“It seems to be that it’s okay to make fun of Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular,” he pointed out.
“Everyone should feel welcome,” Williams said. “But there comes a point when, if certain groups are going to be openly mocked, then it’s not a welcome spot anymore.”
Williams’ faith journey
Williams, who stands at 6 feet 3 inches tall, weighs 235 pounds, and has long hair and heavily tattooed arms and legs, may not appear like a deeply religious person at the surface level.
Yet, as is often the case, there is more to Williams than meets the eye.
Growing up in San Diego, Williams shared that it was in adoration as a teenager that he first felt called to make his Catholic faith the center of his life.
As a teenager, he was moved by the idea that “every decision you make is going to destroy the kingdom of heaven or build it up.”
To this day, Williams believes that he can best hear the voice of God through silent prayer and adoration.
“[In adoration], you see and adore Our Creator and the King of the Universe right there on the altar,” he said. “I think you need to hear the voice of God first, you need to spend as much time in silence as possible, you need to spend time in front of the Blessed Sacrament.”
Building up the ‘domestic church’
Now, as a 31-year-old MLB pitcher, husband, and father of three boys and a girl, Williams continues to turn toward prayer, the sacraments, and his family for strength.
Building up God’s kingdom in his own home, the “domestic church,” has become his main priority, even above baseball.
“My wife and I have been extremely blessed; we have been given so much,” Williams said.
“Now I’m trying to teach my children to love Jesus and his Church as best as they can,” he said. “How do we do that in our domestic church with my wife and I? How do we show them this in the world?”
These questions, Williams said, factored into his decision to take a public stance in defense of his faith against the Dodgers.
“I want to be able to show my children that we have to stand and walk by our faith,” Williams said. “If they ever get tested at some point in their life, I want them to know that it’s OK to stand up for our faith.”
Support from fellow players
While being the first to stand up for the faith can seem daunting, Williams said that since he made his statement, he has received overwhelming support not only from the Christian community but also from the baseball community.
“I hit ‘send tweet’ and I threw my phone and logged out and I was like, ‘We’ll see how it does,’” Williams shared with a laugh. “But I’ve had a lot of people come out and reach out to me [in support]. Former teammates, current teammates, even stadium workers.”
“Just walking through the tunnels getting to the clubhouse I had stadium workers come up to me and thank me,” he said. “I’ve had really good conversations with teammates about this, people thanking me, teammates thanking me for what I did.”
Many were grateful because, as he put it, “a lot of people feel like they either don’t have a big enough voice to say something or they’re afraid of the backlash.”
Despite the hesitations and fears, Williams believes that “there is a longing for truth,” even inside Major League Baseball stadiums.
“I’ve noticed it in locker rooms my entire life and clubhouses my entire life,” Williams said. “There is a desire for truth and that desire comes from within, from someone who loves you immensely.”
Williams hopes that his witness as a Catholic man of faith will help people to see “you are loved more than you can imagine or more than you know. And that inkling of truth that you want to go seek and find is out there and it’s within Christ and his Church.”
Watch the full interview with Williams below. It will also be broadcast on “EWTN News In Depth” on Friday, June 16, at 8 p.m. ET.