Dissenters Talk to Teens at Annual [Jesuit-Sponsored] Event

Schools bus students to the annual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice

by David Nussman • ChurchMilitant • November 7, 2017

WASHINGTON – Father James Martin spoke to hundreds of high school and college students Saturday night in the nation’s capital.

His speech was part of a multi-day conference called the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (IFTJ). The annual event features hundreds of high school and college students, representing Jesuit institutions all over the United States.

Father Martin was not the only celebrity Catholic at the IFTJ. The speakers’ list also includes theological dissidents like Fr. Bryan Massingale and Sr. Simone Campbell.

One of the IFTJ speakers, Fr. Massingale, also spoke in February at the Los Angeles Religious Education Conference (LA REC). Father Massingale told his immense LA REC audience that Catholics can disobey Church teaching, as long as their “conscience” tells them it is OK. He claimed that Catholics only need to “do the best they can, even if it goes against Church teaching.”

Sister Campbell is the organizer of “Nuns on the Bus,” a nationwide tour by a group of left-leaning religious sisters who don’t wear habits. In 2010, Campbell backed Sr. Carol Keehan as she supported Obamacare, in direct defiance of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Obamacare included the contraceptive mandate, as well as a potential loophole allowing for expansion of taxpayer funding of abortion.

In an interview during the 2012 Nuns on the Bus tour, Sr. Campbell was asked whether abortion should be illegal and if abortionists should be punished by law: her response was, “That’s beyond my pay grade. I don’t know.” She went on to blast Republicans for wanting to cut government handouts arguing that it would augment the financial burden of pregnant mothers who choose life.

Father Martin spoke Saturday night about his recent book, Building a Bridge. The book is about creating a dialogue with “respect, compassion and sensitivity” (as the subtitle states) between the Catholic Church and “the LGBT community.”

In a tweet Sunday morning, Fr. Martin thanked “the amazing young people who came to discuss Building a Bridge and our LGBT brothers, sisters and siblings.”

The phrase “brothers, sisters and siblings” may seem redundant; however, it seems to be a gesture of inclusion toward who identify as “gender non-conforming.” The words “brothers” and “sisters” refer to males and females respectively; the addition of “siblings” includes people who consider themselves neither male nor female.

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