Scores of local Catholics protested a pro-LGBT talk by the well-known “Rainbow” Jesuit, Fr. James Martin, S.J. at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut on January 29. Outraged by the blatant disregard for the Church’s teachings on morals, faithful Catholics gathered last Saturday, at the entrance of the university to pray a rosary of reparation. They also sang hymns accompanied by bagpipes. A second rally was also held on the night of the talk.
The protest, organized by The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property (TFP), rallied Catholic locals who were astonished, upset, and genuinely filled with sorrow at seeing a Catholic university invite a speaker who promotes teachings contrary to Catholic Church teaching. A petition by TFP Student Action gathered nearly 20,000 signatures prayerfully urging the university’s president to cancel Fr. Martin’s talk.
President of Sacred Heart University Calls TFP Bullies
Sacred Heart University president John Petillo acknowledged the flood of protest in “A Message to the Community.” He said he received “an outpouring of letters, emails and calls regarding Martin’s views.” He denounced these concerns as messages “laden with bigotry and self-righteousness.”
He also reported that “a petition has been circulating online to pressure the University. It was originated by TFP Student Action.” He qualified this peaceful protest as an example of “bullying” which is opposed to “open debate and discourse.”
Interestingly enough, videos of TFP Student Action volunteers have always shown them to be calm and collected, engaging in countless peaceful debates with those who oppose them.
Fr. Martin Labels Peaceful Catholics as Hateful
In response to Sacred Heart University’s supportive statement, Fr. Martin took to Twitter posting, “Thanks to the President of Sacred Heart University for his kind support in the face of some hateful protests of my upcoming talk on LGBT Catholics. These protests do nothing, except strengthen my resolve and increase attendance. See you all on Tuesday at @sacredheartuniv!”
Controversy has surrounded Fr. Martin wherever he has spoken. Peaceful protests have resulted in the canceling of some of these talks. In other places, protests have made Catholics aware of these talks and “strengthen their resolve” to make their voices heard.
“This talk is a sad sign of the times,” commented John Ritchie of TFP Student Action. The rosary of reparation at the University was offered to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Who undoubtedly is offended by the university’s invitation of Fr. Martin to speak.