Toxic Shame and Sin-Talk: Church Militant Has It All Wrong | Catholic Moral Theology

Church Militant continues to claim that Fr. James Martin is a heretic while misrepresenting his book, Building a Bridge. While it is certainly painful to see a good priest attacked in this public way for his attempts to create spaces for dialogue in the church, what is particularly troubling to me is the way that Church Militant employs sin-talk and shaming discourse. Among the list of their complaints: “Fr. Martin publicly suggests that God created homosexuals that way.” Despite the fact that medical and mental health professionals have long noted the dangers of so-called conversion therapies or reparative therapies, some Catholic groups continue to promote this poisonous way of thinking. My concern is that conversion therapy, and any so-called pastoral advice that affirms it, reinforces shame for the LGBTQ person. Shame can be toxic and can stifle the person’s growth and integration. Toxic shame is a persistent feeling of worthlessness, humiliation, and self-loathing. Theologically, it is the opposite of imago Dei. And the consequences can be deadly.

Source: Catholic Moral Theology

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