Pope Francis Names Liberal Fr. James Martin, SJ as Vatican Communications Consultant


Is there a better news source than this?

Church Militant offers a biased spin to news, but the information that it reports has to be at least somewhat accurate in order to be credible. They could report it as bad news or a chance to fulminate against Pope Francis.

If you doubt them, look it up. You have Google.

Here is a better story. Based on what I’ve seen on facebook, the Church Militant types are losing their minds over this. A gentleman from EWTN was also appointed, I don’t know him and forget his name though.

Father James Martin appointed by Pope Francis to Vatican department for communications

ETA: I initially didn’t bother clicking on the CM link for obvious reasons but I’m glad I did. I somehow missed that he was releasing a book:

Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter Into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion and Sensitivity

I’m a bit excited to read that. I have his Jesus, a Pilgrimage book but haven’t read it yet.

I don’t know. Have you tried looking for one?

What does “liberal” mean here? Does it mean liberal as in Democrat, or does it mean morally liberal, as in he approves of abortion, gay marriage, contraception, etc.? I dislike the latter meaning, and I haven’t seen it apply to Father Martin from what I’ve read of him. He seems quite orthodox in his beliefs and seems like a perfect fit for Pope Francis.

How could Pope Francis appoint a priest who “approves of abortion, gay marriage, contraception…”? These are matters of religious doctrine, are they not? Would not the Pope censure such a priest? I think that “liberal” in this context might mean the priest is liberally minded with regard to social-justice issues involving immigrants and the poor.

No Unfortunately it means morally liberal. We need to pray for all of our Preists!!!

Are you saying that a priest is permitted to favor abortion and remain a priest without being censured by his bishop as well as the Pope?

I haven’t seen any indication that Father Martin approves of any ‘morally liberal’ ideas, so I’m not sure where this is coming from.

By “liberal” I mean American politically liberal, which often flirts with being morally liberal and and can obscure Catholic teaching on morality, e.g. “conservative” Catholics hate gays, immigrants, and the poor.

My sense is that Fr Martin has positions that annoy some people, but that don’t directly contradict Church teaching. If Church Militant had a smoking gun they wouldn’t hesitate to show it.

Sounds good to me.

I like Father Martin. I’m a fan. He’s apparently been appointed to a body that consults on Vatican communications.

Martin is a great communicator. He understands media, and messaging, and how to get the word out there in today’s world. He’s a good writer, a funny guy when he wants to be, and totally serious when he needs to be.

Appointing him to this body is a good call.

This particular priest is a Jesuit and to my knowledge isn’t heterodox in his beliefs.

Censure? Are you kidding. Before long he’ll probably be elevated to cardinal.

Peace, Mark

He was the chaplain of The Colbert Report which I guess could upset some.

I agree completely.

I find that reports which are unable to use someone’s name without attaching an adjective are rarely worth reading.

Yes. And that Church Militant site is pretty vicious. They seem to have a bit of a bee in their bonnet about gay men. Lots of fulminations and insinuation. And they actually had the nerve to demand that Father Martin tell them whether or not he is himself homosexual. As if it’s any of their business. Or as if it matters, in the case of a celibate man.

It’s pretty nasty.

Well, Fr. Martin does use the term “liberal” when referring to himself:

Benedict’s trip has been a surprise for me. To be honest, I was one of those (many) liberal Catholics who was disappointed by his election. (At the time, I told someone that when Pope Benedict XVI first stepped onto the Vatican balcony after his election, I felt like jumping off of one!)

Source: thepope.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/18/the-jewish-people-joseph-ratzinger-and-me/

The article had a couple more zingers as well:

True, this is the same man who wrote, or at least approved, the Vatican document Dominus Iesus, which said that non-Christian religions are “gravely deficient” and that even other Christian denominations have “defects.” It is also the same man who, after encouraging the celebration of the traditional Latin Mass, rewrote a Latin prayer for the Good Friday services that angered many Jewish people. And I doubt he would change either one of those writings.

Non-Christian religions are gravely deficient and other denominations do have defects. I’m not sure what he’s even trying to say here. Granted, he did come around and say he was impressed with some of what Pope Benedict was doing, but he couldn’t avoid throwing in those little digs.

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