catholic lgbt

James Martin’s Three Lessons for the Catholic LGBT Community

on July 11, 2019

To celebrate the end of Pride Month, Father James Martin, a Roman Catholic priest who advocates for LGBT causes, gave the homily at the pre-pride mass at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi on June 29.

In his homily, Martin focused on how the ancient stories of the Bible applied to the contemporary Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Catholic community.

“The Bible is the Living word of God and, if we are open to it, God’s voice will always be revealed when we read or hear these readings, no matter how ancient,” Martin preached.

The homily equated Jesus’ rejection and persecution to the experience of contemporary persons who identify as LGBT. Martin cited biblical stories to inspire the LGBT community, like Jesus, to rise above persecution. Martin was both hopeful and solemn in his message regarding the future for the LGBT Catholic community.

Martin presumed that there were three lessons to be learned from ancient readings of the Bible. The first lesson was to be tough. Martin noted that Pope Francis has shown a willingness to accept the LGBT community, allowing LGBT-identifying Catholics to be more open regarding sexual identity (although Francis has, most recently, come out against progressive gender ideology).

The Jesuit priest asserted persecution and hard times among the Catholic LGBT community despite what he deems as positive steps taken by Pope Francis. He alluded to the firing of Catholic school workers in same-sex marriages, official church leaders and documents denouncing LGBT ideology, and what he termed local level, homophobic pastors and parishioners. Martin instructed the Catholic LGBT community to:

“Claim your rightful place in your church. Look, if you are a baptized Catholic and you are LGBT or are an LGBT parent or family member, you are as much a part of the church as the Pope, your local bishop, your pastor, or me. Root yourself in your baptism and claim your place in your church.”

Martin drew from the story of Jesus’ rejection by the people of Samaria who made him unwelcome. But like Jesus, Martin instructed the parishioners to move forward and to not only be accepted by the Church by laying their claim to it but also to advocate for their right to be involved in the ministry of the Church.

The second lesson Martin gleaned from the gospel readings was to be free like Jesus. He told LGBT Catholics to live a life unconcerned by rejection for their sexual identity. Comparing the situation to Jesus not caring if the Samaritans or his disciples rebuke him, Martin told LGBT Catholics that, like Jesus who was supremely free to “follow the Father’s will,” they are as well.

The America editor did not elaborate on the meaning of “Following the Father’s will” or how his will should be interpreted in the context of scripture.

Lastly, Martin insisted that the Catholic LGBT community stay hopeful because the Christian life is not a burden but rather easy. It is made easy if each Christian accepts Jesus Christ then [Christians] “are wrapped under what the theologian Barbara Reid calls the “protective cloak of his spirit.”

As an ordained clergyman, Martin is bound to both the word of God and also to church teaching. According to church teaching, the Bible is the inerrant word of God and is clear on sexual behavior as noted in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Romans 1:26-28, Mark 10:6-9, 1 Timothy 1:10-11, and Genesis 19:1-5. The Roman Catholic Church espouses a traditionalist position that human sexual expression is to be within the context of marriage between a man and a woman. This is noted in Vatican documents including lines 2232-2243 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Humanae Vitae, and Pope Francis’ 2016 Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation.

Martin mentions following the Father’s will and even stated that “The Bible is the Living Word of God”. But this is presented as fitting his own definition of God’s word, not God’s actual word shown through the prophets and apostles on resisting sexual impurity.

Martin unashamedly condemned church teaching on sexuality that he is bound to uphold. It is critical in today’s secular culture that — at minimum — church officials preach the actual word of God, not the ideologically agenda-driven “word of God” that they themselves define.

  1. Comment by Eternity Matters on July 11, 2019 at 7:00 am

    Caving on LGBTQX perversions is reason #96 not to be Catholic.

  2. Comment by Steve on July 11, 2019 at 8:46 am

    I would give your opinion greater weight if you could avoid using loaded language like “perversions”. Seems to me many people would find it offensive; it is associated in my mind with a period where LGBTetc people were mistreated.

  3. Comment by Cheryl on July 11, 2019 at 10:32 am

    Offensive to call it what it is? People are being encouraged these days to be “offended” by pretty much everything. If the truth is offensive then perhaps a re-examination of one’s own thoughts and ideas is in order.

  4. Comment by Steve on July 11, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    Listen, I just defended Eternity Matters in the Fun with Math article for his right to use the terms “Christian” and goats, as I found those terms to be reasonably unoffensive, true and biblical. If EM or you want to use the most offensive terms possible when less offensive terms are available, that’s on both of you and you can try and you’re on your own. Why would you want to play into the left’s hands like that, assuming you’re not actually part of that crowd?

  5. Comment by W on July 14, 2019 at 11:02 am

    Whether secular society finda a word offensive or not has no bearing on the validity of the word. Homosexuality is clearly unacceptable in canon and biblically and clearly a perversion.

  6. Comment by JR on July 11, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    Sounds like an interesting list. Might be worth seeing it in print!

  7. Comment by Lee D. Cary on July 11, 2019 at 8:34 am

    “…advocate for their right to be involved in the ministry of the Church”

    So how come James Martin’s Fourth Lesson isn’t opening up the priesthood to LGBT women?

    It would lead to fewer pedophiles among their clergy ranks, would it not?

  8. Comment by Lee D. Cary on July 11, 2019 at 8:36 am

    Addendum: Or, women priests in general as RC priests, bishops, cardinals, and even (good gracious) El Mama?

  9. Comment by William on July 11, 2019 at 2:53 pm

    Why not a single LGBT+ church for the migration of all such folks from their present persecuting denominations? Really, this is a serious proposal. Why not? It would be very easy since LGBT+ is so preeminent and so proclaiming that there could be no confusion as to the identity, purpose, and mission of said church.

  10. Comment by JR on July 11, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    That’s an interesting idea. Would you be willing to lend some funding and effort to make it happen?

  11. Comment by Bret on July 11, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    Isn’t that the Metropolitan Church

  12. Comment by senecagriggs on July 12, 2019 at 7:10 am

    It’s been done. The Metropolitan Community Church

    Doesn’t necessarily appear to be thriving.

  13. Comment by William on July 12, 2019 at 7:25 am

  14. Comment by Steve on July 12, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    Are LGBT Churches Headed for the Great Beyond?

  15. Comment by Carolene jackson on July 12, 2019 at 8:35 am

    This is what Jesus God had to say to the LGBTQ Community WHY CALL ME LORD LORD WHEN YOU DON’T FOLLOW MY WORD. the LGBTQ can lie to it’s self but the bible is clear about homosexuality and transgenders a man shall not were a woman’s clothes nor shall a woman were a man’s clothes. These people have been given over to a reprobate mind by God and they believe evil is good and good is evil

  16. Comment by Carolene Jackson on July 12, 2019 at 8:43 am

    The democrats are putting into law that it will be a crime to speak against the LBGQT Community there by musseling Christian beliefs and criminalizing them we as christians must fight these kinds of laws and bills before all christians will be criminalized and put in jail for going against the LBGTQ lies and perversion.

  17. Comment by William on July 12, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    Do LGBT people believe that they can change God by overriding His veto if they can convert sufficient numbers of the general church population, specifically enough traditional Christians, to their views or harass sufficient numbers into silence with laws?

  18. Comment by Steve on July 13, 2019 at 10:11 am

    Fair point, certainly looks like that. One could only change God that way if one believed that God was a social construct, a mass delusion of some kind. Lots of people must approach religion in that manner, that’s it’s just a way of manipulating the other guy. Personally, I’m not interested in either being manipulated nor manipulating.

  19. Comment by Figo vd Kimmenade on August 7, 2019 at 10:20 am

    The Catholic Church has just been sold to the LGBTQ-community!! Wauw! Such a proud Pride!

  20. Comment by Maryna on August 8, 2019 at 10:58 am

    The biggest lie you’ll hear from our Church is that it doesn’t change. What’s written in the Catechism now would’ve gotten you excommunicated a few hundred years ago. If you were to go a few centuries into the future and read the new Catechism then, you probably wouldn’t be able to recognize much of it. Catholicism today is vastly different than how it originally started, because we have 2,000 years of men changing things to suit their needs (you know St Peter had a wife, right?)

    I find it disturbing how many of our Catholic leaders and followers today fit more with Jesus’ detractors of the time. I feel our Church should try to be more like Christ and less like Ciaphas. When did we become the Sadducees?

    Jesus was killed by the church of his time for his heresies. He was welcoming to the “sinners” of his day, and those who proclaim themselves righteous just couldn’t handle it then, just like you see so many can’t handle it today.

    I’m willing to bet if Jesus came back today, he’d probably come in the form of a transgender black immigrant non-English speaking woman. Most of you who consider yourselves the most devout would be first in line yelling “crucify him!”

    The Bible teaches that God is Love. God is not hate, and God welcomes all children. The Bible is not the only source of God’s word, we also have natural law. Through natural law we know there are at a minimum of 6 sexes. When you reject natural law, you reject God, and you put men up above our Creator. All love is a reflection of God, who is love, even love between people of the same sex. Love your neighbor, and your neighbor is the person you think is a sinner. We all have our own sins to worry about, we were specifically instructed by God not to focus on those of others, but instead to love them with open arms.

    Don’t set yourself up to be one of those people who on the day of judgement hear from Jesus “You proclaimed ‘Lord! Lord!’ but I know you not.”

  21. Comment by John Donovan on September 7, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    Hundreds of thousands have been killed because they have been encouraged and enabled into dangerous behavior. It’s now the encouragers and enablers who should be held accountable.

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