Washington Nationals starting pitcher Trevor Williams, known for his devout Catholic faith and prominent tattoos, expressed his disappointment with the Los Angeles Dodgers’ decision to re-invite and honor a controversial group called “The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.” The Dodgers’ announcement came after the franchise initially rescinded the invitation due to backlash from political and religious leaders across the nation.
Taking to his social media accounts while the Nationals were in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Williams voiced his concerns about the Dodgers’ decision, sparking widespread attention. His viral tweet quickly gained millions of views and was shared by tens of thousands of people, illustrating the growing outrage from both Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
— Trevor Williams (@MeLlamoTrevor) May 30, 2023
Williams stated, “To invite and honor a group that makes a blatant and deeply offensive mockery of my religion, and the religion of over 4 million people in Los Angeles county alone, undermines the values of respect and inclusivity that should be upheld by any organization.”
Calling on Dodgers to reconsider
Williams called on the Dodgers to reconsider their association with the group, emphasizing the need for an inclusive environment that respects the religious beliefs of all fans and employees. Williams also encouraged his fellow Catholics to reevaluate their support for any organization that permits such mockery of its fans and their beliefs. He expressed his frustration, hurt and disappointment with the situation, knowing that he is not alone in feeling this way.
Williams’ concerns were echoed by other Catholic leaders, including the former auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles, Bishop Robert Barron. In a statement, Bishop Barron described the behavior of “The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” as offensive and categorized the group as an anti-Catholic hate group. Father Patrick Briscoe, OP, editor of Our Sunday Visitor, lamented the Dodgers’ about-face, saying, “Countless women religious have dedicated their lives to public service in the United States. … That legacy should be cherished, not thrown beneath the feet of jeering crowds at a Pride Night publicity stunt.”
In his eighth year in the MLB, Williams joined the Washington Nationals this season, following previous stints with the New York Mets, Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates. He is married and has four children. In a recent interview, Williams emphasized his identity as a Catholic man who aspires “to build up heaven” rather than being solely recognized as a baseball player.
Clayton Kershaw, starting pitcher for the Dodgers, also disagreed with the decision to honor the anti-Catholic group. “I don’t agree with making fun of other people’s religions,” Kershaw told the Los Angeles Times. “It has nothing to do with anything other than that. I just don’t think that, no matter what religion you are, you should make fun of somebody else’s religion.” Kershaw took to Twitter to announce that the Dodgers would reinstate “Christian Faith and Family Day” at Dodger Stadium on July 30. That decision, he confirmed, is in response to honoring the Los Angeles chapter of “The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.”
Excited to announce the relaunch of Christian Faith and Family Day at Dodger Stadium on July 30th. More details to come— but we are grateful for the opportunity to talk about Jesus and determined to make it bigger and better than it was before COVID. Hope to see you on July 30th! pic.twitter.com/yNu7HyEgR9
— Clayton Kershaw (@ClaytonKersh22) May 26, 2023
The Dodgers have not yet responded to Williams’ comments or the growing public outcry regarding their association with “The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.” As the situation unfolds, it remains to be seen how the team will address the concerns raised by Williams and the broader Catholic community.