Pro-life Catholics and pro-family leaders are outraged and disappointed that the 2018 World Meeting of Families will feature LGBT-pushing Jesuit Father James Martin and that the event’s agenda has so far made no mention of abortion, even though it’s taking place in a country that just voted to legalize the lethal practice.
The World Meeting of Families (WMF), not to be confused with the World Congress of Families, is a massive Vatican-sanctioned conference that takes place every few years. The last one was in 2015 in Philadelphia. Pope Francis attended. The Pope will also attend this year’s WMF in Dublin this August.
“It must sicken the heart of every faithful Catholic to learn that a keynote address will be given by the controversial priest Father James Martin,” Anthony Murphy of the Lumen Fidei Institute told LifeSiteNews. “With this choice of speaker the Archbishop of Dublin once again signals his support for the homosexual agenda and he assists the promotion of confusion and dissent in the Church.”
The Lumen Fidei Institute is hosting an alternative event, “A Conference of Catholic Families,” in Dublin as the WMF takes place. That conference will use Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Casti Connubii as its starting point. Casti Connubii is sometimes called the “original Humanae Vitae,” because it reaffirmed Church teaching on marriage and procreation, contraception, and sexuality decades before Pope Paul VI’s encyclical.
Father Martin “causes scandal wherever he goes,” said Austin Ruse, president of the Center for Family and Human Rights. “It is deeply disappointing but not at all surprising he was invited to this event.”
“Father Martin’s record is not a good one; rather than leading same-sex attracted people to Christ he encourages them to live out their disordered attraction by telling them that the Church approves of their lifestyles,” said Murphy. “Martin tells sexually confused or compromised men and women that there is nothing wrong with what they do. He tells them God made them same-sex attracted in defiance of the clear teaching of the Church that homosexuality’s origin is psychological.”
‘He’s either lying or he’s clueless’
Father Martin uses his large social media platform to promote homosexuality and lobby the Church to change its teachings on homosexuality. The Jesuit was appointed to be a Vatican communications consultant in 2017. Before that, he had already begun to rise to fame as one of the most vocal supporters of homosexuality in the Church.
His notoriety and praise from left-wing bishops has only increased since then. He uses speaking engagements, media appearances, and his book Building a Bridge (based on a 2016 talk he gave to the dissident group New Ways Ministry) to suggest that Catholics who agree with Church teaching on human sexuality are bigots.
He supports gay men kissing each other during the sign of peace at Mass, says that a Catholic attending a same-sex “wedding” is like attending a Jewish wedding, and suggests that his critics are secretly gay themselves.
Father Martin says homosexual priests should “come out” about their sexual proclivities, but has publicly declined to say whether he himself is gay.
Father Martin announced that the Vatican invited him to speak at the WMF. The title of his talk is “Exploring how Parishes can support those families with members who identify as LGBTI+.”
Church in Ireland approaching ‘rock bottom’?
The theme of the 2018 WMF is Amoris Laetitia, the controversial papal exhortation that has forced prominent prelates to issue statements affirming Catholic morality while some of their brother bishops promulgate guidelines allowing for what the Church has always taught is sacrilege.
“It is extraordinary that no mention has been made of the recent abortion referendum especially because at the same time the World Meeting of Families is taking place our politicians will be pushing through legislation to kill the unborn,” said Murphy. “It is remarkable for an event which is supposed to be about the family that the most vulnerable, the most defenceless and the most marginalised is ignored – namely the aborted child.”
“The papal visit to Ireland will be [partly] funded by the State,” noted Murphy. In light of the WMF’s ignoring of the pro-life issue and invitation to Father Martin, “also with the deafening silence from the Vatican on the abortion referendum, it must be asked what price has been paid for the thirty pieces of silver from the Irish government,” he said.
“In short is it so important for the Church to have photographs of the Pope shaking hands and smiling with Irish politicians even if this means remaining silent on the defence of the unborn and refusing to speak about the Catholic Church’s beautiful teachings about the goodness and inherent purpose of human sexuality?” asked Murphy. “If so, then the WMF is little more than a meaningless cosmetic exercise which will do nothing to stop the downward trajectory of the Church in Ireland.”∎
Claire Chretien, Lifesite