[Warning: Graphic content and links.]
On June 5, 2018, the official Facebook page for the Catholic LGBT ministry “Out at St. Paul,” located at the parish of St. Paul the Apostle in New York City, posted an image created by dissident former Presbyterian minsiter, now “Independent,” David Hayward, who goes by his blogger name – NakedPastor. Hayward is an author, cartoonist and life-coach; one of the titles of his books is: “The Art of Coming Out.” Many of his cartoons feature LGBT themes, including: “Gay? He Knew Before He Did” and “Making Paradise Fabulous.” The picture from Hayward that Out at St, Paul posted the day after the Supreme Court’s “Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission” decision depicts Christ with a rainbow-halo eating a layered cake comprised of the multi-colors from the gay “Pride” flag. Along with the picture, Out at St. Paul wrote: “I believe this means that we can be Catholic and eat our gay cake, too.” In addition, on June 5, Out at St. Paul posted an article from Cherry Kittredge that also featured the same image from the NakedPastor. In her article, Kittredge wrote:
There is even a medieval European tradition that Jesus and his Beloved Disciple John were the bridal couple at the Cana wedding feast.
Kittredge is a longtime gay rights activist who advocates for ecumenical LGBT-inclusion within Christianity. A major focus of her work has been the exploration of so-called “Queer Saints.” She is also the author of “Art That Dares: Gay Jesus, Woman Christ, and More,” a collection of mostly homoerotic themed Christian-inspired images from various artists including Franciscan iconographer and Jesuit James Martin favorite Robert Lentz as well as gay Catholic priest William Hart McNichols.
James Martin praised fellow Jesuit John J. McNeill as a “priest who pushed Catholic Church to welcome gays.” In his book “Taking a Chance on God: Liberating Theology for Gays, Lesbians, and Their Lovers, Families, and Friends,” McNeill, wrote:
…John, the one person among Jesus’ disciples with whom we as gay people can frequently identity. If he was not actually gay himself, he is certainly depicted as having had a gay sensitivity. He always refers to himself as “the disciple to whom Jesus loved.”
Later in his book “Freedom, Glorious Freedom: The Spiritual Journey to the Fullness of Life for Gays, Lesbians, and Everybody Else,” McNeill added:
Any one of you who have a gay sensibility will be keenly aware of the special nature of the relationship of love that reunites Jesus and John.
Despite a warning from the local ordinary, on March 24, 2018, James Martin spoke at an event in Cincinnati moderated by Andy Buechel who currently teachers at Jesuit Xavier University in Cincinnati. His dissertation was titled: “Can Anything Good Come Out of Nazareth? Perspectives in Queer Theology,” and it was later published as his 2015 book: “That We Might Become God: The Queerness of Creedal Christianity.”
According to Buechel:
…God became human that humans might become God. Our deepest desire is to participate fully in the erotic life of God, to be immersed so totally in love that the Divine Life and our own become the same.
The encounters with the resurrected Lord intensify the limitations and reductions of modern conceptions of sexual difference and sexual orientation, limitations first seen at the transfiguration. Jesus’ body is not only queer in its fluidity, openness, and excess; it is queer by how it relates to other bodies erotically, drawing them towards the Divine.
At the 2018 Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, a defiant James Martin said:
…the Diocese there found out and said that this talk which was at a public university, the University of Cincinnati, could not call itself Catholic. It was kinda surprising. Its not a Catholic university, they had to take the word Catholic out of the presentation. And the diocesan spokesperson said, it’s me, Sister Jeannine Gramick and Jamie Manson, said we consider this a non-event. I almost Tweeted-out, I am happy to speak at a non-event on behalf of people who are often considered non-persons.
Out at St. Paul has a long history of gay-affirmative pastoral practices and public statements in support of same-sex marriage. On May 15, 2018, Out at St. Paul, hosted a “Rooftop Social” at gay sports bar Boxers in Hell’s Kitchen. However, this is not the first time Out at St. Paul has held meetings at gay bars. On March 22, 2017, Out at St. Paul hosted a “Spring Social” at the Hell’s Kitchen gay bar Bottoms Up. Then again, on January 31, 2018, they hosted their “Winter Social” at the Rise gay bar in Hell’s Kitchen. In the past, Out at St. Paul sponsored and promoted “your favorite queer saint,” “countertraditions” to Adam and Eve, and “Christian” theories in support of same-sex marriage.
Out at St. Paul is a favorite of James Martin. On July 16, 2017, James Martin, addressed “Out at St. Paul;” he previously spoke to the group on March 2, 2017. On several occasions, Martin has recommended both the Parish and Out at St. Paul (see video interview, and a Facebook live discussion.) At the 2018 LA Rel. Ed. Congress, again, Martin spoke very favorably of the ministry and featured pictures of Out at St. Paul members in his video-presentation. Following his July 2017 appearance at Out at St Paul, to publicize his latest book, “Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter Into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity,” Martin posted pictures to his Facebook account from the event and thanked the following:
Thanks to Fr. Gil Martinez, CSP, the pastor; Xorje Olivares and everyone at “Out at St. Paul’s,” the LGBT outreach group at the parish; and everyone who came to the “Building a Bridge” event tonight.
On June 15, 2017, Martin recommended Out at St. Paul on his official Twitter account:
Dear friends: "Out at St. Paul" is one of the most vibrant Catholic #LGBT ministries in the country, perhaps the world. A ministry of the Church of St. Paul the Apostle in NYC, it seeks to welcome all to the church and is a model for many parishes. Here's an intro to @outatstpaul pic.twitter.com/4OFu20e5nS
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) June 15, 2018
On his Facebook page, Martin wrote:
Dear friends: “Out at St. Paul” is one of the most dynamic Catholic LGBT ministries in the country, and probably the world. It is a ministry of the Church of St. Paul the Apostle in New York City, just next door to our Jesuit community. They shared this video with me and asked me to share it with you. May it give hope to parishes who are striving to be welcoming places for everyone.
Gil Martinez is the Pastor at St. Paul the Apostle and the chaplain for Out at St. Paul. He had been an outspoken supporter of the group, specifically promoting the “Owning Our Faith” video series which was sponsored by Out at St. Paul and St. Paul the Apostle Parish. The videos feature testimonies from several Out At St. Paul members as well as “gay” and transgender advocates including dissident nun Jeannine Gramick who was officially sanctioned by the Vatican in 1999 and permanently prohibited from any pastoral work involving homosexuals and Warren Hall, a self-outed “gay” priest. Warren has since been suspended and in 2017 he wrote:
…I could not in good conscience take the Oath of Fidelity that all priests take upon ordination and when assuming a pastorate, namely, that I “accept and hold everything that is proposed by the hierarchy” and that I “adhere with religious submission of will and intellect to the teachings.”
Also included is an interview with a “gay” married couple, one of whom stated:
If we leave it, if we abandon the Church then it’s never going to change. So we have to continue living here, being an example and encouraging other people to be that example because that’s what’s going to change the Church.
And another “gay” man who said:
I think what’s interesting is that the Catholic Church probably thinks that it is accepting of gay people, because its message is ‘gay people exist and we should love them and not discriminate against them. But because the Church also tells gay people essentially that they need to be celibate, what the Church is saying is ‘you cannot live fully. You can be gay but you can’t live that life.’ And so that inherently is discriminatory.
Excerpts from “Owing Our Faith” are included in a video from James Martin, in which he addresses “5 common questions about ‘Building a Bridge.’”
On June 16, 2018, concerning an article from the gay-periodical “The Advocate,” in which they reported that Pope Francis’s “definition of a family excludes same-sex couples,” Out at St. Paul stated: “Pope Francis is wrong.”
Please contact the Archdiocese of New York:
Cardinal Timothy Dolan
1011 First Ave
New York, NY 10022