Fr James Martin: Cognitive Dissonance

I honestly find it difficult to understand how someone so clearly at odds with Church teaching as Fr James Martin, SJ, is able to retain credibility. But he is, even lauded and given influential posts at the Vatican! The clear contradiction in his outward persona and agenda and his priesthood I find incredibly jarring, but also a dimension of the kind of religious hypocrisy that people see through very easily.

It was very interesting to see this bit of detective work from Dan Hitchens on Twitter this morning:
Particularly interesting to see the link with Charles Curran, whose license to teach as a Catholic Theologian was revoked because of his dissent from Catholic Moral teaching on 25th July 1986 by Pope Saint John Paul II. Pope John Paul authorised the-then Cardinal Ratzinger to write to him informing him of this decision and the reasons for this decision:

“The purpose of this letter is to inform you that the Congregation has confirmed its position that one who dissents from the Magisterium as you do is not suitable nor eligible to teach Catholic theology. ….
The several dissenting positions which this Congregation contested, namely, on a right to public dissent from the ordinary Magisterium, the indissolubility of consummated sacramental marriage, abortion, euthanasia, masturbation, artificial contraception, premarital intercourse and homosexual acts, were listed carefully enough in the above-mentioned observations in July of 1983 …..
In light of your repeated refusal to accept what the church teaches and in light of its mandate to promote and safeguard the church’s teaching on faith and morals throughout the Catholic world, this Congregation, in agreement with the Congregation for Catholic Education, sees no alternative now but to advise the most reverend chancellor that you will no longer be considered suitable nor eligible to exercise the function of a professor of Catholic theology.”

Wow! Imagine that! It's like a list of all the same things we are arguing about today in the Church it seems! How can it be that the same old debates are still rolling around after forty or so years? After the proponents have been dealt with and the questions magisterially treated.

Despite all this, Professor Curran’s misguided views have continued, over the last thirty years, to poison the minds and the hearts of many people who are proud to promote things that faithful Christians throughout the ages have always known to be gravely sinful. How you ask?

Well, we can see the influence of Charles Curran in the Church here in England and Wales. He has links with our Cardinal, Vincent Nichols, who was appointed Assistant Director of the Upholland Northern Institute in 1976 by Archbishop Worlock and took over as director in 1980. He then invited Curran to give a series of lecture in August 1981. You can find a full timeline and links to the lectures given by Curran here.

The CDF Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders states:

From the time of the Second Vatican Council until today, various Documents of the Magisterium, and especially the Catechism of the Catholic Church, have confirmed the teaching of the Church on homosexuality. The Catechism distinguishes between homosexual acts and homosexual tendencies.

Regarding acts, it teaches that Sacred Scripture presents them as grave sins. The Tradition has constantly considered them as intrinsically immoral and contrary to the natural law. Consequently, under no circumstance can they be approved.

Deep-seated homosexual tendencies, which are found in a number of men and women, are also objectively disordered and, for those same people, often constitute a trial. Such persons must be accepted with respect and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. They are called to fulfil God's will in their lives and to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter [8].

In the light of such teaching, this Dicastery, in accord with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question [9], cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called "gay culture" [10].

Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women. One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies.

cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called "gay culture"

How then is Fr James Martin, or any priest who promotes the "gay culture" allowed to continue to infect the laity with their false doctrine and error?

Of course, James Martin isn't the only one:

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