James Martin, SJ Profile picture
Sep 1, 2018 16 tweets 3 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Thread: 1) The most shocking aspect of last week’s coordinated attack on Pope Francis (thanks to Archbishop #Vigano’s “testimony,” which is being discredited by the hour) is how former champions of the papacy rushed to attack, condemn and attempt to delegitimize Pope Francis.
2) It ended caused immense pain among the faithful, at a time when many, if not all, were demoralized by the latest sex abuse crisis.
3) Some US Catholics, even bishops, who under Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI acted as if any disagreement with a Pope was tantamount to dissent (or heresy), heaped scorn on Francis, called for resignation, and publicly sided with his accuser, based on unsubstantiated charges
4) But now what will they do? Because the Vigano “testimony” is being discredited piece by piece, hour by hour.
5) The latest reports show that Archbishop Vigano’s much-touted “sanctions” against former Cardinal McCarrick appear to have been “private,” never formalized at all by Benedict, and were more of a recommendation, which blows the bottom out of Vigano's central against Pope Francis
6) If these sanctions were not formalized, and were not applied even under Pope Benedict (as @MikeOLoughlin has shown), this undercuts, if not entirely destroys, Vigano’s “testimony” against Francis’s supposed role in enabling McCarrick.
7) Vigano himself did not go out of his way to enforce the sanctions against someone whose conduct supposedly outraged him. Then how does he explain that while blasting Pope Francis for not doing so?
8) The question, then, ends up turning more on the oversight, or non-oversight, of an abuser and abusive priests not by Francis, but by Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI, and other Curial officials. The “testimony," then, appears to be leading to scrutiny of unintended people.
9) Here’s the sad point: Many Catholics, including bishops, who under John Paul and Benedict professed their lifelong fidelity to the office of Pope, swiftly turned on a Pope that they didn't like, based on one disgruntled former nuncio’s 11-page unsubstantiated screed.
10) Compare one prelate’s previous comments about the papacy: “I express my deepest gratitude to His Holiness for the great confidence which he has placed in me, and I renew my commitment to serve Him, as Shepherd of the universal Church, in total fidelity and with all my being."
11) That was after he was named a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI. Last week, that same cardinal said publicly that it was “licit” to call for the Pope’s resignation.
12) Some US bishops immediately sided with Vigano, one calling him a “man of truth, faithfulness and integrity” while studiously avoiding the same words for Francis, heedlessly inching us closer to the possibility of schism, or at least more serious division, in the US church.
13) And some of these same US bishops who suddenly professed their outrage over sex abuse as soon it seemed that it could take down Francis, were, just a few days before, completely quiet about the topic, even in the face of the damning Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report.
14) It was the weaponization of the abuse crisis, using the suffering of children and young people to bring down Francis, to increase division among the faithful and to advance their own ecclesial agenda against, to quote that cardinal, “The Shepherd of the Universal Church.”
15/15) All of this darkness caused great pain, confusion and anger among the faithful, as well as among the clergy and religious, and distracted us from the most urgent task, which needs to be taken up again, of preventing abuse. Together, united, as one body.
5) ...central charge...

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More from @JamesMartinSJ

Oct 4, 2018
Why should we use "LGBT" or "LGBTQ" in the church? Because people have a right to name themselves, and this is the name many choose. And there is such a "thing" as an "LGBTQ Catholic" and a "transgender catholic." They are members of the Body of Christ. catholicherald.co.uk/news/2018/10/0…
I understand Archbishop Chaput's point but this member of the Body of Christ deserves a name, and this is the name that many, if not most, choose. (Likewise, we don't say "Negroes," we say "African Americans" or "Blacks.") Individuals and groups have a right to name themselves.
Finally, they are indeed a distinct member of the Body of Christ with distinct experiences--of exclusion, marginalization and persecution--and the church must speak of them with "respect," as the Catechism says (2358). Part of respect is using the name they choose, thus "LGBT/Q."
Read 4 tweets
Sep 19, 2018
Gospel: Today Jesus is critiqued for being a "friend of tax collectors and sinners." Interestingly, Harrington and Donahue, commenting on Mark, note that apart from Levi, "there is no indication that the toll collectors abandoned their profession after contact with Jesus." 1/
"This practice of Jesus...amounted to a simple message that God loved these people, and that they would be part of God's kingdom being inaugurated by Jesus." 2/
"These narratives provide a continuing challenge to Christian churches...[T]he practice of Jesus manifests a preference for the marginal. Churches today are challenged to expend their energy and resources not only on the 'well' and the strong..." 3/
Read 4 tweets
Sep 2, 2018
Thread: 1/15) Dear friends: Like you, I am sick about what is happening in our church. Like you, I’ve prayed about how best to move ahead. Our church will survive. The “gates of hell” will not prevail against it, as Jesus Christ himself promised us.
2/ But Christ, through the Holy Spirit, urges us to act: to rebuild the church and help his holy and faithful people. Without certain steps, people will flow out of the church, never to return, like water from the side of the Crucified One on Good Friday.
3/ Some of you may not agree with each step, but I believe that each one is essential for us to rebuild the church. This list is by no means complete or exhaustive. With a focus on the US church, and in order of immediacy, they are as follows:
Read 15 tweets
Aug 31, 2018
Here's a helpful (brief) overview, as a follow-up from an earlier tweet, from a psychologist on sex abuse in the Catholic church. psychologytoday.com/blog/do-the-ri…
Four points: "1) No empirical data exists that suggests that Catholic clerics sexually abuse minors at a level higher than clerics from other religious traditions or from other groups of men who have ready access and power over children (e.g., school teachers, coaches)."
"2. Clerical celibacy doesn’t cause pedophilia and sexual crimes against minors."
Read 5 tweets
Aug 26, 2018
Breaking: Pope Francis answers: What would you say to a parent who has a gay child? "You are my son or daughter, as you are." 1/
More: "I would say first to pray, don’t condemn, dialogue, understand, make space for them. Let them express themselves. Then, at what age does this concern ('inquietudine') of the child express itself? Its important. 2/
"One thing is when it shows itself in a child. There are many things one can do with psychiatry, to understand things. Another thing is when it shows itself after 20 years of age or so. 3/
Read 5 tweets
Aug 21, 2018
Dear friends: Prayers welcome! God willing, I'll be leaving tonight for the World Meeting of Families in Dublin, where I'll be giving a lecture, at the invitation of the Vatican, entitled, "Showing Welcome and Respect in Our Parishes to LGBT People and their Families" @WMOF2018 1
I'm grateful for the invitation and for the opportunity to remind parishes that LGBT Catholics are as much a part of the church as anyone else. Thanks to the pastors, pastoral workers and parishioners who helped me craft this talk of insights and "best practices" for parishes 2
Now, more than ever, in the face of increased hatred, LGBT Catholics need to know that God loves them and that they are part of God's family. For those in Dublin, the talk is at 11:30 AM at the Hall 8A. It will posted immediately afterwards on the @americamag website. 3
Read 5 tweets

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