Rebecca Bratten Weiss is, among other things, a writer on the Patheos website. Until this week, I had never heard of her so I had no preconceived ideas or impressions of her.
On January 8th of this year, I read an article on Church Militant that briefly mentioned her name. I honestly didn't pay much attention to her name, as the article its self was so disgusting in its content -Franciscan University of Steubenville had supported a pornographic book giving a detailed account of masturbation and the Virgin Mary (after public uproar FUS changed their tune). This post isn't really about any of that- its about Weiss labeling Catholics who actually hold to the Catholic faith as "nihilists".
Weiss: "I’d like to follow up by stating that sometimes it’s erroneous to frame a conflict as being between “two sides” at all. Sometimes the conflict is not so much a conflict as it is an attack by nihilists on diverse, well-meaning humans simply trying to do their best in the world."
According to Weiss, Catholics who hold to the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church which have been passed down over the centuries are "nihilists" and self proclaimed Catholics who wish to change teachings and who often reject and/or ignore teachings...these people are "diverse, well-meaning humans simply trying to do their best in the world". Boggles the mind. But it gets worse...Weiss' example of one of these poor well-meaning humans is none other than heretical priest Fr. James Martin.
Weiss writes: Father James Martin of New Ways Ministry is a Jesuit priest with a special vocation for reaching out to Catholic-affiliated LGBTQ persons who feel marginalized, excluded, or even victimized in the church. This is a ministry which is built upon the most central of the church’s teachings about LGBTQ persons: namely, that “They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”
Let's stop right there. Weiss labels Martin "of New Ways Ministry" seemingly unaware that the USCCB has CONDEMNED New Ways Ministry.
Weiss: Father Martin is not a far-left Catholic, and has never advocated for a reversal of the magisterial teaching on the morality of homosexual acts, nor on gay marriage.
Hold the bus! Again, Weiss shows she has not done her homework. Spend any time reading Martin on social media and its clear. I have written about Martin's heretical beliefs HERE, HERE and HERE to name but a few times Martin has gone against Catholic teaching on homosexuality.
In "The LGBT Philosophies of James Martin and Patrick Hornbeck" Youtube video Martin says (*at the 26 mark)...
Martin states in the video he wants the Church to "reflect" on homosexual "love" because *he* has determined these relationships to be worthy of "reverence".
*Note to Fr. Martin, the Church has already reflected on homosexual "love" and found it to be DISORDERED.
Clearly Martin continues to show he and his views are in direct opposition to the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church.
Weiss: For this, he has sometimes been criticized by leftist Catholics for not going far enough. I’ve been in many conversations with feminist academics who are critical of what they perceive as his unwillingness to push back against the existing magisterial teachings. And right-leaning Catholics get upset with him for not reiterating more strenuously the “homosexual acts are bad” element of magisterial teaching (for which, honestly, I commend him: gay Catholics have heard those lines all too frequently).
Again, I don't think Weiss has done her homework on Martin. Martin has repeatedly openly supported gay "marriage" and unions on social media.
|Fr.Martin promoting a lesbian couple fornicating for decades.|
Here is Martin promoting a gay book that encourages gay "marriage"...
Most recently Martin promoted a blasphemous rosary on social media...
I could go on, but why bother? We've all seen it from Martin for years now. We know he's a heretical priest doing great damage to the bewildered lost sheep who can't see the wolf before them.
Weiss then turns her eyes to Church Militant and defends pornography being promoted at a Catholic University.
Weiss: Recently, the far-right media tabloid Church Militant published an execrable and dishonest smear piece about Dr. Stephen Lewis of Franciscan University, who dares to teach actual literature in his upper-level literature classes. Dr. Lewis is no radical leftist, and is in fact fairly conservative. He simply understands that part of the role of an education is to prepare adults to encounter a broad range of human experiences, and to be able to engage with artistic works even if they contain difficult or problematic material.
This is nothing out of the ordinary for conservative Catholic academics who actually have functioning mental apparatus. In my doctoral program at University of Dallas we read any number of “scandalous” works from antiquity to modernity – from bawdy Greek epigrams to Gilles Deleuze, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. We read feminist philosophy. We talked about the masturbation scene in Ulysses, and discussed the nature of language in Lolita. And Dallas is, largely, considered conservative. But it also happens to be a university, not a four-year Bible camp. At least when I was there, the dominant ethos was one of magnanimity, not fear, and we enjoyed academic freedom while also celebrating Catholic identity. I can not imagine a university of that caliber caving to the demands of the barely-literate tabloid media.
Once more, I question whether or not Weiss has done any homework at all on the subject of being Catholic and pornographic material.
5. Among the alarming developments of these years has been the widespread increase of pornography and wanton violence in the media. Books and magazines, recordings, the cinema, the theatre, television, videocassettes, advertising displays and even telecommunications frequently offer a representation of violent behaviour or of permissiveness in sexual activity that reaches the point of being openly pornographic and morally offensive.
6. As reflections of the dark side of a human nature marred by sin, pornography and the exaltation of violence are age-old realities of the human condition. In the past quarter century, however, they have taken on new dimensions and have become serious social problems. At a time of widespread and unfortunate confusion about moral norms, the communications media have made pornography and violence accessible to a vastly expanded audience, including young people and even children, and a problem which at one time was confined mainly to wealthy countries has now begun, via the communications media, to corrupt moral values in developing nations.
10. While no one can consider himself or herself immune to the corrupting effects of pornography and violence or safe from injury at the hands of those acting under their influence, the young and the immature are especially vulnerable and the most likely to be victimized. Pornography and sadistic violence debase sexuality, corrode human relationships, exploit individuals - especially women and young people, undermine marriage and family life, foster anti-social behaviour and weaken the moral fibre of society itself.
11. Thus, one of the clear effects of pornography is sin. Willing participation in the production or dissemination of these noxious products can only be judged a serious moral evil. Likewise, production and dissemination of these materials could not continue if there were not a market for them, so those who use such materials not only do moral harm to themselves but contribute to the continuation of a nefarious trade.
14. Even so called "soft core" pornography can have a progressively desensitizing effect, gradually rendering individuals morally numb and personally insensitive to the rights and dignity of others. Exposure to pornography can also be - like exposure to narcotics - habit-forming and can lead individuals to seek increasingly "hard core" and perverse material. The likelihood of anti-social behaviour can grow as this process continues.
15. Pornography can foster unhealthy preoccupations in fantasy and behaviour. It can interfere with personal moral growth and the development of healthy and mature relationships, especially in marriage and family life, where mutual trust and openness and personal moral integrity in thought and in action are so important.
16. Indeed, pornography can militate against the family character of true human sexual expression. The more sexual activity is considered as a continuing frenzied search for personal gratification rather than as an expression of enduring love in marriage, the more pornography can be considered as a factor contributing to the undermining of wholesome family life.
25. EDUCATORS. The chief collaborators with parents in the moral formation of young people must be educators. Schools and other educational programs should support and inculcate the social and ethical values that promote the unity and health of families and of society itself. Of particular value are programs in media education to develop in young people a critical attitude and properly formed skills of discernment in using television, radio and other media, so that they might know how to resist manipulation and how to avoid merely passive listening and viewing habits. It is also important that schools emphasize the need for respect for the human person, the value of family life and the importance of personal moral integrity.
29. THE CHURCH AND RELIGIOUS GROUPS. For the Church, the first responsibility is the constant, clear teaching of the faith and, therefore, of objective moral truth, including the truth about sexual morality. In an era of permissiveness and moral confusion, this requires that the Church be a prophetic voice and, often, a sign of contradiction. The so-called "ethic" of immediate personal gratification is fundamentally opposed to integral human growth and fulfillment. Education for family life and indeed for responsible life in society requires formation in chastity and self-discipline. By contrast, pornography and wanton violence can blind individuals to the divine image in the human person, can weaken marriage and family life and can do serious harm to individuals and to society itself. Wherever possible, the Church must join with other churches, denominations and religious groups in teaching and fostering this message. It must also make the best possible use of its own institutions and personnel to give education and formation concerning the media of social communications and their proper role in individual and social life. Special attention should be given to assisting parents in their efforts. Thus, media education belongs in Catholic schools and other educational programs, in seminaries,8 in formation programs of religious and secular institutes, in the continuing formation of priests and in parish programs for youth and adults. Priests and Religious in pastoral and educational work should themselves be discrimating consumers of media who give good example in what they read and view.
Let's not forget the Catholic catechism on this either...
2354 Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials.
2396 Among the sins gravely contrary to chastity are masturbation, fornication, pornography, and homosexual practices.
Considering all of this, how in the world can Weiss label Catholics who HOLD to these teachings as "nihilists" while referring to Fr. James Martin as a "diverse, well-meaning human simply trying to do their best in the world"?
Truly, boggles the mind.
I'll finish this with a quote by Saint John Bosco...
Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner