On Thursday, Jesuit priest and editor at large of America Magazine James Martin sent out a tweet about homosexuals not feeling welcome in the Catholic church:
Many #LGBT Catholics still feel unwelcome in their own church. But good news: More parishes are now trying to make LGBT Catholics feel at home. Here, one parishioner talks about the welcome that he, his husband, and their son found at Holy Trinity in DC.
In a video attached to the tweet, a man named Joe speaks about his experience at Holy Trinity in Washington D.C., and how he struggled with the church as society moved one way, and the church did not.
Joe spoke with Judith Brusseau, head of faith formation & religious education at Holy Trinity, and she said:
In some respects, we’re a last-resort Church before people really throw in the towel and say, “I’m not gonna have anything to do with this.” So, when someone comes and says, you know, “I want to be here,” as someone who works in the field for Christ, you have to say, “You’re welcome. You belong here,” and I really feel that.
Joe added that Brusseau said: “Please show up. We need you. If you don’t show up, we are never gonna change. This is your Church.”
Every time that I had a moment of doubt, I feel like, you know, God or Jesus or the Holy Spirit put the words in somebody’s mouth to reassure me that I belong. All of us in some way probably feel marginalized no matter what our experience is – it doesn’t have to be gay; it could be lots of things. And I think at this church, they talk about that, they accept that, they explore that, and they welcome that. And I actually believe most Catholics share that view. Somewhere in them they hear the words of Christ: “Love your fellow man.” Christ loved people and welcomed people who were marginalized, and celebrated them. I think this church and that teaching is deep, and is strong, and broader than most people think.
Among the replies to Martin’s tweet of this video were those who were disappointed that a priest would advocate for the acceptance of views that are clearly anti-biblical:
You don’t love these people. They are merely pawns for your self aggrandizement. If you loved them you would tell them the truth about God’s Grace and it’s power to heal, instead you let them wallow in their sin and then celebrate it. You are perpetuating evil.
Perhaps the best thing now is that you should stand down/resign from the priesthood, since in advocating this you show utter contempt for it, for holiness and the supernatural origins of the order of marriage, whilst parading sin as a good.
I realize that people can have same-sex attraction and be Catholic. However, they must follow Church teaching and live a celibate and chaste life. To suggest otherwise is simply against Church teaching & false. I will pray for our brothers and sisters w/same-sex attraction.
The New Testament is rather clear when it comes to homosexual conduct:
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 states: “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
1 Timothy 1:9-11 states: “We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.”
Romans 1:26-27 states: “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.”
There are numerous other examples of scripture condemning homosexual behavior, and as a priest, Martin surely knows these verses well.
James Martin has more than 253,000 followers on Twitter and 582,000 followers on Facebook, and thus, has quite an influential platform to speak about what he believes.