Lindsay Lohan & Jesus Christ

You know, from time to time, I have more conservative Catholics give me a hard time for linking (or referencing) the Jesuit priest and writer, Fr. James Martin.

James is a Jesuit, so by definition, yes, he is going to be a little more left-of-center than me on some things, but those who would dismiss him as a far-leftist, or -more importantly- as anything but obedient and loving of the church wherein he works, and the Lord he serves, risks exposing himself or herself as uninformed and a bit shrunken-in-spirit. In his writing, in his many appearances with Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert (where he is always the gentle voice of Catholic orthodoxy) Martin has proved himself to be a very good ambassador for the church in venues where Catholics are not exactly beloved.

Fr. James is also one of the kindest gentlemen and most enthusiastic, generous, joyful and Christ-loving priests I have ever known. His serene joy is, I think, a powerful witness to the abundant graces and blessings that may be found in a life dedicated to Christ and obedient to him.

He brings his mildness, and his passionate love for Jesus into this gentle but pointed admonishment of Lindsay Lohan, who is doing what those celebrities and cultural elitists who aspire to being thought “edgy” will predictably do as Lent and Easter approach:


Wow. No one has ever sexualized Jesus before! (Eyeroll)

Writes Martin:

Many Catholics are outraged. Bill Donohue, my friend at the Catholic League, said, “Not only is the pose inappropriate, the timing is offensive: Lent begins next week. Lohan, an ex-Catholic who is spiritually homeless, recently said, ‘I’m all about Karma…what goes around comes around.’ If she believes that, then it behooves her to apologize to Christians before it’s too late.” . . .My take on it is that it is once again a cheap grab at publicity by both the magazine and the star. And really, does she think she’s Jesus? Or is somehow like Jesus? Let’s take a look at how their records stack up. Consider:

Linday made her debut as a child prodigy at age 11 in “The Parent Trap.” Jesus made his debut at age 12 in the Temple when his parents were looking for him.

Lindsay starred in “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen.” Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Confession, and is the King of Kings.

Lindsay is followed by crowds of paparazzi who hang on her every move. Jesus was followed by crowds of people who hung on his every word.

Lindsay starred in “Herbie: Fully Loaded,” about a car that becomes human. Jesus is God become man.

Lindsay was arrested for drunk driving by the Beverly Hills police and was guilty. Jesus was arrested for sedition by the Roman police and was innocent.

Lindsay is a “triple threat” in Hollywood: a singer, a dancer and an actor. Jesus is a member of the Holy Trinity.

Lindsay has recorded for Universal Music. Jesus is the King of the Universe.

Lindsay released a self-tanning product in collaboration with Sephora, and was the face of the Fornarina, an Italian clothing line. Jesus visited the Roman town of Sepphoris in Galilee, and is the face of God.

Do yourself a favor: read it all. Watch Martin make this a teachable moment for Lohan, and for us, by building a deceptively lightweight exposition of all that Lohan is not, all that Jesus is, all that she could be, and then -masterfully, and with a witty play on words- deliver a serious message, with serious instruction.

All done with a smile, and consigning no one to anything but hope in Christ. As they say in Brooklyn, “it’s a beautiful thing!”

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Elizabeth K.

    Fr. Martin is a wonderful writer. I suppose his style is not for everyone, but people shouldn’t confuse casual style for lack orthodoxy. I love his book about the saints. Thanks for posting this.

  • Carl Eppig

    If Father Martin is indeed a friend of Bill Donohue, he can’t be as bad as some people think.

  • Momma K

    In all honesty, this looks like a sad cry to be noticed by Lindsay Lohan. More misguided than malicious, she seems like a lost soul.

    Again and again I think back to the Sisters on Oprah and see the contrast between the Star who supposedly has everything (Oprah or in this case Lohan) and the Sisters who have given up material things for the Eternal.

    I wish the young women of today saw more of those Sisters. The impact would be nuclear.

  • Nick Chapello

    I could be called a ‘conservative’ or ‘traditional’ Catholic; I prefer Roman. I even assist at the ‘old’ Mass.

    I am thankful that I have been able to read the works of Fr Martin. I have learned and grown from his work.

    PS- Keep the links and referencing coming. Thank you

  • Sarah P

    As someone who usually gets very riled up about such things, I appreciate Fr. Martin’s humorous approach to putting it all back into perspective. Thank you for this post.

  • Joe

    Great piece. The Jesuits may lean left in some issues, but they’re as capable as any of being staunch defenders of the Church and sacred doctrine. Just one thing: the Romans crucified Christ, but wasn’t it the Sanhedrin who arrested Him?

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/KnightOwl2006#g/u Tempus_Fugit

    If these celebrities and artists were as edgy and daring as they think, let them take a swipe at Mohammed and see what happens. Mocking Christians is as safe as it gets. It got old and boring a long time ago.

  • http://6degreesofprep.blogspot.com/ Dave Gibboni

    I’m flabbergasted that anyone could be offended by Jim Martin. One just has to read what he’s written. Having done so, one would only conclude that he’s not only orthodox, but a clear voice of Roman Catholicism in a noisy world.

  • mary

    Amen.

  • Lauri Friesen

    Anchoress:

    Do those Catholics who express displeasure about Fr. Martin identify themselves as “conservative”? If that is your label, rather than their own, could you explain why you use it? I wouldn’t like to think that you, too, subscribe to the notion that the Catholic Church is just another political organization, with its own factions, rather than the body of Christ, with all its various and diverse members contributing to everyone’s understanding and learning of what it means to be a Christian.

    [In fact, Lauri, yes, some of them DO refer to themselves as either "conservative" or "traditionalist" Catholics. One of them told me that if I had any problem with his opinions I should "take it up with Father Z," which I suppose one could reasonably interpret as a self-identifying conservative Catholic. I would love to believe that Catholics would all refuse to bring their political identities into their religious identities but unfortunately, it's not always the case. There are, in fact, some Catholics who take great pains not to allow their politics and religion to meld. There are others who make a point to tell me that they are either "more conservative" than I am, or "more liberal." Take that as you want. I take people at their words, mostly! Interestingly, both the self-indentifying "conservatives" and "progressives" think I'm pretty stupid and partly responsible for either the intellectual dumbing down of the church or its spiritual shrinking. :-) -admin]

  • Jeff

    I like Fr. Martin but he really dropped the ball on the Obama/Notre Dame fiasco.

  • Myssi

    I’m a Protestant so I must by definition be “more liberal” in my theology than Fr. Martin, but I like his take on this photo. While I don’t like the picture and I’m fairly sure that Lohan did it for attention, I am completely certain that God didn’t send me to Earth to judge her.
    I agree with Tempus Fugit about “edgy” art depicting Muhammed. However, I can’t say that I blame Lohan for playing it safe and offending Christians; I’m rather attached to my own head, too, although I would have tried not to offend anyone myself.

  • c matt

    Lindsay is followed by crowds of paparazzi who hang on her every move.

    Ha. She wishes. They only pay attention to her when everything else is slow. Such a shame – she is an attractive young lady and not untalented. If only she could use her talents for good.

  • MasterThief

    I don’t know who these “conservative” Catholics are, but they’re only depriving themselves of good priests. Remember that “whoever is not against us is for us.” I’m a (small-c) conservative, and yet I found a wonderful home in a Jesuit parish. (Full Disclosure: I went to a Jesuit university. Probably ruined for life. And happy about it.)

    Also, Fr. Martin’s Homily for last All Saints Day is one of my all-time favorites.

  • Gail F

    I really like Fr. Martin’s writings. Sometimes he’s more liberal than I would wish, but hey, NO ONE is ever exactly what I would wish, especially me.

    As Catholics, we all don’t have to think alike!

  • Sue F

    It gets people talking about Jesus and that’s a good thing. But really. Isn’t it time we stop dignifying these ninny’s with a response?

  • UrbanRevival

    Just wondering if our Lord will take us (i.e. Fr. Martin, Donohue, us) to task for giving her (or her ridiculous photo) any attention at all?

  • Maria Byrd

    Said the priest: “I am not a conservative Catholic . I am not a liberal Catholic. I am a Roman Catholic”. Only one kind of Catholic.

  • Maria Byrd

    “…those who would dismiss him [ Fr. Martin SJ ]as a far-leftist, or -more importantly- as anything but obedient and loving of the church wherein he works, and the Lord he serves, risks exposing himself or herself as uninformed and a bit shrunken-in-spirit”.

    Fr. Martin has a magnetic personality, is decidedly charming and seemingly very kindly. How does homosexual activism fit in with your above statement?

    [You'll have to define homosexual activism for me, Maria -admin]

  • elmo

    I am a Roman Catholic too and darned glad to be just that. However, I am tired of discourse in the Church being dominated by two polarized positions — the “conservative” vs. “progressives”, and vice versa, who each consider themselves to be the sole “truly true” Catholics. Leave politics to the world. We are all one body of Christ.

    P.S. I loved this reflection of Fr. Martin’s, and I enjoy reading both America and Fr. Z’s blog.

  • TeaPot562

    I suspect that self-described conservative Catholics are a mix of some who prefer the pre-Vatican II mass and some who follow the Church’s teachings on sex, abortion and life issues.
    Self-described “liberal” catholics may be picking and choosing among the church’s teachings, in particular with regard to sex and abortion. From that perspective, “liberal” and “conservative” may NOT refer to their political leanings; but many “liberal” politicians do seem to support abortion any time, with any excuse.
    I prefer the current 3 year cycle of readings and liturgy in the vernacular, while aware of abuses where the presidor varies from the words in the Sacramentary. I also have been active in supporting a home for mothers and babies when the woman was in a “crisis pregnancy”. It goes with the turf on being pro-life.
    TeaPot562

  • Maria Byrd

    It is fascinating to me that people perceive liberalism or conservatism in the Catholic Church. There is room for neither. The tension is more properly understood as those who are faithful to the teachings of the church and those who are not. Period.

  • Liam Dudley

    As I recall, Father Martin was blogging for a secular site (it may have been the New York Times) when Pope Benedict was in the USA a few years ago. I don’t think those blog posts jibe with your assessment of him “a very good ambassador for the church in venues where Catholics are not exactly beloved”, leastways not if good ambassadors are accentuating the positive.

  • Maria Byrd

    “…those who would dismiss him [ Fr. Martin SJ ]as a far-leftist, or -more importantly- as anything but obedient and loving of the church wherein he works, and the Lord he serves, risks exposing himself or herself as uninformed and a bit shrunken-in-spirit”.

    Fr. Martin has a magnetic personality, is decidedly charming and seemingly very kindly. How does homosexual activism fit in with your above statement? I would genuinely be interested in your thoughts as to how you reconcile your statement with what had to be understood as advocacy of homosexuality.

    [And I must ask you again to define for me what you are calling an "advocacy of homosexuality." -admin]

  • Maria Byrd

    Thank you for posting my comment and responding to my question. It had been previously been deleted. I would like to start by saying that I think it is possible to disagree with your pre-suppositions about Fr. Martin without being found to be “shrunken in spirit”. That said, I am not certain that I can precisely define the term Homosexual activism. It is somewhat akin to pornography. One knows it when one sees it. Loosely defined, I would say that homosexual activism is the explicit or implicit advocacy for the “rights” of homosexuals. In the case of Fr. Martin, this advocacy extends to the homosexual laity and priests.

    [Your comments have not "previously been deleted" - for some reason they keep ending up in my spam filter, which seems to be hanging up a lot of comments tonight. I am still not sure what you mean by "advocacy" and I am not satisfied with "I know advocacy when I see it," because that is a charge some have made about me, too, and it is one I reject. I do not count it as "advocacy" to restate the church's own teaching on homosexuality and also to direct people to the 1997 pastoral letter "always our children." Nor do I count it as advocacy to suggest that perhaps -in an effort to sweep our house clean- we have perhaps been too thorough and turned away good and faithful men truly called to priesthood. It is never a bad thing to ask if a reaction (any reaction) has been balanced. If you are talking specifically about homosexuals in the priesthood in light of the terrible scandals which have so rocked and damaged our church, I will say what I have said before: One of my best friends -a female- was sexually accosted by a priest when she was about 11 years old. As a survivor of child sex abuse within my own family, one thing I know about it is that homosexuality or heterosexuality has little do to with it and nor, for that matter, does celibacy; the sexual abuse of children is about power, and control. It's very likely that -as this report released to the Bishops suggests- the reason the poor victims of some bad priests were boys is because boys were what they had access to, in the sanctuaries, schools and sports teams, and so that is where they manifested their depravity. As to whether gay clergy are incapable of being good, faithful and celibate priests, I have known several, and they have all been joyful, wonderful men who put themselves wholly at the service of the church and yes, have remained faithful to their vows. I often ask Catholic bashers who use the scandals to indict all priests if they would indict all of our armed forces because of the behavior of a few bad apples at Abu Ghraib. I will ask you if you would indict all gay priests for the behavior of few bad ones? I do not call it "advocacy" to state the plain truth that when a priest is faithful to his vows, his sexual orientation becomes irrelevant, as we should have learned in the story of the faithful and heroic Fr. Mychal Judge, the firefighter Chaplain who was the first firefighter killed at the World Trade Center on 9/11.

    I fear that sometimes, particularly out of a sense of protectiveness for the church, some Catholics get hyper vigilant about sexual orientation, and they seem to forget that homosexuals are loved into being by the same God who loved one into being as a male and one as a female. They are also called to the same chastity as any other unmarried person. I think perhaps a conversation that needs to happen - but it is one of those really challenging ones, and a better mind than mine needs to begin it - is that gays, who have been lured by some into the notion that there is a cheap grace they can aspire to (and what a rotten thing to teach anyone) should be asked whether their sexuality is, rather than the whole of their indentity, simply the springboard from which they are meant to launch themselves into God's arms, saying, "you created me; here I am; what will you have me do?" We are all called to something; what are gays called to within the realm of God, the Creator, and what are heterosexuals also called to with regards to their homosexual brothers and sisters. It is easy to look upon each other with cynicism and suspicion. Jesus wouldn't. "Go and sin no more" is for all of us. That some of us may be called to be "necessary others" is not exclusively meant for homosexuals, either. In fact, there is great mystery. The only clue we have to go by is the essential first thing: love each other, as Christ has loved us. We learn from there, don't you think? -admin]

  • Maria Byrd

    I have repsonded to your question; however, my comments are not posting.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    Maybe I should just not say anything, but . . .

    Unfortunately, I can’t get on the Fr. Martin love train, notwithstanding his genuine love for the Lord and the Church, and notwithstanding those who profess his orthodoxy, because he has written or said too many things that make one cringe.

    There was, of course, the big kerfuffle over his abortion comments some months back, including his naive-at-best comment to the effect that “no one is pro-abortion.” (We need only look at the Tebow ad controversy to prove that wrong.)

    He seems like a nice enough guy, to be sure. But the folks who taught CCD in the 70s and put up felt banners in churches were nice and well-meaning too.

    There have been other things which others have cited, but this piece on Mary in the secular magazine Slate caught my eye during Christmas time:

    The very first sentence made me wince — “It’s tough to relate to someone who’s supposed to be God’s mom, isn’t it?” Actually, what makes Mary so very attractive is that she is so very approachable and relatable. I can relate to “God’s mom” a whole lot more than I can relate to the Son of God.

    “many Christians, especially Catholics, don’t even think of her as human: Mary exists on a more exalted plane. . . . Though I believe in all these titles, such lofty theological images can obscure Mary’s earthy humanity and distance her from us.” Sadly, far from being “a good ambassador for the church,” this comment only reinforces the slander that Catholics worship Mary.

    Then, perhaps the most troubling (and unorthodox), “To begin with, the first time Mary opens her mouth in the New Testament, it is to question God. . . . Her response to something surprising in her life—and that’s quite an understatement—is to question. To doubt.” No. Mary did NOT doubt. Zechariah doubted, and the angel shut him up (literally) because of it. Mary full of grace was curious and perplexed, but she never doubted God, ever.

    “After the angel’s visit (or encounter with God in a vision, or a dream, or however you understand it)” Huh?? The account in Luke is crystal clear. He makes it clear that he is relating factual history, not metaphor. There is no “however you understand it,” there is only the way it actually was.

    I could go on — there are at least five other troubling passages in the piece (including references to questionable sources).

    I’m sure Fr. Martin is a nice guy, and very kind and generous. But writing such as this piece on Mary, written for a secular magazine, and a presumably non-Catholic audience, does not advance the cause of explaining the Catholic faith to the world. It only adds to the confusion. As such, I could not, in all good conscience, recommend him on anything of great doctrinal substance. I wish I could. (Perhaps he is good in the area of “spirituality” or similar areas.)

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    I should “take it up with Father Z,”

    Just to make the record more complete — he says troubling things at times as well. And notwithstanding the fact that I myself too often come off sounding like I think I know everything, I do not trust those, like Father Z, who presume to believe that they are in a position to judge practically everyone and everything in the Church for orthodoxy.

  • Maria Byrd

    Thank you for responding. By advocacy, I mean the dictionary definition of advocacy: the act or process of advocating or supporting a cause or proposal. You stated: I am still not sure what you mean by “advocacy” and I am not satisfied with “I know advocacy when I see it,”.
    This comment referenced homosexual activism.
    You stated:”Nor do I count it as advocacy to suggest that perhaps -in an effort to sweep our house clean- we have perhaps been too thorough and turned away good and faithful men truly called to priesthood”. Elizabeth, the Catholic Church is replete with homosexuals and has been for decades. Godd, loyal and faithful priests have been driven out of the priesthood for failure to cowtow to sunsribe to their views. Homosexual activism in the Church has inflicted damage. I did not bring up the matter of sexual abuse, at all, in my previous comments. I will refrain from comment on the sexual abuse scandal which persists, excpet to say, that the most recent sexual abuse scandal in the Society, in Germany, goes unreported at Amercia Magazine. Why? Its scope is huge. Silence.

    There is a distinction to be drawn between charity for those who struggle with homosexuality and false charity which legitimizes homosexuality. A clear example of this homosexual activism is the sinful way in which Michael Judge was appropriated for the “casue” and advocacy of homosexuals in the Church. He was splashed all over the Times and elsewhere as the model homosexual priest; however,an investigation was done and it was determined that he was not a homosexual. His name was appropriated, after his death. What could be more morally reprehensible? Homosexuals have infiltrated the Catholic Church with an agenda. The agenda is endorsement of sin.

    Their is no question that God in his providence permits all manner of sin and Crosses for people to bear. No question that he brings good out of everything. We must never question. The Church is unassailable in the sense that she withstands all storms; however, one must be careful in our magnanimous charity that we are not, at the same time, scandalizing others. Homosexuality is sinful. We are all profoundly vulnerable to the need for respect. Pride nudges us, we want to be accepeted. We don’t want to be deemed “uncharitable”. Name homosexuality for what it is, and trust me, one is called an uncharitable bigot.Is this right? I don’t think so. When did sin become a “right” . And when did calling it by name make us uncharitable?

  • Maria Byrd

    We are called to be faithful,as Mother Teresa told us. And trust me, being faithful in a world where sin is now everybody’s *rights* in the Catholic Church, is not easy.

  • James Foshee

    There was no room for “conservatives” and “liberals” in the Episcopal church, but those “liberals” incrementally destroyed the unity of that church. Same thing is happening in the Catholic Church.

  • m

    My mother used to say we should tell young people about the saints and not just after they had reached that level of heroic virtue that merited them being named saints but tell them about their struggles and difficulties. Perhaps the best thing that the Church could do for our same sex attracted brothers and sisters in Christ apart from encouraging us all to pray for them is to discover saints who had to struggle with this temptation but went on to achieve the heroic virtue of sainthood.

  • g

    I’m not following the whole gay-activist line of this thread exactly but I just wanted to say that it is completely wrong, offbase, unloving and misinformed to tar & feather everyone in one group based the actions of others in that group. That’s just common sense & decency 101.
    Just bc some Jesuits have gone over the deep end during the last 40 years, doesn’t mean that no Jesuit should be listened to, for heavens sake…anymore than just bc white people are mean to me sometimes I should therefore assume all white people are mean.

  • dymphna

    I read Fr. Martin’s book on the saints and was horribly disappointed. The whole thing was felt like a college boy rambling through a topic he didn’t quite get. I just don’t pay him any attention now.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    discover saints who had to struggle with this temptation

    I’m sorry, but that seems to me to be an invitation to disaster. As it is, we already have the more militant of gay activists who try to appropriate everyone from Abraham Lincoln to Michelangelo into the gay fold (and I think some like to label St. Paul as a frustrated closeted homosexual). And they would no doubt be delighted to claim any number of saints — not to actually help anyone, but to smear the Church, and I doubt that they would care about the truth of the saint in question.

    Besides, to suggest that we ought to go hunting through the saints and essentially out them (accurately or not) would be an exercise in detraction and calumny, not charity. The saints are entitled to their privacy like the rest of us, their sins to be disclosed only in the confidentiality of the confessional, so that it is none of our business. Rather, what is our business is that, knowing that they are sinners like the rest of us, they renounced whatever sinful life they had to receive grace and live heroic virtues.

    If a particular saint wants to share their particular sins with the world, they can do so themselves, as did Paul and Augustine. But if they have not done so themselves, it is not for us to rake through their lives looking for muck.

    We don’t need any “gay saints.” We need “saints” period. It is their holiness that identifies them, and it should not be their prior sinfulness that does so. (The same goes with living priests. And that is the problem with too many “gays” today, they define themselves by their homosexuality, rather than by their being a human person.)

  • Maria Byrd

    Fr. Martin’s “Saint Business” is meant to provide cover for a multitude of sins; however,no one, sadly, sees through this.

  • Jeff

    I agree with Bender’s comments. The fixation on whether a person is “gay”, as if that defined their essential being, is very wrongheaded. I am not a “straight” person. I’m a person, first and foremost, who is attracted to the opposite sex.

  • Liam Dudley

    Bender wrote: “he [Father Z] says troubling things at times as well”.

    Like what, exactly?

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    Like what, exactly?

    I’ve already explained in that same post, Liam — “I do not trust those, like Father Z, who presume to believe that they are in a position to judge practically everyone and everything in the Church for orthodoxy.

    He is good on some things, but I do not accord him the same level of authoritativeness as I would the Pope (or even a diocesan bishop) (notwithstanding his legion of fans who do, such as the person who told our dear Anchoress, “I should ‘take it up with Father Z’”).

  • Liam Dudley

    Bender wrote: “I do not accord him [Father Z]the same level of authoritativeness as I would the Pope”.
    Who does?
    Perhaps the suggestion to consult Father Z meant that he could look at the matter from an orthodox point of view. What’s wrong with orthodoxy being a standard for evaluation? Doesn’t everyone have some standard?
    By the way, Bender, are you the administrator of this blog? I don’t see an entry about “taking it up with Father Z” here except in a comment signed “admin” in Laurie Friesen’s post.

  • Ellen

    I agree that Fr. Martin seems a nice fellow, but I agree that there is a missing piece. Let’s put it this way: the day I hear or read Fr. Martin giving a heartfelt, vigorous defense of the Church’s teaching on sexuality – including the Church’s teaching on homosexuality and contraception – I’ll maybe get on board his fan train. Or even nod as it’s passing by. But until then, sorry. It’s pretty clear to me that he doesn’t accept the teachings of the Church on sexuality (he hints at it in “My Life with the Saints” in which he references a certain mysterious topic on which his superiors have asked him not to write….)

    [Actually, Ellen, it strikes me that you say a great deal more about yourself, here, than about this priest. It is not enough for him to write or not write on an issue under obedience, and to be faithful to that vow and all of his other vows, but you won't even condescend to "nod" at this priest until he gives a specific sermon you want to hear from him? Am I to assume that unless a person falls perfectly into all of your approved-of slots, that person is unworthy of regard, love, friendship?

    Doubtless, that would be an uncharitable assumption for me to make. So, I say "why assume" at all? (Remember what Felix Unger said about "when you assume".) All this "hinting" all of these mysteries, into which so many people wish to spend their time sniffing about and assigning meaning to, when the truth is all you have to go on are your own suspicions. For all you know, Martin may wish to write philosophically on the issue of homosexuality, for no other reason than to clear out a debris of bigotry, and his superiors have decided they'd rather he did not. Just as we have custody of the eyes and so can choose where we direct them, we also have custody of our curiosity, whereby we can take a person at his or her word (until experience tells us otherwise) or we can sit around assigning all sorts of behaviors and motives to each other and otherwise entertaining our lesser angels.

    If Martin is writing or not writing under obedience, I wonder how obedient we are being to Christ who says "be perfect as your father in heaven is perfect." That perfection must begin (and end) with love (or some might call it charity) because God is love. Christ said we are first to love one another. He did not say "love only those you deem worthy" and he did not say "philosophize about it for a while, split hairs on what love actually is, and then render judgment on each other." In fact, he specifically said not to judge, and not to try to demand a brother takes the splinter out of his own eye, while we walk around with beams in our own.

    I imagine that when Jesus was preaching, some were saying that he did not preach the sermons they specifically wanted to hear. He did not, for instance, give harangues about the proper washing and preparation of food, instead he said "it's what comes out of your heart, not what goes into your stomach" that kills the soul. Must have been shocking for some.

    This reminds me a little of the parable Jesus told of the two sons. A father told one to go work in the field and he said "yes" but did not go. The other son balked at the instruction, and yet went into the field and did the work. Jesus asked: which one was obedient to the father, and would be rewarded for that obedience? Fr. Martin is hardly the first or last priest who may not fully agree with every teaching of the church. He may balk, like the second son, but he goes into the field and he does the work, and he is obedient.

    Another way to think about this might be to ponder a married woman who "falls in love" with a man at the office, but never acts on those instincts, but instead remains faithful to the husband and children at home, whom he also loves. Eventually the "worldly" attraction wears off, or dies -particularly if it is never acted upon- but the greater love, the true and consecrated love- survives. If you knew such a woman, knew that she had struggled with the attraction (which is a very human circumstance) and was victorious, faithful and true, you would likely deem that woman a noble and heroic creature, and you would respect her for her perseverance. It is the same with our priests and sisters -all of them- who encounter attractions outside of their love for Christ and the Church, and who, everyday, choose faithfulness, choose the real, the greater and the consecrated love.

    It is the same, really, for every Catholic who may or may not wholly agree with every teaching of the church, and yet still goes -sometimes muttering under the breath- to work in the fields of the Lord, for love of the Lord and trusting that it is the right thing to do.

    Speaking only for myself, I can say that there is not a single position of the church's that I have not come to agreement with after battling it out by my own lights and reason; I have never simply fallen in line. The battle has always (thankfully) led me to the side of Catholic Orthodoxy. But I don't begrudge anyone their battle. I'd rather have a church full of Catholics who are there because they've fought for their spot in the pew, because I know they're really there because they want to be, and not because they just got corralled there in the round up! :-)

    We are all struggling in one way or another. Each of us in engaged in great battle. If we are also trying to nose into someone else's battle, to tell them what we think they should do -particularly when we don't even know for sure where they are fighting- we may in fact cause them to lose their battle...and we will certainly lose our own.

    All of us ultimately walk alone, to God, and will answer to him. I try not to worry too much about other people's "missing pieces." I have enough trouble making sure my own all line up, to worry about whether someone else is "worthy" of my regard. I say "be like Atticus Finch" who did his best to love everyone, even the people a whole society might tell him he needn't bother about. I think Jesus would like Atticus Finch! :-) All I know is, Jesus is not done working on any of us, yet. I'll let him make the judgment calls. -admin]

  • N.W. Clerk

    I was stunned when Father Martin, writing about the Ugandan martyrs, referred to the king who killed these young MEN as a “practicing pedophile.” The Ugandan martyrs were not children. We do homosexuals no service by denying them their humanness – that is, that they are capable of sin, of murder. It reminds me of the years in Hollywood when blacks could only be portrayed as exceptionally good, holy, and religious (i.e. Sidney Poitier type roles). When they were finally “equal” they could be portrayed as the good guy OR the bad guy.

    The same is true of homosexuals. We do them no service when we turn every single death of a homosexual into a hate crime, and ignore every single story of a homosexual killing a straight person. Nor do we do them any service when we we try to pretend that priests only molested young MEN because they were “more available.” It is a sign of misplaced compassion to bend the truth – understandable, but misplaced.

    I have beloved homosexual friends and relatives and know of good homosexual priests, as well as those who had to be arrested for stealing parish money to support their lovers. I generally agree with what the Anchoress says above about homosexuals.

    But truth matters.

  • http://SaintMychalJudge.blogspot.com John M. Kelley

    Maria Byrd (#29) stated…
    “Michael Judge was appropriated for the ‘cause’ and advocacy of homosexuals in the Church … however, an investigation was done and it was determined that he was not a homosexual”.

    These are the facts. There was never any such “investigation”. One man, Dennis Lynch, wrote an article in 2002 claiming that Mychal Judge couldn’t have been homosexual because he was so saintly a man, plus Judge had never told him he was gay. That was Lynch’s only “proof”.

    However, the irrefutable evidence is that Father Mychal Judge did, in fact, self-identify as gay, though chaste and celibate.

    The evidence includes Mychal’s own handwritten journal entries, published in Daly’s biography of Judge.

    Following Lynch’s article, many close friends of Judge, including former FDNY Commissioner Tom Von Essen, Fr. Brian Carroll, Fr. John McNeill, and Fr. Bernard Lynch, have repeatedly confirmed that Mychal identified himself to them as a gay man.

    Fr. Brendan O’Rourke said, “Mychal had come to terms with being gay, and disagreed with official church teaching about gay orientation and gay relationships.” (p. 182: Ford, Michael: Father Mychal Judge: An Authentic American Hero. Paulist Press).

    (Note: I use ‘gay’ and ‘homosexual’ interchangeably here to describe orientation only; by all accounts he was faithful to his priestly vows).

    Then Ford’s biography quoted Judge himself many times publicly acknowledging his orientation. For example, “Look at who we are as gay people at this moment in history, being a gift for the church, being agents of change in both church and society.” (p.184: Ford).

    Michael Daly’s 2008 biography decisively settles the question. Daly published excerpts of Judge’s personal journals in which he wrote in detail of the struggles and joys of accepting himself as a gay man. (Daly, Michael: The Book of Mychal: the Surprising Life & Heroic Death of Fr. Mychal Judge: 2008).

    For example, Judge wrote, “I thought of my gay self and how the people I meet never get to know me fully … (yet) I feel no guilt, none whatsoever today — I feel on the train Home. I am at peace finally. This is what You want me to do, Lord … You, You alone, brought me here. I have nothing to fear today. Thank You, thank You, Lord !” (pp. 86, 301-302: Daly).

    It’s significant that in the face of all this evidence, Mr. Lynch never pressed his claim after 2002. Nor have Mychal’s Franciscan brothers or family ever denied that Mychal self-identified as a gay man. Indeed, two Franciscan publications have acknowledged the same –
    St. Anthony’s Messenger
    link
    and AmericanCatholic.org
    link

    Judge picked and chose when and to whom to come out. But in the end it’s clear that Fr. Mychal Judge was selectively, if not generally, open about his gay orientation and self-identity.

    link

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/deaconsbench/ Deacon Greg Kandra

    N.W. Clerk…

    The Ugandan king in question was, in fact, a pedophile. Do a little Googling on the subject and you’ll find out much more.

    Blessings,
    Dcn. G.

  • N.W. Clerk

    Deacon Greg – yes, a google search reveals dozens of reprints of the exact same document – either word-for-word or slightly changed – using the word “pedophile”. That many bloggers and websites are able to cut-and-paste does not tell me any “facts” about a man who only forced himself on young men and post-pubescent “boys.”

    Google searches must be done with a modicum of common sense!

  • Lawrence S. Cunningham

    I have never met Father Martin in person but have spoken with him on the phone and read his book on the saints when it was in manuscript.He is a good priest who serves the church with vigor, wit, and intelligence. That he is adjudicated by some weird canon of orthodoxy is appalling. Some of these comments are so uncharitable that they border on the scandalous. Please ruminate on Matthew 7:1-5.

  • Ellen

    link

    From an “anonymous gay priest” named for the sake of the article “Fr. Gerard Thomas”:

    Whoever that may be.

    BH: What do you think a document that celebrates gay men and women in the Church would look like?

    GT: Like nothing we have ever seen before. I couldn’t imagine that kind of document coming out in the context of the current Catechism. I would hope that it would say something like, ?the richness of creation is diversity and that God made people different colors, different heights, different capacities, and that is what makes the world so rich and beautiful. In His wisdom, God has made gay people with a certain disposition and a certain orientation that is part of the richness of creation and we welcome that in the Church. We celebrate who they are and their individuality and we accept them for who they are.’

    That’s not struggling with Church teaching. That’s proposing an alternative, which celebrates homosexuality rather than seeing it as a disordered orientation inconsistent with God’s plan for creation.

    [Do you happen to know who Fr. GT is? Because I don't, but I DO know it's not Fr. Martin. I also know it is not a relative of mine whom I suspected it might be. Do you think, as a Christian, that it is the right thing for you to do, to throw this out there and perhaps slander a priest who has nothing to do with this? Do you think Jesus would like it? Do you believe you are building up the Body of Christ, when you do this? We're coming into Lent, a season where we examine ourselves and see where we have failed -most particularly where we have failed in charity. I am going to close this comments thread, now, because I'm tired of this veiled slander being made by someone who has no idea whether her little "suggestions" are true or not, against someone who is not here to defend himself. I wish all of us a fruitful Lent -admin]


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