Perhaps not surprisingly, I've been attacked in the last few days about my comments over the resignation of Msgr. Burrill. (Then again, I'd be attacked if I said "God loves you.") Obviously, priests not living celibately, or using "hook up" apps, is problematic in many ways...
As an aside, members of religious orders vow chastity and priests promise celibacy at their ordination. (Priests in religious orders--like me--live both the vow and the promise.) Religious and priests not living according to their vows and promises is a serious moral problem...
But so are the immoral tactics used by Pillar to "out" Msgr. Burrill, as well as their conflating homosexuality with pedophilia. (Many secular outlets were disturbed by their tactics as well.) So both are problematic: the priest's activities and the so-called "investigation..."
I'm used to the attacks on social media by now, and they don't bother me, but they also reveal something essential about the church in the United States....
The volume and viciousness of the attacks ("You're next f****t." "We're coming for you next, Jimmy." "When are you going to be outed, sodomite?") reveal the level of homophobia in the church today.

Because almost all the attacks came from accounts that identify as Catholic...
That same hatred was obvious in the Pillar article: the "outing" of Msgr. Burrill, the contempt for gay people in general, the conflation of homosexuality with pedophilia, and so on. At the heart of this is a deep homophobia...
Articles like that, and tactics like that, from a supposedly Catholic website, give many Catholics (and others) permission to hate. Or to hate even more.

And none of that is coming from God.

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More from @JamesMartinSJ

22 Jul
Gospel: Facts about St. #MaryMagdalene on her Feast Day:
1) She never abandoned Jesus, as many disciples did.
2) In John's Gospel, it is to her that the Risen Christ appears first.
3) In the time between the Risen One appearing to her and her proclaiming the Resurrection... the other disciples, Mary Magdalene was the church on earth, for only to her had been revealed the full Paschal Mystery. All discussions of women's roles in the church need to proceed from this event....
4) She is known as the "Apostle to the Apostles."
5) She was NOT a prostitute.
Read 4 tweets
21 Jul
Gospel: Today Jesus gets into a boat and rows out into the Sea of Galilee to speak to a crowd (Mt 13)? Why? If you visit that spot, today called "The Bay of Parables," you will see a naturally occurring amphitheater, where the acoustics would have allowed people to hear him...
Also, sound travels more easily over water, which also would have also made it easier for a large crowd to hear him. By the way, the shoreline near Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee is compact, so there aren't too many places where this story could have happened...
Visiting the Holy Land helps people to see the real-life reasons behind many of the details written about in the Gospels, which may seem mysterious or confusing otherwise...
Read 4 tweets
20 Jul
Catholic journalism, 2021: Spying on a priest (more accurately, using data from an unnamed source who spied on him) for breaking his promise of celibacy, then conflating homosexuality with pedophilia, under the guise of a journalistic "investigation..."…
Regardless of the actions of the priest who was forced to resign today, is there any indication that an actual "investigation" took place? Or did these writers simply buy data from an unscrupulous source, and one possibly breaking the law? One has to ask: "Cui bono?"
And again, why not spy on everyone works for the church? Why stop at priests? Why not spy on unmarried lay teachers? Perhaps they're sexually active. Why not spy on married pastoral associates? Perhaps they're using birth control. And why stop there? Why not spy on parishioners?
Read 5 tweets
20 Jul
Gospel: Today Jesus is confronted by his family, who have come to Capernaum all the way from Nazareth (Mt. 12). Why? Mark's Gospel tells us: they thought he was "out of his mind" and so they come to "restrain" him. This part of Jesus's life is often ignored: conflicts...
...with his family early in his public ministry. Even Mary comes from Nazareth to confront him. (It's what would be called today a "family intervention.")

But when Jesus is told that his mother and brothers are outside, he says, "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?”...
Matthew's Gospel tells the rest of the story: "And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.'"
Read 6 tweets
19 Jul
Gospel: Today Jesus tells religious leaders that they will receive no "sign" except the "Sign of Jonah" (Mt. 12). This is a complex reading. In Mark 8, Jesus refuses to give any sign at all. Also, the Jonah symbolism may be an image of resurrection (three days inside...
...whale versus three days in the tomb), or a nod to how Jonah preached to those on the margins (tax collectors, etc) as Jesus does, or how Jonah received positive responses to his calls for repentance, while Jesus does not, at least with some religious leaders...
All these meanings may be at work in this mysterious passage. Underlying this it that some religious leaders (and others) fail to accept what Jesus is doing, despite the miracles and other signs of God's presence. How often do we overlook signs of God's presence in our own lives?
Read 4 tweets
18 Jul
Gospel: Today Jesus invites his disciples to "come away and rest for a while" (Mk 6). But Jesus and the disciples are met by great crowds, who reach the "desolate place" before they do. Fr Paul at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle in NYC reminded us in his homily today... Image
...that the disciples, who had just returned from their missions of preaching and healing, were probably physically tired. But they didn't get much of a break as they journeyed on that boat with Jesus, perhaps just an hour or so.

So they may not have been physically rested...
But, as Fr. Paul said, they were spiritually rested, because even an hour in Jesus's company was refreshing.

You may not be able to "come away" for a spiritual retreat, or even get away for a vacation, but you can still take time on your own, in prayer....
Read 4 tweets

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