Liberal Jesuit Catholic priest Fr. James Martin, whose teachings regularly undermine church doctrine on homosexual acts and transgenderism, has apologized and deleted his tweet eulogizing a former archbishop who protected sexually abusive priests.
“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,” tweeted Martin on Wednesday.
“And may he rest in peace,” Martin added.
…covering up the crimes of sex abuse with everyday sinfulness. So I apologize, condemn his actions and have deleted those tweets.
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) August 24, 2022
On Monday, former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland died at the age of 95, a cleric whose legacy became mired in scandal after he retired in disgrace in 2002 upon revelations that he paid $450,000 in diocesan hush money to a former male lover of his who had threatened to go public with their affair. Weakland’s legacy was further tarnished in 2009 when the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that he had shredded copies of reports profiling abusive priests as he shuffled them around his diocese without warning parishioners.
“Former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland routinely shredded copies of weekly reports about sexual abuse by priests, according to formerly sealed testimony turned over to Milwaukee County’s district attorney on Thursday,” the outlet reported.
“In a 1993 deposition, Weakland admitted destroying copies of the reports in his office, according to a partial transcript of the deposition released by Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests,” it added.
Weakland later addressed the issue in his autobiography by claiming he did not know the sexual abuse of minors to be a crime. “We all considered sexual abuse of minors as a moral evil, but had no understanding of its criminal nature,” Weakland wrote.
Peter Isely, Midwest director for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), said that Weakland either lied or deceived himself.
“It’s beyond belief. He’s either lying or he’s so self-deceived that he’s inventing fanciful stories,” said Isely. “These have always been crimes.”
When announcing Weakland’s death, Fr. James Martin mourned the disgraced archbishop as a “friend” and an “erudite scholar.”
“Archbishop Rembert Weakland has died. 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,” Martin tweeted on Monday.
When pressed on Weakland’s role in covering up the sexual abuse of children, Father Martin leaped to his defense: “Have your friends ever done anything sinful?”
Though Fr. Martin’s followers faithfully defend him at every turn, even when he appeared to defend the use of puberty blockers in children with gender dysphoria issues, Catholics of all persuasions (right, left, trad, former, etc.) piled on him in an unprecedented backlash.
An Open Letter to @JamesMartinSJ,
I’ve deeply admired you for years & would love to keep supporting you & your work. I also appreciate your recent apology, which was humble & sincere.
I’m still concerned about 2 things. Please hear me out.https://t.co/KQqMTmmTHL
— Shannon Lise (@ShannonLise2) August 24, 2022
Paul Bois joined Breitbart News in the summer of 2021 after previously working as a writer for TruthRevolt and The Daily Wire. He has written thousands of news articles on a variety of topics, from current events to pop-cultural trends. Follow him on Twitter @Paulbois39.