Father James Martin, SJ, perhaps the most ambiguous priest on social media, is well known for promoting homosexuality and “sins” while refusing to urge repentance for those in lifestyles opposed to Christ and Church teaching. In a rare occasion, Martin has issued an apology for his followers for seemingly downplaying (once again) sins regarding sexuality while promoting one who committed such crimes as an “erudite scholar” and “gifted pastor”.
Martin tweeted about the death of scandalous former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland. On August 22, he tweeted about the archbishop’s death by saying, “an erudite scholar, gifted pastor and Benedictine abbot primate, his legacy was marred by revelations that he paid money to a man with whom he had been in a relationship. I considered him a friend and mourn his loss. May he rest in peace.” The following day, Martin responded to the backlash by tweeting, “last night many people were angered by two tweets about Archbishop Rembert Weakland, who committed many sins and crimes, and who died at 95. Obviously, I condemn his covering up of sex abuse and his paying out hush money.” He continued by writing, “I can see how people thought I was downplaying (or even ignoring) his sins and crimes. I’m sorry for not being clearer about that.”
Interestingly, Martin still refused to acknowledge the sexual abuse itself and only stated he condemned the “covering up of sex abuse” and the “paying out hush money.” The Jesuit that never condemns LGBTQ and urges repentance found it necessary to point out in his original tweet that the archbishop had a relationship with a same sex man but did not condemn the sexual abuse or homosexual relationship.
Martin deleted the original two tweets after receiving a substantial backlash from his Twitter followers. Instead, on August 24 he wrote, “Dear friends: I’ve deleted my original tweets about the death of Archbishop Weakland, which did not address his cover up of abuse cases, which I condemn. I also apologize for asking for people to consider whether their friends had ever sinned, which seemed like equating covering up the crimes of sex abuse with everyday sinfulness. So, I apologize, condemn his actions and have deleted those tweets. And may he rest in peace.
Once again, Martin never condemns the homosexual relationship that Weakland admitted to having with a 30-year-old theology student at Marquette University in the 1970s. The archdiocese paid out $450,000 for a settlement to the man with whom Weakland had a relationship with and subsequently was accused of sexual abuse with that man. The former archbishop, however, denied the sexual abuse. The case was settled out of court and no formal admission of guilt was ever made by Weakland so, as a result, Martin condemns an “alleged” action (legally) yet never condemns the sinful actions which Weakland himself admitted to having with the student. In typical Martin like, ambiguous king, fashion, he ignores the obvious sin and would rather condemn an “alleged” sin.
Martin has never condemned homosexual relationships or called them sin which, according to Sacred Scripture and the Catechism, is a sin and “inherently disordered.” His social media presence has continually advocated for love and acceptance of those in the LGBTQ lifestyle, yet never urges repentance. As a result, it is curious that he mentions the homosexual relationship of the archbishop but does not mention the cover up initially in his tweet while simultaneously touting the archbishop as a “scholar” and “gifted pastor” and even calling him a “friend”. He mentions the sin in his initial tweet, yet never condemns it. Following social media backlash, he condemns the “alleged” and unconfirmed sin but ignores condemning the actual one.
Former Archbishop Weakland resigned the day after the $450,000 settlement was announced resulting from his involvement with a man. Weakland denied the abuse allegations and, because there was no trial, no evidence of guilt was ever released. Weakland said he settled out of court not because he was guilty but because of the embarrassment the allegations had brought upon the archdiocese and himself. He begged forgiveness for his “inappropriate relationship” with the student and even apologized for “any harm done” to the man. Weakland was the highest-ranking U.S. cleric in the Church to acknowledge settling a misconduct allegation resulting from sexual abuse, yet it takes social media backlash for Martin to condemn his sin.
Martin could have left his post by mentioning the archbishop as a “scholar” and “gifted pastor”, since many are reluctant to speak bad of those who have died, but he mentioned the homosexual relationship. One must question his thinking behind acknowledging the sinful actions of covering up abuse but ignoring the relationship Weakland had with the student. Perhaps it is for the same reason Mr. Ambiguity has ignored the sinfulness of the actions because he, indeed, feels it is not a sin. He does not want to go directly against Sacred Scripture and Church teachings yet promulgates his own beliefs by being equivocal.