Fr. James Martin is Creating Chaos in Catholic Circles

By John Zmirak Published on September 17, 2017

You might not follow inside Catholic baseball. I wouldn’t blame you. Lately it has recalled the infamous 1962 Mets, who won only 40 games while losing 120. Their manager, Casey Stengel, famously asked the team, “Can’t anybody here play this game?”

But the latest wild pitch and lost game are important, both to Catholics and other Christians.

There’s a famous, media-savvy priest, James Martin. He’s the kind of man whom Martin Scorcese calls up to consult on movies like Silence. Martin appears on Stephen Colbert, mocking conservatives and roguishly giving the heavy metal “devil horns” salute. He serves as a special advisor to Pope Francis. All this, while he’s pitching himself to the rich and aggressive LGBT lobby as their champion inside the church.

Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me

But he’s also expert at casting himself as a persecuted victim. Criticize him for any of his nasty statements, and you’ll see that. Point out that he encouraged a priest to develop pre-marriage materials for same-sex couples. Or that he thinks it’s fine for gay couples to kiss during the “sign of peace” at Mass. Or that he incessantly undermines and mocks the timeless Jewish-Christian tradition on sexual morality, while winking at serious evil. Then you’ll see him over on the fainting couch, pretending that he’s been bullied.

He’s very good at this act. And media, both liberal Catholic and secular, eat it up like popcorn. Two weeks ago, Martin responded to critics at the website CatholicVote by pretending that their criticisms amounted to threats of violence. He even got them suspended from Twitter. When prolife activist Austin Ruse mocked this act of schoolgirl snitching and lying by calling it “pansified,” Martin cast himself as the victim of homophobic bullying.

But when he has the whip hand, Martin’s not ashamed to “out” dead priests and insinuate that his faithful Christian critics are latently homosexual. He encourages other priests to “come out,” but when observers ask him about his own sexuality, he coyly declines to comment.


First Things Senior Editor Matthew Schmitz points out that Martin and his allies tried to silence him by contacting his employer when he criticized Martin’s book.

And now Martin is preening as the victim of an attack on campus free speech. And media are spooning their readers Martin’s latest martyr narrative.

The Official Seminary of America’s Official Catholic University

Here’s what happened: A year ago, before Martin had “come out” as a leader of the revolt against the timeless, unalterable Christian teaching on sexual love and chastity, he got an invitation. The group was the Catholic seminary for training priests affiliated with the Catholic University of America (CUA). That university is special even among Catholic institutions. It’s chartered by the pope. Its leaders are appointed by the U.S. Catholic bishops. Its theology and philosophy teachers must take vows to champion Catholic teaching. Once a year, every Catholic parish in the country has a special collection to raise money for CUA.

Nobody who takes a job there is under any illusions. There isn’t and shouldn’t be the same academic freedom available at secular universities, much less public colleges paid for by tax money. The First Amendment exists to protect the right of schools like Catholic University to be authentically Catholic. If you don’t like it, go enroll or apply to teach someplace else. Maybe some place that doesn’t pass the basket in parishes nationwide in the name of advancing official church teaching.

Liberal Catholics want it both ways. They want the legal exemptions that come with working at a religious institution. They certainly want alumni and other Catholics to dig deep and donate. But they don’t want to play by the rules the church imposes.

But liberal Catholics want it both ways. They want the legal exemptions that come with working at a religious institution. They certainly want alumni and other Catholics to dig deep and donate. But they don’t want to play by the rules the Church imposes. Some of them, like Martin, want to rewrite the rules.


Many faithful Catholics oppose this arrangement. So a few dogged online commentators started a public controversy about the invitation. That was easy since Martin has made the media rounds as the poster boy for the LGBT cause. So the College, overseen by the Sulpician order, changed course. It announced that it was rescinding Martin’s invitation. Rather than stand on principle, though, it implied that it had no problems with Martin’s views. No, it was simply trying to avoid the needless controversy provoked by online conservative activists.

So Catholic University weighed in, noting it was a shame that public anger deterred the college from having Martin speak. Some conservative Catholic academics also weighed in, comparing the backlash to Martin to violent attacks on free speech by conservatives at public universities like UC Berkeley.

Not Really a Free Speech Issue

Now the Washington Post and the New York Times are echoing that narrative. They’re painting as censors the faithful Catholics who complained that Martin was being honored with a featured public lecture. Meanwhile, Martin is waving around his credentials and authority. He’s pointing out that his religious superiors have no problems with his views. Nor apparently does Pope Francis, who still keeps him as an advisor. It’s just those awful “right-wing” Catholics on the Internet, those dangerous bullies!

Like I said, it’s the 1962 Mets. Except it’s not funny. The official seminary of the official university of the Catholic church was well within its rights to withdraw its platform to Martin, in light of the views he’s espoused. It could have said so. Instead, it said it was giving in to the heckler’s veto.

Do the leaders of the Theological College really think Martin’s views are authentically Catholic? Then they shouldn’t have disinvited him. Nor should they have blamed their decision on criticism by Catholics.

What Should Have Happened

The College should have responded to the outcry of faithful Catholics by listening to them. (Build a bridge!) Then it should have turned Martin’s speech into a debate or a forum. There are plenty of theologians and philosophers at CUA who don’t think gay partners should kiss at Mass. They should have found one of them. Then they would have turned the evening from a lovefest for dissenters into a real academic exchange. No one would have mistaken the event as an endorsement of Martin’s views. If Martin backed out, then we would have seen him as the one who wanted to suppress debate. Who will only speak before friendly audiences that will coo and caw whenever he strokes their distorted worldviews.

But why blame administrators at a seminary? The Jesuits should order Martin to stop airing his dissenting views. If they won’t, Pope Francis should demand it. Every Jesuit takes a special vow of obedience to the pope. Make them follow it.

Then maybe faithful Catholics with websites wouldn’t be so angry, dispirited, and disillusioned.

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  • Jim Walker

    We don’t need to look any further where the stink comes from.

    • Ed of Ct.

      Stench streching from.Martin all.of the way to the top of the Jesuits to the Vatican itself. Shocking as to the vile homosexual drug addicted orgies there in it’s hallowed Halls….. Lord have mercy on them when they go.before Jesuits founders and the holy Trinity at their final judgement. Those in the Vatican and Jesuits etc. ,will be like the oppressor of the beggar Lazarus. Burning on.hell and confounded as to how they got there into hellfire.

  • Aliquantillus

    Indeed: “The Jesuits should order Martin to stop airing his dissenting views. If they won’t, Pope Francis should demand it. Every Jesuit takes a special vow of obedience to the pope. Make them follow it.” But what if the Jesuits, including the Pope, are all on Martin’s side?

    • Alfy

      Th the head of the Jesuit order support him and his views. Didn’t he write a positive review for his book ?
      Not that any of that matters , no matter how many support him I will hold firm to the truth that was passed down to me.

    • john

      The Jesuits love all the orgies with Bergoglio, Ricca, and company at Casa Santa Marta…just about all of them are on Martin’s side.

  • Linda

    It’s hard to accept that the Catholic seminary for training priests doesn’t need a total shakedown in light of the long history of rampant pedophilia in the church. The institution probably does need to be born again.

    • Rclifton

      Agree, except it is not pedophilia…it is male homosexual boy rape!

  • Morenowthanever

    The fact that someone who cares more of his “opinion” than the teachings of Christ, as defined for Catholics by the Catholic Church for two thousand years, was invited in the first place shows the diabolical existence in that Seminary. One does not have a dialogue with the devil unless one is making every attempt to justify false teaching. Unfortunately, this is precisely what this Pope is doing so, indeed, Fr. Martin is in fact showing his “loyalty to this Pope”. Thus the un-recognized Schism within the Catholic Church continues – all under the pretense of “dialogue”.

  • c me once

    Martin is disgusting and has no business speaking anywhere on Catholic theology when he knows nothing of it! I am sick and tired of the likes of him getting way more attention then they deserve! Throw him out and prove that this type of behavior is not condoned. Unfortunately, my fear is that this pope is one and the same.

  • MariaBernardita Gloria de Dios

    I openly declare myself against what Father James Martin SJ, could preach regarding homosexuality and issues related to the subject.

    • john

      He (Martin) probably enjoys the rooms at Casa Santa Marta with Bergoglio, Msgr. Ricca, and company! Nasty men.

  • Ed Straw

    It is not impossible to be a devout Catholic and not consider Francis as your leader. It wouldn’t be the first time Catholics kept the faith despite what a pope says. God’s laws are non-negotiable–although everyone will eventually have the opportunity to make their argument about why God is wrong to God himself.

    • john

      Bergoglio is an anti-pope, Benedict XVI is pope. His abdication was illegal. Bergoglio is a putrid pervert who hates the Church, someone doing everything in his power to destroy it.

      • Stilbelieve

        There is some evidence that Benedict’s removal and Francis’ replacing him were orchestrated in some degree by President Obama. It had to do with money; U.S funding to some program in the Vatican was cut off for a while leading up to Benedict stepping down, and restarted the day after Francis was elected. I think Congress should look into that, after looking into the FBI, the IRS, the killing of our Ambassador and 3 military personal in Libya, and Hillary’s emails and computer.

        • samton909

          No, Bigfoot was behind it all

          • Beth Van

            Makes as much sense as the other.

  • hockeyCEO

    Well done. Great article

  • kiwiinamerica

    It’s no coincidence whatsoever that Martin has begun this full-on assault on Catholic moral teaching during the current pontificate. He knows the lavender mafia in Rome and within the Jesuit order itself, have his back. He’s kryptonite and untouchable. In fact, I think it’s quite possible that Martin has been given this mission by some of the shirtlifters further up the hierarchy.

    Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, news comes through that another homosexual, Msgr John Mraz, has just been thrown in the pokey for possession of child pornography.

    Faggotry is the bane of Catholicism.

    • Ed of Ct.

      Vatican envoy to USA bwas ousted for child pornography. As Kazach bishops have stayed smoke of Satan has infected the Vatican and most of the Jesuits order.

  • John

    Well its to bad Fr. Martin was not exposed to pope John Paul II’s theology of the Body. Most people don’t realize this but Jesus was crucified naked ; God willingly let himself be humiliated so we we no longer have to be ashamed. His body and blood truly redeemed human sexuality and showed us how good we all are. Too good for sex outside of marriage. Too good for what FR Martin recommends. Too good for every path the world has to offer that ends in brokeness. FR Martin remember this;when all the Lords friends abandoned him when he needed them the most , his mother was there! At the foot of the cross , her son marred beyond human appearance , his body and blood changing human nature and the world. Fr. Martin don’t abandon the lord when he needs u the most , let our lady take u back to the cross where grace began bc God was helpless and naked for us. Please everyone lets pray this for Fr. Martin!

    • Beth Van

      I’m quite sure Fr. Martin was exposed to Theology of the Body and rejected it. Hard to believe he would have been able to miss it.

  • Jesuits in America will never censor Fr Martin, because Jesuits in America are part of the anti-Matrimony gay lobby.

  • catholic apologist

    Very well written sir. Make God continue to bless you (and all faithful Catholics) with clarity and courage. Jesus is separating the sheep and goats. Won’t be long.

    In Christ

  • chriscas

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for that rebuke from Pope Francis, I’m sorry to say! The world’s going to hell and some elements of the church want to join it! Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison

  • Michael Stephens

    Shouldn’t he be excommunicated publicly teaching error as a member of the Catholic clergy. Or at least censured/sensored.

    • mollysdad

      This sodomite heretic is already excommunicated, latae sententiae.

  • Rclifton

    Jesuit = anti-Catholic…that simple!

  • ela22

    There seems to be a real lack of interest in authentic, actual debate on real issues these days. It’s all about “feelings” instead of facts. While the Jesuits used to be an order to be admired because of their devotion to academic learning, lately they’ve taken to championing the Social Justice Warriors and perpetual victim class. For Fr. Martin (and others in his vein, i.e. Fr. McShane of Fordham University) to so openly flout the catechism and centuries of Catholic dogma is offensive to the Catholics who have struggled so hard to abide by the same catechism. Not that I’m someone who is going to criticize a priest for not holding his hands at the right height during the Consecration, but I do believe that issues such as the LGBTQ question need to be addressed in a clear, no-nonsense way by the Vatican. The catechism and other teachings say that premarital sex (of any kind) is wrong because the sex act is a procreative one and should be confined to heterosexual married persons. *Being* homosexual is not sinful. *Acting* on homosexual impulses is sinful. Being heterosexual is not sinful. *Acting* on heterosexual impulses outside of marriage is sinful. So, encouraging homosexual couples to kiss during Mass is encouraging the acting out of or engaging in homosexual impulses. That is wrong. That is leading others to sin. Fr. Martin ought to be censured and the censuring organizations ought to be up-front and honest about why he is receiving the censure.

    • Linda Stanford

      Very well stated–thank you!

  • BXVI

    Can there be any doubt that Martin and Francis are on exactly the same page?

    Most people are quite naïve. They think Amoris Laetitia was about communion for the divorced and remarried. I suppose it was, but only incidentally. The real objective, which has been dreamed of and planned by the St. Gallen Group and their fellow travelers for decades as they chafed under the pontificates of St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI, is the normalization of active homosexual relationships. The logic is inexorable: communion for adulterers leads inevitably to communion for sodomites. And, for that matter, to communion for active fornicators, polyamorists, pederasts, and even those engaged in incest. There will be no sexual sin that can separate one from communion with the Church, given enough “discernment” and the use of the “conscience” to deceive oneself that this is actually what God is calling you to do in the “complexity” of your “concrete situation.”

    • Faith of Our Fathers

      Anyone with any moral sense can see that this is the case .This Pope to me is not even a Catholic. A Catholic Pope follows Christ and protects Christs Church. He follows his Freemason Masters and sends disciples such as Mr Martin out into the Battle Field to create chaos the tool of Satan. We are not deceived Martin we know your ways as you follow your Master a Wolf in Sheep Clothing. If this World does not destroy itself within the next 10 year. Homosexuality will not be normal it will be compulsory. Pedophiles will be the ones Parading in the Streets and Homosexuals will be calling them immoral. Will I be wrong. If anyone had said 10 years ago that people of the same sex would be getting married we would have laughed at them.

  • chrisinva

    1960s: “Leave us alone, we just want to do our own thing in private.”

    Catholic bishops: Yes, most sexual sins are committed in private, we know, we hear Confessions.

    1980s: “We demand we flaunt our sins in public, even if they harm public health.”

    Catholic bishops: Isn’t Reagan terrible?

    2002: Most child rape by clerics was “homosexual in nature,” but don’t blame it on the (sad) fact that, as USCCB president Wilton Gregory put it, “”it is an ongoing struggle to make sure the Catholic priesthood is not dominated by homosexual men.”

    Catholic bishops: Shame on the abusers – but the bishops are OK, they thought it was psychological not moral.

    2017: “We demand we flaunt our objectively sinful lives not only in public but before the altar where Christ resides. We want to drive that nail even deeper into the Cross, right in front of Him!”

    Catholic bishops: Isn’t Trump terrible?

    • Stilbelieve

      “Catholic bishops: Shame on the abusers – but the bishops are OK, they thought it was psychological not moral.”

      I’m not one to come to the aid of the bishops but in this one case I will. The bishops were right, “it was a psychological….” thing. In fact, before 1985 such behavior was not criminal in the U.S., it was thought of as a psychological disorder and the Psychiatric Association of the U.S had jurisdiction as to how to deal with it, and they recommended counseling. So counseling was the only avenue available for the bishops to deal with such persons. However, starting in around 1985, people who had been affected by such objectionable behavior started forming grassroots organizations to seek legislation to criminalize it. I worked in the district office of a conservative CA State Assemblyman, and we were contacted by a group called SLAM – Stronger Legislation Against Molesters. They had data showing that all the followup studies on such people after counseling showed no change in behavior, and insisted they be treated as criminals. Over the next 5 years, efforts were made to criminalize it in every state; By 1990, all states treated it as a criminal act. Along with that came the lawsuits from people who were abused 10, 15, 20, 30+ years, and the bishops of those times only had counseling as the approved response.

      So, I give the overwhelming number of bishops who handled such incidents with counseling forgiveness because they were only following the professional approved resolution for such problems. Bishops in office after 1990 had to learn do handle any such problem with lawyers and the legal system, which can be, forgive me, touchy.

      • chrisinva

        Thanks for your note. I strongly disagree.

        Regarding Psychiatric Association of the U.S., read Robert Reilly’s “Making Gay OK” about how activist and active homosexuals took over the organization in the 70s.

        Regarding “not criminal before 1985 in the US” – are you kidding? Child rape was *legal* before 1985? Preposterous. Rape is rape, and, like murder, many states didn’t bother to “define” the capital crime, they merely legislated the punishment(s) for it – invariable severe.

        You mention an “it” as being made illegal after 1985. If “it” wasn’t rape, what was “it”?

        As for bishops: Cdl. Mahony spent a cool billion $$ staying off the stand until the statute of limitations ran out. He then defied his successor, who rebuked him and removed him from public ministry. “I’m a cardinal, so I’m above the Church law too!”

        Yes we forgive, even the most vile. But a *majority* of the bishops meeting in Dallas in 2002 were guilty of aiding, abetting, harboring, and/or enabling abusers. That they did not quit was the greater scandal, because (as they continually recite), “only a tiny percentage of priests abused.”

        Note that they *voted* on TV (!!!) to exempt themselves from their own charter. And when one made a motion that they study the causes of the scandals (ordaining active gays, perhaps?), his motion didn’t even get a second.

        They didn’t want to know. And to this day, as 30 million (still living – and untold millions who have died) Americans call themselves “ex-Catholics,” they are still silent, instead intent on importing new poblaciones for the pews in the churches that haven’t been closed or sold to developers yet.

        Sorry – no sale. I write out of respect for your charitable note, but charity requires truth, and our bishops don’t seem to want to admit it.

        • Seamrog

          That was not a charitable note. It was intentionally misleading.

          • chrisinva

            Facts are stubborn. And all the above facts are public, however much the bishops choose to ignore them publicly. Remember, we must be grateful that the bishops are not the Church. The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ.

        • Zmirak

          Not just a majority. TWO THIRDS. If it weren’t for the Boston Globe and other secular journalists, this never would have been fixed. Remember that when bishops expect you to defer when they tell you how to run the country.

      • Seamrog

        Shame on you.

  • Bridgeport Cookie

    Others serve God , Jesuits condescend to advise Him.

  • cestusdei

    I have seen how dissenting Catholics treated others back in the day. I have no sympathy for him because I know what he would do to me if he had the chance. He is a wolf in shepherds clothing.

  • campus minister

    Fr. Martin has been forbidden by his superiors to reveal his sexuality. When and if this happens, none of us will be surprised. While Francis would not agree with Jim on this issue, they are on the same side in trying to tear down the vision of the Church set forth by Popes JP II and Benedict. Francis is not a bright man but he’s politically savvy. He is more concerned about power and destroying the legacy of previous popes than building an authentic Catholic vision for the Church.

    • rvhdpal

      First correction. Pope Francis is a smart man. He is not theologically different from the two previous popes. He expresses catholic teaching differently. I think of Cardinal Dolan description. John Paul was the soul of the church, Benedict the mind, and Francis the heart. Second he is far from seeking power since he is making efforts to consult frequently with his cardinals, bishops and other appointees. Even divesting some of the centralized control of the Curia. Catholics are notorious for turning on one another. It grieves me to say this but American Catholics are the least Christian with one another.

  • Mac

    SIMPLE: Fr. Martin is a demon from hell doing the bidding of the devils pope (Francis) … both are doing their best to drag souls to hell with them! …. Martin, Francis … repent before it is too late ……

  • Karen Patota

    Agreed – the Pope and his order should rebuke him publicly.

  • John Doman

    I got a better idea: dissolve the Society of Jesus. For the last 50 years the Jesuits have been a constant source of heresy, dissension and opposition to Church teachings. Time for them to go.

  • h2oplyer7

    I love Father Martin. The author and his gang of followers sound sad and upset they aren’t as smart as Fr Martin. Lol.

  • winslow

    John Zmirak is an excellent writer and usually a clear thinker. What makes him think the Pope, who elevated Martin to the position of lap dog advisor at the Vatican, will now demand the Jesuits order Martin to cease and desist?

    • GW

      Why would they do that? Martin does nothing against Church doctrine, and people like you, reluctant to give up your cherished convenient scapegoats, do nothiing for the Church.

  • GW

    Zmirak knows better than this…at some point, people like him are going to have to choose politics or their Faith.

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