LIVESTREAM | Building a Bridge

In his recently published book on the relationship between the Catholic Church and LGBT people, Father ​James Martin urges members of these two communities to treat each other with​ ​”respect, compassion, and sensitivity.​”​


What are the prospects for mutual understanding and engagement between these groups, and where are the limits? Join Father Martin and Patrick Hornbeck, chair of Fordham’s Department of Theology, for an evening of​ lively​ conversation and debate. The discussion will be moderated by Natalia Imperatori-Lee, FCRH ’98, professor of religious studies at Manhattan College.

You can watch the livestream right here, beginning at 6:30pm ET, on Tues., Sept. 5. This event is sponsored by Fordham’s Department of Theology in association with America Media and Fordham’s Office of Alumni Relations.

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Kevin Murphy
1 year 1 month ago

I don't see a "whole-lotta" disagreement coming up at this event. A progressive love fest. I'd be shocked if someone stood up for Church teaching on sexuality. Well. Miracles do happen.

Paul White
1 year 1 month ago

And what is it about showing respect, compassion, and sensitivity to homosexuals that you find so distasteful Mr. Murphy.

Kevin Murphy
1 year 1 month ago

I don't find any of that distasteful. I encourage all of those positives. What is distasteful is that Father Martin never presents full Catholic teaching. Did he mention the Church's teaching on living a chaste life? If so, did he encourage it? I'd redpect him if he did but said he didn't agree.

Michael Barberi
1 year 1 month ago

I listened to this LiveStream and found it educational and honest. While Fr. Martin did not address the "elephant in the room" he did explain why he did not argue about same sex marriage in his book, the teachings about human sexuality and its origin in Church's history, et al. Nevertheless, I could discern his viewpoint that the Institutional Church should not only engage in a robust and on-going dialogue with the gay and lesbian community but also to rethink the language used and the many unsubstantiated assertions that the Church uses in a discussion about homosexuality, same sex marriage et al. For example, the Church says that same sex marriage is not a marriage of love and not the kind of love that many heterosexuals have in their marriages. Fr. Martin gave an example of a gay couple he knew very well that was an outstanding expression of a life of love.

The Church's erroneous assertions about same sex marriage are partially grounded in the teaching that the homosexual act is not procreative nor can the act be an expression of openness to procreation. They claim it is an objective or intrinsic disordered act because only properly ordered acts to procreation are licit. However, as was made clear during this LiveStream, the Church has not put forth a convincing argument because many heterosexuals are infertile. Their acts are not procreative at all. Equally important, many heterosexual couples don't want children for good reasons.....the same good reasons that Pius XII put forth when he instituted the teaching about natural family planning (NFP). He said that a couple could practice NFP for a long time or a 'life time' for good reasons. In this case, heterosexual couples and their marital acts would not be open to procreation, so either NFP and contraception are morally right or they are both morally wrong.

Also, the controversial description of homosexuality, namely, it is an 'objective or intrinsic disorder' has to do with the claim that it is not the Divine Order. In other words, the Divine Order is heterosexual, and only sexual intercourse between heterosexual couples are licit because the sexual faculties were created by God for only one thing, namely, 'procreation and love'.

In the case of homosexual acts within a irregular marriage, the Church argues that they are not open to procreation, nor are they an expression of love. This teaching is highly disputed in particular since Humanae Vitae that essentially proclaims that NFP is God's procreative plan and the only form of birth control that is morally permitted. The dispute, in part, is over the belief that NFP is open to procreation because there is a small possibility of procreation. However, in the same breath the Church also argues that NFP is as effective as the pill provided that it is used properly. This is pure double speak. I will spare you a lengthly rebuttal that NFP couples are merely "abstaining from sex during fertile days".

It is about time that the bishops understood the experiences of gays and lesbians and those in irregular marriages. Most bishops have no idea even how to have such a conversation with them. If the Church wants all of us to properly form our consciences before we make moral decisions, then the bishops should also do so instead of relying of what they were taught. At least they could education themselves and get to know homosexuals and their burdens, sufferings, unwelcomeness, disenfranchisement and desire to become an integral part of the Church.

It all starts with dialogue. Bravo to Fr. Martin.

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