During an interview with The Jesuit Post, James Martin said the following:
…it seems like the majority of the LGBT Catholic community does not agree with the church’s teaching on same-sex relations: that is, they are impermissible. From what many LGBT people tell me, that particular teaching doesn’t fit with their own experiences as human beings who love and are loved. So that teaching, it seems, has not been “received” by the LGBT community, which is the community most affected by it.
On this point, I agree with James Martin – I also think the vast majority of the LGBT Catholic community (for whatever reason) has not accepted or “received” the teachings of the Catholic Church with regards to homosexuality.
Then, the question becomes how do we who care about this community facilitate or help the acceptance or reception of those teachings. This is James Martin’s approach: at St. Cecilia Parish in Boston, Massachusetts, where Martin spoke on June 17, 2017 about how the Catholic Church could “build a bridge” to the LGBT community, Martin discussed the possibility that wording in the Catechism regarding homosexuality could be modified from “intrinsically disordered” to “differently ordered;” he talked at length about how the Roman Centurion mentioned in Scripture – could have possibly been asking Christ to heal his “gay” lover; he also made inflammatory statements alleging that those in the Catholic Church repeatedly label members of the LGBT Catholic community as “same sex afflicted.”
Following Martin’s talk, two “gay” Catholic members of St. Cecelia Parish recounted some of their struggles with Catholicism and how both – disagree with Church teaching.
Will this discussion help the LGBT Catholic community “receive” the teachings of the Church; or does it strengthen their conviction that indeed the Church is incorrect on this matter–because LGBT Catholics, as Martin claims, are “more knowledgeable” on this topic?
Also, there is a long history of dissent at the Parish, in 2011, the Archdiocese of Boston canceled a planned “Pride” Mass at the St. Cecilia; then in 2015, on the Memorial of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus, St. Cecilia’s Rainbow Ministry posted the following to their official Facebook page:
Recent attention to early Greek manuscripts has also revealed that they were openly gay men and that they were erastai or lovers. These manuscripts are found in various libraries in Europe and suggest an earlier Christian acceptance of homosexuality.
Also, in 2015, St. Cecilia’s Rainbow Ministry sent “Congatulations to the National Catholic Reporter on a brilliant editorial decision” when the periodical chose a married same-sex couple as their “Persons of the Year.”
Finally, during Martin’s visit to the Parish, on his Facebook page, he lauded his same-sex married friend, (a former Catholic religious) adding later:
“I have a hard time imagining how even the most traditionalist, homophobic, closed-minded Catholic cannot look at my friend and say, ‘That is a loving act, and that is a form of love that I don’t understand but I have to reverence.”
In this context, what James Martin said, and did not refute or even attempt to explain, at St. Cecilia in Boston at best could be regarded as completely reckless. For I believe he succeeded only in confirming many of the communities’ false beliefs and deepening their confusion and continued denial of the truth.