Although 10,000 people signed a petition against the presence of Fr. James Martin at the upcoming World Meeting of Families in Dublin, the organizers of the event have decided not to cancel the invitation.
Fr. Martin is a Jesuit priest whose unorthodox positions on homosexuality are a source of controversy. Director of the magazine America and consultor for the Vatican Secretariat for Communications, Jesuit Fr. James Martin published the book Building a Bridge in June 2017. The book’s subtitle explains its contents: “How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity”. The back cover even has a recommendation by Cardinal Kevin Farrell, prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life.
Cardinal Sarah reacted strongly to this publication, denouncing Fr. Martin as “one of the most outspoken critics of the Church's message with regard to sexuality.” Other high-ranking prelates, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, for example, and Cardinal Raymond Burke, reacted in the same way.
The Jesuit makes no secret of the unorthodox nature of his positions. “Some of the language used in the catechism on (homosexuality) needs to be updated,” he declared on June 6, 2017, on Religion News Service (RNS).
This priest’s participation in the World Meeting of Families in Dublin from August 21 to 26, 2018, in the presence of Pope Francis, could not but inspire emotion and indignation. A petition was sent to the archbishop of Dublin, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, asking that Fr. Martin’s invitation be withdrawn. 10,000 signatures were collected in a few short days, a proof of the dismay of many Catholics, disoriented by the attitude of their pastors.
The archbishop of Dublin refused to comment on this request, as did the organizers of the World Meeting of Families, who confirmed the scandalous Jesuit’s invitation.