sorry, have you checked Fr. Martin’s Twitter feed? And what the heck does “Italian” have to do with absolutely anything? You better batten down the hatches, Mr. BuzzFeed. I’m relatively sure you’re going to hear from my Italian brothers and sisters in just a sec.
All of this has given Fr. Z the image of a rogue blogger-priest, accountable to an obscure authority, firing red pills from his digital pulpit at a hidebound institution that is unprepared to deal with the new age of online dissent.
Why can’t I get a cool nickname like “rogue blogger-priest?” Jealous.
Dear Mr. BuzzFeed, you are really a patsy. You might want learn just a smidgen more about the man before you listen to Fr. Martin. I’m really starting to feel a bit sorry for you now. I do believe even Fr. Martin’s cohort publication, America Magazine, has done a better job of researching Fr. Z. https://www.americamagazine.org/content/all-things/catholic-blogosphere-qa-father-john-zuhlsdorf
“Our assumption used to be that [the internet] was a new community, a new way of becoming connected,” said Faggioli, who added that the Church has no regulations to deal with internet priests. “We now know that it has fostered new kinds of divisions. These Catholic blogs play a very important role in this. They tend to speak to a particular kind of audience, against a particular kind of church.”
Um, Massimo, I’m sure there’s some sort of mirror in your house. Please look into it every once in awhile.
And thanks to the reach of the internet and social media, the message of what Mark Silk called “religious entrepreneurs,” like Fr. Z, can find and consolidate a politically and culturally homogenous audience in a way a parish priest never could.
It’s a point not lost on Fr. Z, who sees himself in a tradition of Christian leaders evangelizing through technology. (A tradition that includes Martin Luther, who could not have spread the seeds of Protestantism without the printing press, but also Father Coughlin, who used the radio in the 1930s to spread his fascist political beliefs to tens of millions of listeners from the tower of the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Detroit.)
Oh my gosh! Is Mr. BuzzFeed serious? The innuendos abound! How many time can you say “He’s a Nazi but I’m not saying that!” in one piece. LOL!
“The church has always made use of the best means of communication,” Fr. Z told BuzzFeed News. “I’m one little guy, but this blog is my force amplifier.”
That force multiplier has allowed Fr. Z to turn What Does the Prayer Really Say into an enterprise. For the spiritual and cultural succor on offer, many of the blog’s readers donate money — on both one-off and monthly subscription bases — and Fr. Z invites them to lavish him with gifts. In exchange for a monthly subscription, Fr. Z wrote in 2015, “you wind up regularly on my list of benefactors for whom I pray.” And the second widget from the top on the blog’s sidebar, below only a search box, is a plea for readers to do their Amazon shopping through his affiliate link.”
The practice has drawn critics, who say that soliciting money directly from his readers inappropriately insulates Fr. Z from Church pressure. But in the context of internet publishing, even on Fr. Z’s low-tech blog, it’s on trend. From YouTube stars to writers crowdfunding projects, content creators across a range of internet media are finding that a devoted audience can support a subscription model. And who is more devoted than a group of parishioners?
And? Fr. Martin hocks a bunch of bad books and has multiple organizations backing him in his pocket. Oh, yeah, I forgot. All of Fr. Martin’s money goes to the Jesuits and he practically lives in a homeless shelter. Please.
“I’m a free market guy,” Fr. Z told BuzzFeed News. “If I put something out there and people want to drop money in my hat, so be it.” He added that he’s not paid a salary by the church: “I kill what I eat.”
Oh, come on, Fr. Z! Now you’re just baiting the anti-hunting crowd!
The subscriber model produces a fascinating question in the clerical context: If Fr. Z relies on the generosity of his audience, rather than the support of the Church, how much does he have to tell them what they want to hear?
So Mr. BuzzFeed is saying what? It’s better to take money from the Church so that you’ll say whatever the people want you to say? That’s quite a twisted logic. How about you make your own money AND are a faithful priest? Supposedly Fr. Martin is supported by the Jesuits. How’s that working out for the Church?
Perhaps that explains his shifting perspective on Donald Trump. Though Fr. Z told BuzzFeed news that he’s not interested in politics, he blogs about national affairs regularly. In January 2016, during Republican primary debate season, Fr. Z approvingly reposted a blog by the conservative priest and cultural commentator Robert Sirico that compared Trump to a laxative and concluded that “I cannot figure out the alleged white-evangelical attraction to Trump.” As the general election got underway, Fr. Z found more and more to like about the GOP candidate, specifically that he recorded a video message for Catholics and was not Hillary Clinton, who he called “treasonous” and “the criminal candidate for the Part of Death.”
Yeah, I’m pretty sure many Catholics went with the lesser of the two evils approach.
Since the election, Fr. Z has gathered signatures to thank President Trump for defunding “Big Business Abortion” — Planned Parenthood — contrasted Trump flatteringly with President Obama, whom he called “arrogance incarnate,” and most recently, posted President Trump’s remarks at January’s March for Life.
And this is because he raises his own support money? Might it be, and I’m going out on a limb here Mr. BuzzFeed, because Trump defunded “Big Business Abortion” and spoke out for the unborn at the March for Life? Oh, your right. Got to be those donations he brings in. (insert rolly eyes)
More surprisingly, Fr. Z seemed to endorse President Trump’s travel ban, a decision the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops called “un-Catholic” and protested with an amicus brief filed in the Supreme Court. It was a position that seemed to hew closer to Steve Bannon, the President’s former chief adviser, who has claimed that the Church favors illegal immigration because it has an economic interest, than to Church leadership. Indeed, in 2016, Pope Francis said that Trump’s position on immigration made him “not Christian.” And so Fr. Z found himself, a Catholic priest, warning his audience about the perils of letting immigrants into America, three days after he wrote that it wasn’t a sin to pray for the Pope to die.
Just going to point out, for what it’s worth, there aren’t actually any quotes here.
Said Faggioli, “Fr. Z is much more convinced about the Christian character of Donald Trump than of Pope Francis. That’s remarkable.”
Wow! Can’t answer for Fr. Z on that one but, hello, you might think that Faggioli would have provided some quotes for that one!
I’m sure the Fr. Martin crowd is gleeful about this one but the rest of us are laughing at the audacity of the level of conjecture and insinuation found in this screed. I suppose desperate times calls for desperate measures for some.