On the afternoon of September 17, TFP Student Action volunteers gathered with concerned Catholics to protest a pro-LGBT talk by Jesuit Fr. James Martin. The talk, promoting the acceptance of homosexuals within the Catholic Church, was held at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.
Generation Z was represented at the protest by a contingent of Catholic boys from St. Louis de Montfort Academy. Their sign caught some attention: “Fr. Martin, STOP confusing the kids with transgenderism. - Gen Z.”
A few days before the protest on social media, Fr. Martin referred to an online petition launched by TFP Student Action requesting the university to have him disinvited. In his Facebook post, Fr. Martin asked his followers to sign the TFP petition, saying: “Also, don't forget to sign the petition against my speaking about love, welcome and inclusion. As Pope Francis said, it’s an honor!”
The prayerful and peaceful protest was held at the intersection of City Ave. and Cardinal Ave., a prominent spot on campus that offered good visibility and interaction with students.
Over the course of the protest, participants prayed rosaries of reparation. Several volunteers played the bagpipes, inspiring those present with tunes such as “God Bless America.”
Things began to heat up. Some students passing by made no attempt to hide their disapproval. Their most common response to a polite “good afternoon, would you like a flier” was not what you would expect from college students at a Catholic university: four letter words, curses and insults.
How telling. The same people who cheered and applauded Fr. Martin’s talk on “respect, compassion, sensitivity” reacted differently towards faithful Catholics who stood on the sidewalk praying the rosary. Disrespect, coldness and insensitivity for Catholic moral teaching was loud, vocal and ugly.
The TFP volunteers handed out “Are “LGBT People”Other Christs? A Review of Fr. James Martin’s Building a Bridge” which aims to unmask the tactics Fr. Martin uses to confuse and deceive Catholics. One such tactic is to confuse the homosexual tendency with the act itself.
The flyer clarifies this point: “He refers to the ‘LGBT community’ and ‘LGBT people’ to designate homosexuals and ‘transgenders,’ lumping together those who suffer from same-sex attraction but resist and those who succumb to unnatural vice. However, the ‘LGBT’ acronym does not apply to those who resist temptation but only to activists who seek to impose on society the acceptance of their unnatural practices and way of life as normal and even excellent.”
In the large glass window of the building facing the street, pro-homosexual students used sticky notes to spell out “Gay is OK” and “Go Home.” The prayerful presence of the protesters made them more than a little uncomfortable.
One student took issue with the TFP signs that read, “God’s Marriage is Between One Man and One Woman.”
He said: “That’s stupid!”
Volunteer: “What is? Marriage between a man and a woman?”
Student: “That’s stupid!”
Volunteer: “How’s that stupid? It’s how you got here”
Student: “That’s true...That’s true.”
The Hawk, St. Joseph’s student newspaper, reported how Fr. Martin dismissed the Catechism of the Catholic Church during his talk on campus, suggesting that immoral “lived experiences” trump parts of the Catechism. “Do not treat other Catholics simply by repeating the catechism over and over and over and over without considering their lived experiences.”
However, the catechism is a guide for Catholics to know what is morally right or wrong, according to God’s law. To dismiss parts of the Catechism -- because of “experiences” -- only ensures that more souls will be swept into the slavery of sin which defines the homosexual movement.
“If I ever have the opportunity to meet Fr. Martin, I would like to ask him a few questions,” said TFP Student Action director, John Ritchie. “First: What did Fr. Martin do to effectively oppose the legalization of same-sex ‘marriage’ in America? Second: How many souls did Fr. Martin rescue from the slavery of homosexual sin? And third: As children are being groomed by Drag Queen Story Hours across the county, why is Fr. Martin silent?”
Our Lord, Himself, in his encounters with sinners, makes it clear numerous times that people must lead virtuous lives, telling them to “Go, and now sin no more (John 8:11).”
With this in mind, let us continue to faithfully uphold all the moral teachings of the Catholic Church. Let us pray for an end to the promotion of homosexuality within the Catholic Church by those who act like dangerous wolves rather than caring pastors.
Taking a Principled not a Personal Stand
As practicing Catholics, we are filled with compassion and pray for those who struggle against violent temptation to sin, be it toward homosexual sin or otherwise.
We are conscious of the enormous difference between these individuals who struggle with their weaknesses and strive to overcome them and others who transform their sin into a reason for pride, and try to impose their lifestyle on society as a whole, in flagrant opposition to traditional Christian morality and natural law. However, we pray for them too.
According to the expression attributed to Saint Augustine, we “hate the sin but love the sinner.” And to love the sinner, as the same Doctor of the Church explains, is to wish for him the best we can possibly desire for ourselves, namely, “that he may love God with a perfect affection.” (St. Augustine, Of the Morals of the Catholic Church, No. 49, www.newadvent.org/fathers/1401.htm)