The Virtues of Catholic Anger.....By Fr. James Martin

I really liked this article by James Martin. I think is worth a discussion. I don’t agree with everything he has to say, but I think he has a lot positive to say.

So when should Catholic laity speak out? How should they best speak out? How should “anger” play a role in Catholic life?

:sunglasses: :innocent: :crazy_face:

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Oh please, let’s not profane the Church by ‘lefting’ or ‘righting’ it! if you agree with Fr. Martin’s recent controversial comments (raised eyebrows at the highest levels), then you should compare what he says to the catechism. Test everything. Retain what is good.


As Scripture says, be angry and sin not. Anger is not a sin, anger is an emotion.

Fr Martin has wise words for us.


That’s cool! I believe you but where? I’d like to read it.

St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, chapter 4.

Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun set on your anger, and do not leave room for the devil.

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Keep in mind there are many other people, equally as “wise” as Fr. Martin, who cannot get their views into the NY Times. Fr. Martin expresses the views that the powerful want to be expressed, and never dissents from the secular world. If he encouraged anger against the establishment, the establishment would find another spokesman.

In the 1970’s there were more priests like Fr. Martin, many of them Jesuits, who were angry only against the Church. Today the great majority of selectively angry priests and sisters are retired. The Jesuits are far below replacement level, shrinking rapidly.

The collapse of some religious orders makes some laity angry. That anger won’t be printed in the Times.


I don’t want to get into opinions about the author… The article is a good one and reminds me that, sometimes, a lack of anger can be a sin.

Actually, people are encouraged to submit letters to the NY Times:

You flagged me for honouring St Edmund Campion?
Good grief.
Go ahead, flag this one too, whoever you are.
There should not be anonymity on flags.

By the way, that’s righteous anger

Lack of anger is never a sin.

Sometimes the media will target a certain group or cause, and demand our anger, and require specific actions by us. NOW. The media urges our anger, and actions, away from other causes.

The Jesuits, and other religious orders, have taken positions at odds with Catholic doctrine, and overly subservient to the secular media. As a result, vocations have plummeted. Many ministries have been eliminated, others survive but essentially secularized, all pretend to still be Catholic.

Laity who financially supported, and paid Catholic school tuition for what amounts to de facto public school education, are angry. So if the media establishment highlights Fr. Martin, I say sure, Case in point.

I honestly struggle with what Fr. Martin has to say (and not say) regarding homosexuality. That is the truth. At the same time I know people who are gay. These people have really suffered and struggled throughout their lives, and this is before they came out. Is it really necessary that the first thing we do as Catholics is to point to the Catechism and tell them what they are doing is wrong? They will stop listening immediately if we do that. Fr. Martin is taking a different approach, and I think his approach, while not perfect, needs to be understood. Perhaps we can learn from some aspects of Fr. Martin’s approach and is views in general.

A bit off topic; however, I think there are many factors that have caused the plummet in vocations. I look at the entire thing differently. I truly do not blame orders like the Jesuits for the decline in vocations. Instead I look to the peak in vocations between 1960 and 1970 as mainly due to the GI Bill and the expansion of education during that time in Europe and the US. When Pope Paul VI brought back the permanent diaconate, and at the same time said priests would not by marrying anytime soon, far fewer men became priests, and instead many became Deacons. This change is not the Jesuits fault. It is not a reason to ignore Jesuits, like Fr. Martin, who I genuinely see as trying to do good.

There are various reasons, true. But during the same period some religious orders held their own, and others grew, almost always the orthodox doctrine orders. This is especially true among women’s orders.

I agree with your statements that we need better pastoral care to gay persons. The fact that Fr. Martin is heavily supported by the Secular establishment does not mean he is wrong about everything.


I agree with this. I was at the World Meeting of Families where he spoke.

I didn’t go to his talk but a part of it was on the highlights and I thought his point very good.

In essence it was that someone who comes out to you first needs to be reassured that you still love them (or whatever is appropriate for your relationship), and that God still loves them. I don’t think that is in any way heterodox, whatever about anything else he may have said.


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