Nearly 200 Catholics prayed across from Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago on March 22, where Father James Martin, S.J. gave a Lenten talk. The invitation to speak caused an uproar since the outspoken Jesuit priest is an open and active promoter of pro-homosexual issues. He has been banned from speaking at several Catholic venues.
The protesters across from the cathedral braved the frigid weather to gather and pray a rosary of reparation in the Windy City in the hour before Fr. Martin talked. The rally of reparation was organized by the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP). Over 7,500 concerned Catholics had signed an online TFP petition to protest and make reparation for the scheduled talk.
The controversial priest was invited to speak by Blase Cardinal Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago. Father Martin is the author of Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity.
TFP members handed out a flyer titled “Are LGBT People Other Christs?” The pamphlet reviewed Father Martin’s book and took issue with his comparing the exclusion and anxiety of LGBT people to the persecution, Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Alluding to the book, one banner at the rally had the message “Fr. Martin’s bridge to sin offends God.” Other signs proclaimed “Purity Yes, Lust No,” “No Bridge to Unnatural Sin,” or “The Church built Bridges for 2000 Years: Confession and Amendment of Life.”
Catholics Pray Outside Cathedral Where Controversial Jesuit Speaks
Reparation for Distortion of Catholic Doctrine
The overall tone of the rally was one of reparation and indignation for what was being allowed in Holy Name Cathedral. Those present prayed rosaries and sang hymns. People came from all over the city and even as far as Milwaukee.
All were perplexed by the invitation of a priest who is an open promoter of many issues which clash with Catholic morality.
Some of his more controversial stands include:
- A call for Catholics to “reverence” homosexual “marriage”
- His support for transgenderism for children
- His stand in favor of homosexual kissing during Mass
- His praise for a dissident, pro-homosexual nun
- His reception of an award from group condemned by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops
The Catholic University of America canceled an appearance by Fr. Martin in 2017 for the following reason: “Since the publication of his book, Building a Bridge, Theological College has experienced increasing negative feedback,” stated a news release issued by the college. “The decision was made to withdraw the invitation extended to Father Martin.”
Protest from faithful Catholics also led to the cancellation of his talk at Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Whitehouse, New Jersey on February 15.