DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - The public isn't buying Cdl. Joseph Tobin's explanation for a cryptic, now-deleted tweet.
On Wednesday night, the head of the Newark, New Jersey archdiocese — known for his promotion of the LGBT agenda as well as radical re-interpretation of Christ's teachings on marriage and the sacraments — tweeted the message: "Supposed to be airborne in 10 minutes. Nighty-night, baby. I love you."
Within two hours, the tweet was deleted, and archdiocesan spokesman Jim Goodness told the Associated Press that Tobin meant the tweet as a private message to one of his "baby sisters."
After news of the deleted tweet spread through the media, including NBC, New York Daily News, the New York Post, and even the U.K. Guardian, Tobin tweeted a follow-up explanation.
"Sitting on a plane last Wednesday evening, I mistakenly tweeted a message meant as a private communication with one of my sisters," he tweeted Friday. "When I arrived in Newark two hours later, friends informed me of the error and I immediately removed it."
He continued, "However, the tweet continues to be widely diffused and has sown some misunderstanding. I want to apologize to the priests and faithful of the Archdiocese of Newark, if my carelessness has caused any confusion or embarrassment. I promise to be more careful with future use of media."
Some note that a similar accident happened to Anthony Weiner, the disgraced Democrat politician from New York who accidentally tweeted an R-rated image of his briefs, which was meant to be a private text to his mistress but instead wound up on his public feed. After initially lying that his account had been hacked, he eventually admitted it was a photo he himself had taken.
Commenters are not buying Cdl. Tobin's explanation. A string of responses expresses skepticism towards the New Jersey prelate.
One comment predicted the eclipse of Cdl. Tobin's reign:
Facebook commenters were similarly unconvinced.
Tobin received the red hat by Pope Francis, and has made a reputation for himself as a left-leaning prelate in the mold of Chicago's Cdl. Blase Cupich or San Diego's Bp. Robert McElroy. In December, Tobin advocated for the possibility of female cardinals, and caused scandal last fall when he welcomed and gave his blessing to an LGBT pilgrimage and Mass in his cathedral. He avoided any mention of Church teaching on chastity during his homily.
LGBT attendees reacted with the assumption that the Church no longer requires gays to live chastely.
"I've been waiting 25 years for this," said self-professed homosexual Thomas M. Smith. "I'm a deacon in the church and I've had to be careful. And afraid."
Filled with emotion as he recalled his parents belief that he "would go to Hell if he found someone to love," Smith remarked, "This is amazing to me."
Tobin has also been among the handful of cardinals who endorsed Fr. James Martin's book Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity, criticized by others — including Cdl. Robert Sarah, head of the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship — for its deliberate failure to mention Church teaching on chastity.
The New Jersey cardinal has also been among the few vocal prelates to criticize the dubia cardinals, saying last year in the liberal UK magazine The Tablet, "The Holy Father is capturing the work of two synods, so if four cardinals say that two synods were wrong, or that somehow the Holy Father didn't reflect what was said in those synods, I think that should be questioned."