Fr. James Martin is Not Telling the Truth About the Church’s Teaching on Sexuality

In this Nov. 19, 2014, file photo, Fr. James Martin speaks onstage at the 2nd Annual Save The Children Illumination Gala at the Plaza in New York City.

By Jennifer Hartline Published on January 6, 2018

Fr. James Martin has gone from obscuring Catholic teaching on human sexuality to distorting it. See, for instance, a recent interview he gave while at Misericordia University.

Pouring lemon juice on the cut, he also implicated the truth of Church teaching in the high suicide rate among “LGBT” youth. Here is what he said on the Catechism’s description of homosexual acts being “disordered.”

[Interviewer] Well, the people who’ve seen your book or know something about you are complaining that you want to rewrite some of the Catechism to differently ordered, can you speak about that?

[Martin] Yeah, well part of the Catechism says that homosexual people are objectively disordered; their actions are objectively disordered and they themselves are intrinsically disordered. And so basically what I’m saying in the book is you know we need to look at how that language is received by people and heard by people and basically all I’m saying is that there are several bishops who said that that wording needs to be looked at. And now imagine someone telling you — you are intrinsically disordered, I mean how would that make you feel? … I mean LGBT youths are five times, five times more likely to attempt suicide than straight kids. Five times.”

What the Catechism Actually Says

Nowhere in any of its 2,865 paragraphs does the Catechism of the Catholic Church say that any individual person or group of people is disordered.

What Fr. Martin misstates is this: “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”‘ CCC 2357

Homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. Not the person. Fr. Martin also fails to ever mention why the Church teaches that these acts are disordered, because that reasoning doesn’t help his cause.

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He says his goal is to see the wording of the Catechism changed so as not to sound so insulting, so offensive. But different words are not just different words. They result in a different meaning.

‘Differently Ordered’ is not the Truth

Fr. Martin believes the Catechism should call homosexual acts “differently ordered” instead of intrinsically disordered. Such a rephrasing changes everything. Suddenly, homosexual sex is just another expression of human sexuality, and one that God surely intended from the very beginning.

If same-sex sex is just a “different” type of sexual intercourse, then it ceases to be sinful. It can no longer be seen as immoral, or even as contrary to natural law. We must accept it as equal to the marital act. Which leads us to marriage: It also means same-sex “marriage” can no longer be opposed.

The trouble is, it makes God unreasonable. Sex between two men or two women has no biological purpose and can never bear any fruit. God created every aspect of our physical nature with a purpose, and He designed the human person, male and female, to bear fruit.

It’s absurd to insist that God creates some people with a sexual inclination that renders their reproductive system useless. It makes God either irrational or idiotic.

Male and female were made for each other, and our physical bodies affirm this in every way. At the risk of being indelicate, the only reasonable pairing for the male sex organ is the female sex organ. Anything else requires misusing the human body in ways it was never designed for.

To now insist that God creates some people with a sexual inclination that renders their reproductive systems useless is absurd. It makes God either irrational or idiotic.

Time to Own the Truth

Fr. Martin surely knows this, but he won’t own it. Perhaps because that would shatter his façade of being faithful to Church teaching. What he wants contradicts the revealed truth about marriage and the human person. It’s time he was made to own it and stop using his fuzzy, feel-good propaganda to confuse and mislead people.

Jesus Christ said that the truth of His Word shall set us free. (John 8:32) What Fr. Martin is selling is chains. He seems to think God’s design for marriage and human sexuality is a millstone around people’s necks. Or, that the Church has been duped for all these years, but now he’s finally here to set things right.

Whatever the case, he is not telling the truth about the Church’s real teaching on sexuality.

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  • JP

    The catechism is correct and so is the Scripture. The health issues related to the practice of homosexual sex also concurs.

  • Morenowthanever

    Heretics are incapable of the Truth. They will go to any length to spread their delusional thought. What happens to such a soul in today’s church? He is promoted not only by his superiors but by the Vatican itself. Tells us all we need to know about this Vatican and any so-called “cleric” who supports him.

  • Elizabeth Litts

    There is a warning in the book of Revelation about people who add to or take away from Scritpure–and for false teachers.

  • ImaginaryDomain

    It’s unfortunate that this particular exchange was used to highlight Fr. Martin’s fallacious teaching. We are all, in fact, “intrinsically disordered”. It is our fallen nature. Homosexuality is just one of many, many ways in which our sinful nature manifests and draws us away from God. (See, e.g., Mark 7:21, 1 Cor. 6:9-10). And so the Church’s teaching on this should be all inclusive – we ALL fall woefully short in the eyes of God.

    With that said, Fr. Martin’s other numerous statements on this subject are just downright deceptive on the topic of the gender freakshow we’re witnessing across all of society. And the worst part is, Fr. Martin is implicitly telling people that THAT sin doesn’t really matter; that there’s no need to keep fighting sinful homosexuality. This, in my view, makes Fr. Martin the very type of teacher Jesus himself warned us about. (See, e.g., Rev. 2:20)

    • Jennifer Hartline

      Hmm, I have to disagree a bit. We are fallen, yes, and our human nature has been fractured by sin, yes. But we are not, as human persons, intrinsically disordered.
      In this case, the inclination towards sexual relations with one of the same sex is disordered. Meaning, it is wrongly ordered. It is not ordered correctly, toward the purpose for which God made human sexuality. But that disorder is not meant to define or identify the person.

      • ImaginaryDomain

        Agree that homosexuality is wrongly ordered. But so is hetero adultery, sodomy, thievery, drunkeness, pride, boastfulness, etc. My point is that we Christians cannot single one sin out, as if homosexuality is “special” or “different”. We are all scewed-not just a little and not some more than others. All of us.

        • Jennifer Hartline

          Agree that we cannot single out one sin, as you said. However, the sin of adultery is not wrongly ordered in the same way as homosexual sex. It is a grave sin, of course, but still not disordered in the same manner. We cannot lose sight of that fact. Homosexual sex is completely unnatural and immoral, under any circumstances. Nothing can ever make it good or right. Sex between a man and a woman is not unnatural, and CAN be a good and moral act under the right circumstances.
          Just drawing a distinction.

          • ImaginaryDomain


        • Chris C.

          Indeed those matters all reflect disorders. However, no one is advocating for the Church to change its teachings except for those dissenters seeking to “mainstream” the LGBT lifestyle. At least no yet anyway.

  • Patmos

    “I mean LGBT youths are five times, five times more likely to attempt suicide than straight kids. Five times.”

    How about telling them the gospel, you wretch. You know, the one of repentance unto grace, and grace unto power. Or maybe you think Jesus didn’t say to go forth and sin no more?

  • Patricia Fraide

    Every time I read something about Fr. Martin, I’m more and more concerned not with what he’s says no, as wrong as it is in every way. What concerns me more is why he is permitted to keep on promoting these things and the Vatican stays silent!

  • Kathy

    Yet again, this man and the Vatican prove that relying on and putting complete faith and trust in ANY clergy is a futile practice unless what they say and do aligns with God-breathed Scripture.

  • Kat re

    “It’s absurd to insist that God creates some people with a sexual inclination that renders their reproductive system useless. It makes God either irrational or idiotic.” Im not as well studied as Fr Martin, or experienced, but his thinking is flawed for yet another reason. He misses a HUGE fact: infertility in spouses. Is God irrational because one of the spouse’s reproductive sysmtem’s was “rendered useless”? As someone struggling with infertility, I knew that such type of thinking came straight from hell. I find it hard to believe as a priest he has no insight into the truth about marriage.

    • Jennifer Hartline

      Kat, God bless you, and I pray your desire for a child will be satisfied in His perfect time.
      We have to be careful, though. The “LGBT” community would indeed love to claim “infertility” for two men or two women together, so that insurance will pay for “fertility” treatments, and to further cement the idea that their union is equal to a husband and wife, and of course because they feel they “deserve” to have a family by whatever means necessary. This is absurd and offensive. Of course two men are infertile together. That’s not a defect or an illness — it’s biological design. It’s insulting to married couples to say that gay “infertility” is the same thing. But that’s the road we’re on.
      It’s the family unit itself that is being dismantled and redesigned with the un-definition of marriage. Children bear the heaviest burden and pay the highest cost.

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