Let us hold fast to the teachings we received!

Nov 03, 2019

In this homily, Fr. Steve addresses some questions for the Church in our time. There are, Fr. Steve, says, those in the Church today who are seeking to fundamentally change the Church and her teaching. We saw this, especially regarding what seemed to many to be pagan rituals and idols in Rome during the Synod. This temptation to syncretism is, Fr. Steve, very serious, and must be resisted. 

Fr. Steve highlights the dangers of the ways that Fr. James Martin, S.J. and his efforts to support members of the "LGBT Community." Fr. Martin sees this gospel (Zacchaeus) as a pattern for the way the Church should treat members of the "LGBT Community."

Encounters with Jesus are, in fact, transformative. But note well, Fr. Steve says, that Zacchaeus had a conversion. He saw that his behavior was sinful and wrong. And he repented. That's what Jesus calls all of us to do: repent. Fr. Martin seems to encourage a spirit of "welcoming" without any expectation (or even hope?) of conversion. 

As he lays out his own concerns, Fr. Steve quotes from a warning written by Archbishop Chaput, who wrote the letter to the faithful of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to be cautious about Fr. Martin's book and his teaching that seem to encourage belief that the Church's teaching about human sexuality can be changed. 

As evidence of his ambiguous support of Church teaching, Fr. Steve offers an example from one of Fr. Martin's tweets, in which he called "Interesting" a quote from Fr. Richard Rohr: 

Fr. Steve quotes from an article by Fr. Dwight Longenecker to make clear the problems with Fr. Martin's (or at least Fr. Rohr's) exegesis.  

Noting that Fr. Martin is causing harm in the body, Fr. Steve says that is committed to handing on the truth, the Gospel as it has been handed down to us. Acknowledging that we must address the challenges of those who deal with matters LGBT, but encouraging LGBT men and women to embrace their lifestyle is not the way of Christ. Rather, we should offer them the truth we find in Christ, Fr. Steve tells us. Thanks be to God, the Lord can heal those who deal with any sin or sinful temptation, including same-sex attraction. 

As he concluded, Fr. Steve states that we must never forsake Christ for the sake of the world. As St. James tells us, "Friendship with the world is enmity with God" (James 4:4). If we have to choose, Fr. Steve say, we should be friends of God.    

See more from Homily Series: Teaching Authority of the Church

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