About #RoyMoore, accused of the sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, of minors, and who has been likened by some supporters to Mary and Joseph, because Mary was a teenager and Joseph an adult, and whose brother has just compared him to Jesus. Let me say this... /1
First, sexual abuse is a crime. Any comparison between the loving relationship that existed between Mary and Joseph and sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, is monstrous, even blasphemous. /2
Second, despite the familiar artistic representations, we have no idea of the ages of Mary and Joseph at the time of their betrothal and marriage. The Gospels do not specify this, other than to call Mary a "parthenon" (in Greek, either a young woman or a virgin). /3
Joseph is often depicted in art as older than Mary, in fact, considerably older, so as to make him seem less "sexualized," and to emphasize Mary's virginity. But, in fact, both Mary and Joseph could have been the same age. /4
Again, using the relationship of Mary and Joseph to, in any way, excuse or legitimize the sexual abuse or sexual harassment of a minor, or anyone, is monstrous. /5
Finally, any comparison to Jesus, the sinless one, in terms of "persecution" is wrong. As my novice director once told us, "Just because people oppose you doesn't mean that you're like Jesus, or even that you're like one of the prophets. It may just mean that you're wrong." 6/6

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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
Sep 1, 2018
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
Read 16 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

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