James Martin’s Favorite LGBT Ministry Asks Pope to Change the Catechism

2018-11-19T06:39:31+00:00August 4th, 2018|Blog, The Church|

Above: Fr. Gil Martinez, Chaplain for Out at St. Paul. celebrating Mass at the site of the Stonewall Riots during the New York City Gay Pride Parade on June 24, 2018. 

On August 3, 2018, the Catholic LGBT ministry Out at St. Paul (OSP), located at the Paulist Fathers motherhouse of St. Paul the Apostle Parish in New York City, posted the following message to their official Facebook page:

Yesterday, Pope Francis declared the death penalty inadmissible in all cases. It shows us that Catholic teaching can and does change over time (or, “develop,” using theological terminology). Pope Francis specifically called for the language in the catechism to be altered. He has the power to recognize other “developments” in doctrine as well.

This is why we push for the language about LGBTQ people in the catechism to change. We are not, and have never been, “intrinsically disordered.” It is time for the Church to listen to LGBTQ believers and recognize the harm that its official doctrine has caused to millions of people around the world.

The Out at St. Paul ministry and the Parish is a favorite of Jesuit priest James Martin. In a recent promotional video for the Second Edition of his book “Building a Bridge,” Martin included images of Out at St. Paul members. During his featured presentation at the 2018 Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, Martin praised the group:

The Church has a responsibility to make everyone feel visible and valuable. Visible. Recognizing that LGBT Catholics exist has important pastoral implications. It means carrying out ministry that some dioceses and parishes already do well. Particularly in this Archdiocese, I know many parishes for example, I know St. Monica’s, that has a flourishing LGBT ministry. The parish that I go to, the Church of St. Paul the Apostle in New York, which is where this picture is from. [A photo of various members from the Out at St. Paul ministry appears on the overhead screen.] That’s the Pastor Gil Martinez, and the group Out at St. Paul…a flourishing ministry.

St. Monica’s in Santa Monica hosts St. Monica Catholic Community Gay and Lesbian Outreach (GLO) where former member Arthur Fitzmaurice once served as the Chair of Archdiocese’s Catholic Ministry with Lesbian and Gay Persons. At the 2015 LA Religious Education Congress, which repeatedly features Fitzmaurice as a speaker on LGBT issues, he openly criticized “The Catechism of the Catholic Church:”

“The paragraph [in the Catechism] on homosexuality — which describes it as ‘intrinsically disordered’ while also demanding respect for gays and lesbians — is placed in a section of the catechism paragraphs condemning ‘pornography, prostitution, and rape…To keep this abusive language in the Catechism and other Church writings is, in itself, gravely evil.”

On July 16, 2017, James Martin, addressed Out at St. Paul; he had previously spoken to the group on March 2, 2017. In the past, Out at St. Paul sponsored and promoted a Mass at the site of the Stonewall Riots“countertraditions” to Adam and Eve, and an outing to a local gay bar. On several occasions, Martin has recommended both the Parish and Out at St. Paul (see video interview, and a Facebook live discussion.) In a video series entitled “Owning Our Faith,” featuring various LGBT members from the Out at St. Paul ministry, a “gay” Catholic man said the following:

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.

Another member of Out at St. Paul, a man “married” to his same-sex partner, said:

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.

On June 15, 2017, Martin again recommended Out at St. Paul on his official Twitter account:

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. 

In residence at St. Paul the Apostle Parish is Fr. David Dwyer, the host of the SiriusXM Radio (see picture above) program “Busted Halo.” Cardinal Timothy Dolan is a frequent guest on the show.

In “Building a Bridge,” concerning homosexuality and The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Martin stated:

Saying that one of the deepest parts of a person—the part that gives and receives love—is “disordered” in itself is needlessly cruel.

Later, Martin went even further when he said:

I’m no theologian, but I would say that some of the language used in the catechism on that topic needs to be updated, given what we know now about homosexuality. Earlier, for example, the catechism says that the homosexual orientation is itself “objectively disordered.” But, as I say in the book, saying that one of the deepest parts of a person — the part that gives and receives love — is disordered is needlessly hurtful. A few weeks ago, I met an Italian theologian who suggested the phrase “differently ordered” might convey that idea more pastorally.

Another LGBT ministry favored by James Martin, New Ways Ministry, made much the same argument as Out at St Paul:

What does this death penalty news mean for Catholic advocates for LGBT equality? A few things.

First, we now have a clear, explicit contemporary example of church teaching changing, and also a look into how it can be done: with a papal change to the Catechism.

Second, we can see that the process that brought about this change has been decades of theological debate and discussion, and not just a papal whim. That means the theological and even ecclesial discussions and debates right now about LGBT people have great potential to shape future changes in church teaching in regard to those topics.

In 1999, the co-founders of New Ways Ministry, Jeannine Gramick and Robert Nugent, were officially silenced by the Vatican. In 2010, Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I, Archbishop of Chicago and then-President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued the following statement on the status of the organization “New Ways Ministry;” here is an excerpt:

No one should be misled by the claim that New Ways Ministry provides an authentic interpretation of Catholic teaching and an authentic Catholic pastoral practice. Their claim to be Catholic only confuses the faithful regarding the authentic teaching and ministry of the Church with respect to persons with a homosexual inclination. 

In 2016, Martin received the “Bridge Building Award” from New Ways Ministry and during a June 16, 2017 Podcast, when asked who he would most like to personally canonize, Martin responded with the name of Jeannine Gramick.

Please contact the Archdiocese of New York:

Cardinal Timothy Dolan
Phone: 212-371-1000

1011 First Ave
New York, NY 10022


  1. Basil Bwambale August 4, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    I wld like to remind the authors of this write up that the change to the catechism announced by Pope Francis was guided by sacred scripture not just theological debate or intellectual thinking. “Thou shall not kill” Therefore if we shld request for any changes to church teaching let’s have Sacred scripture as our guide and standard. The Catholic church is no body’s property but the Lord’s . Thus all teaching and beliefs MUST more and more make visible the face of Jesus to the world and give Glory to God. Regarding LGBT people may we be guided by sacred scripture if we seriously want to live the life God intended for us… We shld ask the Pope to teach what Jesus commands and not what groups of pple in whatever category think. All of us including the Pope are answerable to one Authority.. the Lord Jesus,,, let’s refer to the Lord’s word in all circumstances because we came from Him and we are on our way back to Him.. The Pope’s word becomes authentic for the Church only when he speaks the mind of God revealed in God’s word like he has just done with ” thou shall not kill” ,,,the pope has only clarified that this word of God applies to the guilty as well…and thus the Pope’s change to Catholic catechism becomes authentic for it made clear God’s word…., the same measure shld guide our thinking about LGBT people.

  2. Evangeline August 5, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    Yeah, uh, sorry Basil, no. You are not correct and are even misleading.

    The pope has no right to teach his own thoughts and opinions when it departs from millennia of Catholic and apostolic teaching, as this does. He did not form an argument, apparently did not show any of his famous “collegiality”, did not quote scripture, theologians, saints, Catholic teaching, natural law, doctor’s of the church, nor any pope prior to himself. He quoted…himself. Sorry, but that’s not adequate. Taking this dangerous step of changing settled teaching on a whim overnight, he has abrogated for himself more authority than he has. He HAS a job. His job is to safeguard and defend EXISTING Catholic dogma and teaching. He is NOT allowed to change things for any reason. We are to ask ourselves at all times if whatever he proposes is in line with what has been taught, if not, alarms should go off. If Catholics do not do this, we are going to have a faith that changes according to political aims, which is what we are seeing right now with this extremely Leftist political pope.

    Jesus said to Pilate, “you would not have this authority unless it were given to you by my father in heaven”, acknowledging the state has that authority. Enough said right there.
    Today this pope and many bishops and Cardinals are manipulating the Gospel to attain political ends they desire, including filling the West with Islam, advancing LGBT. We see the fruits of these movements, none of it good. This pope is diminishing the office of the papacy, the Church, the faith, by his recent statements, over-reaching his authority, and causing more confusion, which is apparently his personal goal. It was obviously a distraction, to get Catholics to stop talking about homosexual predators in the priesthood and episcopacy, who have devastated little boys and wrecked the lives of seminarians.
    It won’t work.

  3. TN Catholic August 6, 2018 at 9:06 am

    These are not simply the Pope’s thoughts. He has assessed the situation and found that the death penalty is no longer as necessary as it previously was, which is within his rights a Supreme Pontiff. Aquinas justifies the death penalty by analogizing to amputation of a diseased body part, which likewise is only permissible if it’s the only viable option. If the CCC had analogous sections on amputation, then they would probably state that “modern antibiotics make amputation a rash option as the removal of body parts is contrary to human dignity.” This would not mean if one is in the middle of nowhere and has an arm trapped that it wouldn’t be moral to amputate the arm in order to get free and get help. Or for that matter the removal of an arm due to cancer assuming all other means were attempted. The circumstances, including technology or location, do affect the morality of an act. The accusation that the Pope announced this to cover for the new abuse crisis is also unfair.

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