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Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Father James Martin, S.J., spoke at St. Joseph’s University earlier this week (Tuesday, September 17) on themes related to his book Building A Bridge. And as I expected, quite a few emails arrived in my inbox questioning his teaching on same-sex related issues and urging me to prevent his appearance. A local bishop is typically unable to do that, since most Catholic universities operate under the authority of the religious community that sponsors them.
Father - Martin - Times - Target - Attacks
Father Martin has also, at times, been the target of bitter personal attacks. As I’ve said previously, such attacks are inexcusable and unChristian.
In reality, Father Martin has sought in a dedicated way to accompany and support people with same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria. Many of his efforts have been laudable, and we need to join him in stressing the dignity of persons in such situations.
Time - Pattern - Ambiguity - Teachings - Aims
At the same time, a pattern of ambiguity in his teachings tends to undermine his stated aims, alienating people from the very support they need for authentic human flourishing. Due to the confusion caused by his statements and activities regarding same-sex related (LGBT) issues,[i] I find it necessary to emphasize that Father Martin does not speak with authority on behalf of the Church, and to caution the faithful about some of his claims.
Among my concerns, I note the following:
Father - Martin - Same-sex - People - Dysphoria
Father Martin suggests that same-sex attracted people and those with gender dysphoria should be labeled according to their attraction and dysphoria, calling for use of the phrase “LGBT Catholic” in Church documents and language.[ii] But while the Church does teach that the body is integral to human identity, our sexual appetites do not define who we are. If we are primarily defined by our sexual attractions, then, in order to be fulfilled, it would follow that we must identify with and...
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