Liberal Catholic Priest James Martin Under Fire for Appearing to Defend Child Puberty Blockers

Jesuit Father James Martin, author and editor at large of America magazine, meets in a private audience with Pope Francis on Sept. 30, 2019 (Foto ©Vatican Media)
Vatican Media

Liberal Jesuit Catholic priest Father James Martin has come under fire for appearing to defend puberty blockers in children who identify as transgender.

Martin, who serves as an editor-at-large for the Jesuit publication America Magazine and who also starred in Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, and boasts over 305,000 Twitter followers took criticism this week when he appeared to challenge Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s assertions that “sex-change operations and puberty blockers prescribed to kids is ‘child abuse’ under Texas law.”

“These procedures are monstrous and tragic,” Paxton asserted. “I’ll do everything I can to protect against those who take advantage of and harm young Texans.”

Father Martin, who has clashed with the Catholic Church’s position on same-sex relations and transgenderism, then shared a letter from the Texas Pediatric Society that supported puberty blockers in children as a suicide preventative.

“We know that when children and adolescents are provided with appropriate gender-affirming care, including puberty suppressors, the risk of lifetime suicidal ideation falls dramatically,” the letter said.

As noted by Fox News, puberty blockers “can irreversibly affect both primary and secondary sex characteristics of human beings, including genitalia, breasts, facial hair, menstruation and fertility in both sexes, according to the Mayo Clinic.”

Father Martin told Fox News he was not defending child puberty blockers and only meant to offer an opposing opinion.

“Sorry, but tweeting out comments from a group of pediatricians isn’t an endorsement,” Martin said. “I think we need to be cautious about practices like ‘puberty blockers,’ and a person’s age is important in deciding what should be done. I’m no expert on all this, but few people are, which is why it’s also important to listen to what physicians have to say.”

“Why wouldn’t we want to listen to doctors?” he added.

Pope Francis has also condemned gender ideology as a form of “child abuse,” referring to such activism as “ideological colonization.”

“The family is threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage, by relativism, by the culture of the ephemeral, by a lack of openness to life,” Pope Francis said in 2015.

Though Martin has positioned himself as an LGBT-friendly priest, he has always maintained he agrees with Catholic teaching on homosexual acts while simply calling for more compassion for such individuals. In October of 2019, however, that facade appeared to drop when he tweeted an article from the Protestant Scripture scholar and theologian Walter Wink, which said that the Bible’s condemnation of homosexual acts should be questioned due to the Bible’s alleged endorsement of slavery. Martin even used the words “interesting” in reference to the passage.

“Interesting: ‘Where the Bible mentions [same-sex sexual] behavior at all, it clearly condemns it. I freely grant that. The issue is precisely whether the biblical judgment is correct. The Bible sanctioned slavery as well and nowhere attacked it as unjust,’” he tweeted. “‘Are we prepared to argue today that slavery is biblically justified?’”


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.