Rhode Island bishop is facing backlash for publicly declaring that devout citizens "should not support" LGBTQ Pride Month events because they "promote a culture and encourage activities that are contrary to Catholic faith and morals."You'll note the last sentence. We'll get to that in a minute. I promise.
Bishop of Providence Thomas Tobin tweeted the message on Saturday, the first day of June 2019 and start of the LGBTQ Pride Month. "A reminder that Catholics should not support or attend LGBTQ 'Pride Month' events held in June," he wrote. "They promote a culture and encourage activities that are contrary to Catholic faith and morals. They are especially harmful for children."
The good bishop has since apologized (?) for his previous bigotry with this:
By Sunday afternoon, after statements of support for the LGBTQ community from the governor and mayor and rebukes from entertainment figures, and with plans underway for a protest in Providence, Tobin issued a statement.You'll note, of course, that he doesn't actually come out and say that Catholics can now support Pride events - just that he regrets offending people. His hope (and prayer?) is that that rally (where all those LGBTQ protesters will be protesting him) will be a "safe, positive and productive experience" for everyone.
“I regret that my comments yesterday about Pride Month have turned out to be so controversial in our community, and offensive to some, especially the gay community. That certainly was not my intention, but I understand why a good number of individuals have taken offense. I also acknowledge and appreciate the widespread support I have received on this matter,” he said. “The Catholic Church has respect and love for members of the gay community, as do I. Individuals with same-sex attraction are beloved children of God and our brothers and sisters.”
He added, “As the gay community gathers for a rally this evening, I hope that the event will be a safe, positive and productive experience for all. As they gather I will be praying for a rebirth of mutual understanding and respect in our very diverse community.”
Look at the last sentence. He's praying for "a rebirth of mutual understanding and respect." [Emphasis added.]
Sorry, LGBTQ folks, but while you're protesting him, he's praying that you'll have a little more understanding and respect for his bigotry.
As a side note, he was auxiliary Bishop of Pittsburgh a few decades ago.
You know where this is leading, right?
From the Providence Journal, last August:
During his earlier years in Pittsburgh, Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas J. Tobin acknowledges he “became aware of incidents of sexual abuse when they were reported to the diocese.”So he knew about the abuse but since it wasn't his job, well. No harm no foul.
But in response Tuesday to questions posed earlier about what he knew, when he knew it — and what he did about it, the Providence-based bishop says these allegations were outside his realm of responsibility.
Between 1992 and 1996, Tobin served as auxiliary bishop of Pittsburgh, one of six Pennsylvania dioceses covered in a scathing grand jury report on the cover-up by Catholic Church officials in Pennsylvania of decades of child abuse by more than 300 priests. The grand jury found more than 1,000 identifiable victims of sexual abuse by priests.
“My responsibilities as Vicar General and General Secretary of the diocese did not include clergy assignments or clergy misconduct, but rather other administrative duties such as budgets, property, diocesan staff, working with consultative groups, etc. Even as an auxiliary bishop, I was not primarily responsible for clergy issues,″ Tobin said in an email to The Providence Journal.
So perhaps the Most Reverend Thomas Tobin, Bishop of Rhode Island, shouldn't be spending any time warning Catholics about Pride events and how those events "support a culture" that's contrary to Catholic morals when he himself is part of an organization that abused so many young men and women and then worked real real hard to cover it up.