Friday, 12 May 2017

Pray for Priests, Pray for Holy Priests

Some prominent dissident (that's what we used to call them before we became 'dissidents') Catholic priests and speakers should probably be simply ignored than given extra publicity but that is harder to do when they've just been promoted to the Vatican communications team in an age of instant communication.

Up to the period of the Church we can term 'March 2013 to the present day' a figure such as Fr James Martin S.J would be considered an annoyance or more likely an embarrassment for the Vatican. Now, he's been given a prestigious role in communicating the Gospel (according to Fr James Martin S.J) at, yes indeed, the Vatican.

As a chap with some same-sex experience under my belt, at the memory of which I blush, rather than boast, I find Fr James Martin S.J scandalous not because he is 'reaching out' to the 'LGBT community' or 'building bridges' with 'the LGBT community' (whatever that is) but rather because 'the bridge', once stepped upon by those being ministered to, does not appear to lead to the eternal Salvation that Jesus Christ offers to His flock.

Fr James Martin's latest video released on Facebook attacking his critics is a cringe-fest of epic proportions, but there is nobody now to restrain him. He's been set loose with Vatican approval to propagate his message at will and with the blessing of no less a figure than the Pope himself.

Fr Martin routinely makes controversial statements on Twitter and Facebook designed almost uniquely to both seduce the unfaithful or wavering and antagonise the faithful. I say 'almost uniquely' because this is actually a habit he shares with Pope Francis. But he's actually better at this than Francis. He's even more effective in ambiguity than his patron. Pictured below is the latest tweet that provoked many responses, some of which were critical on Facebook.

As with many Fr Martin quotes, an element of truth is  retained in order to propagate a greater untruth. One Walter Maczynski takes Fr Martin up on his 'bridge building' ideas by saying that no canonized Saints would be impressed by Fr Martin's reasoning. The reply comes as follows:

'Some of them were probably gay.'

Depending on what is meant by 'gay', if he simply means 'of a homosexual orientation' this is can be conceded to Fr Martin. If by 'gay' he means 'militantly set against the Church's teachings on human sexuality until death', then one may raise the question of how those souls may attain Salvation. Next comes...

'A certain percentage of humanity is gay.'

This is true. No problems here.

' were most likely some of the Saints'.

This is true. No problems here either. While we have no known Saints who embraced the homosexual lifestyle or who claimed the homosexual orientation, one can speculate that there are Saints in Heaven who were, note 'were', in modern parlance, 'gay'. The real problem comes here:

'You may be surprised when you get to heaven to be greeted by LGBT men and women.'

This is a sickening lie for two reasons.

Firstly, we can categorically say that the Saints in Heaven have been purified either on Earth or in Purgatory of all disordered affections and desires that may have afflicted them in their earthly exile. Enjoying the vision of God now, they care nothing for any 'identity' other than that glory which is theirs as those who behold the Triune God. Nor do they glory in themselves but in the eternal redemption won for them by their Lord, the merits of whose Passion and Resurrection gained their Salvation and with their co-operation claimed their place among the Elect of God.

To say that now there are 'LGBT men and women' in Heaven is to deny what Heaven is, as if the Saints consider within themselves such earthly cares as the intricacies or perversities of human sexuality they experienced on Earth while beholding now the Face of God. It would be to them like reminding a man madly in love with a woman that once he was terribly lonely. The loneliness is forgotten now. All he knows now is the love of his beloved.

If these men and women were 'gay' on Earth, they are only now 'gay' in Heaven in the sense that they are happy, more fulfilled, happier than we can know, because they enjoy God and see Him as He truly is. Fr Martin should recall that attraction to people of the same-sex such men and women will have considered a Cross or an affliction, rather than a noble thing of itself. And even those who persisted in a sinful lifestyle and gloried in it until the end, if they repented and sought Confession before death, even they who would be numbered among the reprobate, by making their Confession before death will have disowned those fleeting pleasures and attractions which they had hitherto gloried in. For the Saints, that which will have made them noble on Earth and will be their glory in Heaven will have been their resistance to their temptation and/or their penitence if they fell.

Secondly, it is bad enough for Fr James Martin to suggest that there exists within the Church Militant an 'LGBT community' since not only are we, in Christ Jesus, 'a new creation', but in Christ there is neither slave nor freeman, Jew or Greek, male or female, 'gay' or 'straight'. It is however a double insult - blasphemous indeed - to suggest that such a society exists in Heaven. There is only one Society in Heaven. Citizens of Heaven are precisely that. They are God's army of sons and daughters in the company of the Angels. There are no divisions there which unnecessarily mark, in an exterior fashion, the Church on Earth.

In truth, as St Augustine says in his work, 'City of God', there are but two 'communities'. There is the City of God and there is the City of Man. The Church in Heaven is nothing but the City of God. Those outside of the Church on Earth consist of the City of Man. The Church on Earth is composed of the two cities, one of which is on its way to the eternal dwelling of God's City in Heaven and even on Earth, if they die in God's grace are members and shall be members of that City in Heaven. This is the City of God.

St Augustine maintained that within the Church, too, is the City of Man, destined for Hell, composed of those who are called to be members of the City of God, but who by obstinacy in sin or sheer willfulness in error have fallen away from the City of God and will never see it if they die impenitent. This is true of every age until the End of Time. It is not possible to achieve, but it can be so that a man tries to have one foot in each city but he will have to eventually choose, since how he dies will determine to which City he will belong forever. If he dies impenitent, he can hope no more. If he dies penitent, he may hope to dwell eventually in that City where God reigns and joy is complete.

For most of my adult life, I have struggled and struggled with same-sex attraction but the most wonderful community I have found is not an 'LGBT community' at all. I found a Catholic parish, where I am fortunate to have found a very wise and very kind confessor and pastor and great friends. I have a wonderful wife who I love and consider myself fortunate in many ways. I have met and still meet many wonderful priests and religious. Online, there is much support and friendship also. I am so happy that the Lord led me into His Catholic Church and I know that this Church is the Ark of Salvation, where if I persevere in God's grace and strive with that grace to do His will, I can hope to receive the Eternal Life that Christ came to give me, but as for the 'LGBT men and women' of which Fr James Martin S.J speaks, I see none in the Church on Earth. I only see men and women, each struggling like myself with life, love, faith, sin, prayer, at times struggling with God, sometimes perhaps even against God. I do not see the eternal destiny of the community I go to Mass with, or my own, or anyone else's, but I know that the community to which I belong is called by the Lord to be a province in His City, where He reigns as King. May we help each other to reach the City which is above.

Which City will we all inhabit when all is made manifest? Let us pray for each other that we shall meet happily in Heaven. If I get there and Fr James Martin S.J is there, I will rejoice, but if he gets there, he will look for the 'LGBT men and women' in vain, since each one of them will have thrown off forever the garment of corruptibility and been clothed in a garment of immortality, righteousness, justice and holiness. There is only one community in which a man is known by his sin, the knowledge and despair of which torments him forever day and night. That community is Hell. May Fr James Martin S.J and all of us do all we can to avoid that City ourselves and never lead God's children to its gates. May the bridge that is extended by the Church to all men and all women regardless of their sexuality lead us to the City of Heaven and carry the warnings about sin and its consequences which are Christ's own. Without moral guidance, clear direction and exhortations to reject sin and embrace virtue, such a bridge cannot lead men to Eternal Salvation, since how will they find Heaven if nobody shows them the way?

If Fr James Martin S.J was a priest after the heart of Jesus Christ, his ministry could indeed be very fruitful, gathering in a harvest of penitent members of the 'LGBT community' who wish to be citizens of Heaven rather than denizens of Hell, those who desire to do away with the old man and put on the new, those who instead of championing their sexual deviancy and their temptations of the flesh wish to be heralds of the new Heavens and the new Earth, building a civilization of pure love and holy friendship - the kind of holy friendship available in many Catholic parishes.  Unfortunately, this does not appear to be what Fr James Martin is interested in doing. Many are being led astray along the broad road to destruction that Our Lord warned us about in the Gospels and Our Lady of Fatima warned us of in 1917. Pray that more of those who provoke the just anger of the Lord because of sexual impurity and sexual licence will find the true bridge to Salvation provided to the Faithful by good and holy priests who love Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother and wish others to discover the depth of love that God has for us and the love that God desires from us.

I would like to congratulate one such priest today, Fr Ray Blake, whose 33rd anniversary of Ordination to the Sacred Priesthood is today. May the Lord give him long life, many more years, good health and every grace in his ministry. Pray for him and pray for those clergy who wish to extend to poor sinners that bridge which is the bridge to Heaven, the bridge that is Jesus Christ Himself and Him crucified for love of us. May God raise up more priests who wish to make known the God of love and the love of God.


Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Watching this Papacy trying to do Doctrine is what one imagines it would be like watching an octopus trying to dead lift 500 lbs.

umblepie said...

A fine post,thank you. I hope that Fr Martin has the opportunity to read it.
Congratulations to Fr Blake on his priestly anniversary, I hope he is recovering well from his ill-health.
I'm not very familiar with Facebook, but is it possible to show your post there where he and others cannot miss it?
Best wishes.

Mary Kay said...

It would be great if your excellent post could be seen on Facebook. I would be happy to "like" it on my page. Thank you, Laurence, for keeping the Faith & sharing it.

Merryheart said...

Wow! Great spiritual insights, Bones! And you are spot-on, with charity, about poor Fr. Martin. You have truly encouraged me to persevere through life's unending struggles to reach, by God's grace, our Heavenly Home! Thank you, merryheart

BobBrookes said...

Thank you Laurence for a truely inspiring post from the heart. God Bless, Bob

Annie said...

Jesus' comment that there will be no males or females in Heaven was in response to being asked which of her seven husbands a woman would be married to in the next life. At the same time, we know that we retain our maleness and femaleness in Heaven - Mary appears as a woman; Moses and Elijah as men. How to solve the apparent paradox? It's my humble opinion that Christ is saying there will be no marriage - ergo, no sex - in Heaven. The time of pro-creation is no more when the New Heaven and the New Earth come about. Our Lord says we will be like angels in the way we relate to God and each other. Sounds nice.

raphaelheals said...

I was very impressed with the tone of this post. It brings home all the truths that are often missed due to so much cynicism. Thank you sir, and may God hold you under his wing in your trials. What a difference a holy priest can make in the life of a person when they, like a true father, tell them the hard and beautiful truths of God.

John Vasc said...

The moment Pope Francis referred rather vaguely to 'una persona gay', saying 'who am I to judge?' without clarifying 1) the vital difference between involuntary tendencies and sinful actions, 2) the law of chastity for all of us, or 3) the need for Confession, repentance and a firm purpose of amendment, I could sense we were in for a long period of verbal and moral confusion: a lot of it deliberately stirred up by such as Fr Martin.

And yet the during same recent period we've also seen the ordination of conspicuously holy and courageously orthodox young priests, in organisations such as FSSP: the clergy of the Ordinariate have also been a great enrichment. I pray for all men entering the priesthood, and more generally for all men and women plagued with temptations.

Anonymous said...

Matthew 22:30, Christ to the Sadducees.
'You are mistaken because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. In the resurrection, people will neither marry nor be given in marriage. Instead, they will be like angels in heaven.'
In his disputes with the Sadducees and Pharisees, the Lord Jesus Christ always refers to the Scriptures, never to 'tradition'.
Contrast Revelation with James Martin's carnal teaching.
He insists on defining human persons by their sexual orientation: 'Expect to be greeted in heaven by LBGT men and women.'
We can only enter into heaven and glory as saved sinners, washed in the blood of Jesus Christ.
Why then does James Martin speak so glibly?
I would suggest that his false teaching on sexuality rests on false theology.
I mean the 'nouvelle theologie' of the French theologians of the 1940s and 1950s, a theology that changed the very soul of Roman Catholicism.
In particular, the theology of Henri De Lubac, whose writings were held in suspicion during the pontificate of Pius XII, but promoted under the pontificate of John XXIII.
Lubac's theology, along with that of Yves Congar, was central to the Second Vatican Council.
(I am working through Congar's massive tome, 'My Journal of the Council' issued by Dominion Publications in 2012.)
Vatican II was also influenced by the ideas of Teilhard de Chardin.
Essentially this led to a new way of thinking about nature and grace, and departed from
the old Thomist theology.
While he is clear that fallen nature is not penetrated by supernatural grace, Henri De Lubac retains a more spiritual account of created nature than the later Thomists.
Some Thomists argued that in pure nature there is no natural desire for God.
Lubac argues for a strong 'desiderium naturale' in man.
Fallen nature, according to the New Theology, is now defined as being open to God, always looking for Him.
If nature is like this, then the Church can take an all-embracing view of human experience,
and of other cultures and religions.
In the thinking of James Martin, the Church can take an all-embracing view of human sexuality.
The buzz word is 'inclusive', and it embraces (even promotes) pan-sexuality.
The liberal Protestant churches are full of it.
The Church of Scotland has bought into this new 'inclusion' 100 per cent, and many of the evangelical ministers in the kirk have now departed.
The Italian Evangelical, Leonardo De Chirico, says that modernist Catholic thinking remains obsessively 'open'; and that it tends to keep opening up even more.
Rome has 'sufficient cognitive equipment' to hold contradictory theological positions, says Chirico.
This leads to moral confusion among the faithful.
(You can hear De Chirico on YouTube, 'Roman Catholicism Today' where he examines the thinking of Pope Francis.)
Incidentally, before Vatican 11, Henri De Lubac was removed from his teaching role and his books were removed from circulation.
In the same year, Pius XII issued Humani Generis, an attack on Lubac's ideas.
But under John XIII, Lubac was made a peritus of the Council.
Paul VI made him a member of the Theological Commission.
John Paul II made Henri De Lubac a cardinal.
Perhaps a red hat awaits James Martin.
It is a very disturbing thought.
'Holy and orthodox priests' are needed more than ever as John Vasc says (above comment).
Also needed are the prayers of lay Catholics.
The Rosary, above all.
J Haggerty

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