“On March 16,” writes a modern-day Jesuit of his forebear in faith, the missionary martyr St. Jean de Brébeuf, “the Iroquois attacked the village and took the Hurons, who were mainly Christians, along with Jean and another Jesuit, Gabriel Lalement, prisoner. He knew that the possibility of martyrdom was imminent.”
What happened next is the kind of brutality that makes many people squeamish about even the idea of martyrdom:
The Iroquois heated hatchets until they were glowing red and, tying them together, strung them across his shoulders, searing his flesh. They wrapped his torso with bark and set it afire. They cut off his nose, lips and forced a hot iron down his throat, and poured boiling water over his head in a gruesome imitation of baptism. They scalped him, and cut off his flesh while he was alive. Finally someone buried a hatchet in his jaw.
After 14 years as a missionary, Jean de Brébeuf died on March 16, 1639. He was 56. At his death his heart was eaten as a way for the Iroquois, who were stunned by his courage, to share in his bravery. Eight other Jesuits were martyred around this same time. Their feast day (Oct. 19) is referred to as either the Feast of the North American Martyrs or the Feast of St. Isaac Jogues and Companions. Let us not forget this great Companion.
The writer is Fr. James Martin, who, earlier in his essay, talks about how a certain scene in a biography of Brébeuf’s experiences with the Huron Indians made “a lasting impression” on him as a novice.
And yet this week, a Jesuit high school that bears Brébeuf’s name has been removed from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis as a Catholic institution because the administration refused to follow an order from the diocese not to renew the contract of a teacher living in a “gay marriage.”
And you can guess which side Fr. Martin stands on.
Fr. Brian G. Paulson, SJ, the provincial for the Midwest Province Jesuits, issued a statement saying that
Brebeuf has declined to honor the Archdiocese’s expectation that the school dismiss this teacher. I recognize this request by Archbishop Charles Thompson to be his prudential judgment of the application of canon law recognizing his responsibility for oversight of faith and morals as well as Catholic education in his archdiocese. I disagree with the necessity and prudence of this decision. This is a disagreement between two church leaders of goodwill with related, but distinct responsibilities.
Paulson acknowledges that the school had received an “advanced copy of a canonical decree” that was to be formally issued today “stating that the Archbishop will no longer formally recognize Brebeuf Jesuit as a Catholic school in the Archdiocese.”
“The Midwest Jesuits,” Paulson says, “will appeal this decision through the formal appeal process established in church law: first, pursuing local recourse to the Archbishop, and, if necessary, hierarchical recourse to the Vatican.”
Fr. Martin, as we have come to expect, supports the school’s decision. He appears to have readily forgotten the mission of the “great Companion” the school is named after in service of his relentless promotion of the homosexual agenda.“I stand with my brother Jesuits,” he tweets, “who stand with our LGBT colleagues and stand against the relentless targeting of LGBT people. Other employees do not conform to, or agree with, church teaching: straight couples living together before marriage, practicing birth control, etc. … as well as employees who are not Catholic, not Christian, or not believers. Yet they are not targeted. The targeting of LGBT employees must cease, and Brebeuf and the Midwest Province are here standing with the marginalized. This is the most Catholic thing that they could do.”
St. Jean de Brébeuf must be aghast at what is being done in his name. He died a horrifying death to show the natives of this country the importance of our faith; the Jesuits who now come after him have routinely trampled that same faith underfoot for so long that they’ve become a punchline.
At a time when Fr. Vaughn Treco — the priest we told you about in February who was suspended for a completely orthodox homily indicting the errors of the post-conciliar Church — has now allegedly been excommunicated for not recanting his sermon, the fact that Fr. Martin and his fellow Jesuits are allowed to disobey orders and promote the homosexual agenda without any personal consequence is a scandal beyond measure. (We’re looking into the Fr. Treco situation and hope to report more on it when we have corroboration.)
St. Jean de Brébeuf and all the North American Martyrs, please pray for us.
Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher and Executive Director of OnePeterFive.com. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Crisis Magazine, EWTN, Huffington Post Live, The Fox News Channel, Foreign Policy, and the BBC. Steve and his wife Jamie have seven children.