Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Is James Martin a Heretic?

"How many souls can I make fit for hell? Put it this way: Hans Kung was a fag."

The Catholic Church has long opposed giving communion to the divorced and remarried. Recently a vocal and powerful minority within the Church, probably including the Pope himself, have challenged this position.

It is a sign of the decadence of the state of contemporary Catholicism that those in this minority are called "liberals" or perhaps even "moderates"--advocates for the importance of "pastoral care" alongside doctrine, and even disciples of the "new" doctrine of mercy, advocated by the current Pope.

In fact, of course, they are heretics.

I'm not using the term because I don't like them (though, obviously I don't), but because it is precisely accurate. In Catholic terminology a heretic is one who denies one or more (though not all) claims of Catholic doctrine. If one is in in favor of giving communion to the divorced and remarried, then one must deny at least one doctrinal claim.

Now, of course, it is fashionable among some modern Catholics to deny that there is even such a thing as doctrine, and thus not really any such a thing as heresy. The Church (so goes the argument) has beliefs and teachings, some of which stay the same and some of which change. It might be inadvisable to change anything too quickly or change too many things at once, but in the end, everything is, so to speak, up for grabs, as long as one acts in the spirit of Christ's teachings as they were presented in the Bible and explained and developed by the Church.

That view is also a heresy. And no, I won't argue for it. But in a sense I don't need to, as those in the contemporary pro-communion-for-the-divorced-and-remarried crowd explicitly reject it. They endorse the view that one should not deny Catholic doctrine, as well as affirming that they themselves are not really doing so.

Rather, they claim they are exhibiting pastoral discernment in how to apply Catholic doctrine. Or mercy.

This of course makes no sense. It's a smokescreen or more precisely a lie. And the liars are well-aware of what they are doing.

What is the Catholic argument for not giving communion to the divorced and remarried?
  1. Communion involves physically receiving the real body and blood of Christ.
  2. It is a grave sin to receive the real body and blood of Christ if one is currently in a state of mortal sin.
  3. Adultery is a mortal sin.
  4. Being in a second marriage is equivalent to being in an ongoing state of adultery.
  5. Being in a second marriage involves being in an ongoing state of mortal sin (from 3 & 4).
  6. If one is in a second marriage, it is a grave sin to take communion (from 2 & 5).
We can see that the argument is based on four premises, each of which is uncontroversially (even for the heretics) a fundamental Catholic claim. I believe it is a valid argument (one whose conclusion follows logically from its premises), and thus, rejecting the conclusion involves rejecting the truth of one or more of the premises.

And you can't get it around it with the totem words "pastoral" or "mercy".

Take your pick:
  1. Deny the Real Presence.
  2. Deny (among other things) the Catholic interpretation of the words of Paul in the Epistles--"For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body."
  3. Deny that adultery is a mortal sin.
  4. Deny the Catholic interpretation of the words of Christ on marriage.
And don't say, "I'm not denying any of those--I'm just claiming there are exceptions." Please don't.

And don't say, "yes, but you have to meet people where they are." Simply don't.

Also, don't misunderstand. This is not an argument for the truth of any of these premises.  Virtually all of my non-Catholic friends deny at least one of them. Indeed, for some Protestants at least, denial of, say, the first, is one of the things that makes them Protestant.

I'm only talking about Catholics who claim to believe all of them but because they are in favor of communion for the divorced and remarried, in fact must deny them.

And of course they know that.

Do you think Archbishop Cupich believes in the Real Presence? Yeah, sure he does. Eucharistic Adoration? In the seminaries that trained Cupich and his like they called it "cookie worship". Indeed, if you try to kneel to Christ's body and blood, as you would if you honestly believed it was really Christ's body and blood, then Cupich will bitterly snap at you. He becomes an old woman. Even if you're a teenage girl.

Archbishop Cupich believes in midnight basketball and gun control.

Cardinal Kasper doesn't give one golden bauble about the words of Paul the Apostle.

James Martin SJ doesn't believe in mortal sin. Come on, seriously. Does anyone here believe that he does? Anyone? Mortal sin is for the haters. Martin's thing is hating the haters. Martin is obsessed by hate. Consumed by it. And don't say he loves gays or any of that claptrap. If the Zeitgeist were homophobic, as it often has been and no doubt will be again, Martin would be hanging gays from lampposts and then smirking about how merciful that was. You know he would.

Block that.

And what of the Pope? Honestly I don't really know what he does or does not believe. Tragically, I'm not sure he does either.

As a Catholic, perhaps I should be angry with those who deny Catholic claims. But I'm not, or at least I'm not per se. I'm angry with Catholics who deny Catholic claims. They are the worst sort of dishonest, well, scum imaginable. Termites, they have been called. Too cowardly to come into the open; too filled with hatred to simply go away. They must spoil it for everyone. They must spoil it for us. They are unceasingly dedicated to eating away at the Church from the inside. And that's much worse than the damage any atheist would do.


  1. Excellent. All this is making my head hurt. You have laid out a perfectly logical thesis (is that the right word?) and there is no way to work around it. But they do. Maybe we're the crazy ones.

  2. Good one! Kinda makes you long for the days of Pelagianism and Arianism and other heresies which were arguing about stuff like Grace and salvation, and the Nature of God and the Nature of the Trinity and whether Jesus had two natures or one nature, and you know, stuff about GOD! At this point, navel-gazing would be a step up, literally and figuratively.

  3. "And what of the Pope? Honestly I don't really know what he does or does not believe. Tragically, I'm not sure he does either."

    My dear Oakes---surely you jest!! It's pretty obvious what Jorge believes and doesn't believe.

    Seattle Kim

  4. Also I heard Martin speak on a book tour at Seattle U a few years ago. When his talk veered into a story in which he asked a nun about whether or not she had sexual fantasies, I tuned him out.

    Seattle kim

  5. Vatican 11 and its appalling ambiguities and falsehoods needs to be expunged from the face of the earth.Purified in the fire of The Mystical Body of christ.All heretic prelates should confess of their sins and return to the Church-if not then they should be excommunicated.Thats enough to be getting on with for now.!!God Bless.

  6. Amen, amen, amen! And although I miss her every single day, I thank the Lord constantly that He took my mother to His side on January 28, 2014. She was already troubled enough about the situation when she died - how glorious that she is reunited with her Savior and doesn't have to suffer through this.

    No respite for the rest of us, though. But my husband could use a break. He can tell when I'm reading about the goings-on - he says I have my 'Pope Francis' face on and stays well away from me! We do laugh about it but I have to be careful to limit myself to only my favorite blogs and to keep my perspective on my faith and the eternal Church and my family. And keep praying.