Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin stirred controversy after tweeting Catholic Church teaching regarding LGBTQ Pride Month.
The Rhode Island Bishop said it is “contrary to Catholic faith and morals” to “support or attend” LGBTQ Pride Month events. He also said “they are especially harmful for children.”
The tweet received more than 90,000 responses, almost 30,000 likes, and more than 7,000 retweets.
Here’s Bishop Tobin’s tweet below:
Bishop Tobin’s full tweet reads, “A reminder that Catholics should not support or attend LGBTQ “Pride Month” events held in June. They promote a culture and encourage activities that are contrary to Catholic faith and morals. They are especially harmful for children.”
Bishop Tobin said in a follow-up statement that “the Catholic Church has respect and love for members of the gay community, as do I.” He added that “individuals with same-sex attraction are beloved children of God and our brothers and sisters.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that people with homosexual tendencies “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity,” but that homosexual acts constitute “grave depravity,” are “intrinsically disordered,” and that “under no circumstances can they be approved.” Instead, “homosexual persons are called to chastity.” (CCC, 2357-2359)
Public Response to Bishop Tobin
Bishop Tobin received mixed responses, but the mainstream media highlighted the terrible backlash.
This Daily Mail article highlighted the negative response Bishop Tobin received, including that from popular social media users and politicians.
The Boston Globe even labeled Bishop Tobin as “homophobic.”
However, Diocese of Tyler, Texas Bishop Joseph Strickland came to Bishop Tobin’s defense via twitter.
Here’s what Bishop Strickland said:
His tweet reads, “Please stop labeling bishops who speak the truth of the Gospel as homophobic. God gave us sexual intimacy for the procreation of children and the deeper union of a man & woman in marriage. Stating this truth is not homophobia, it is simply reality.”
Bishop Strickland defended Bishop Tobin in another tweet, explaining that he was “simply speaking for one truth of the deposit of faith”
Here’s Bishop Strickland’s tweet:
Bishop Strickland’s full tweet reads, “Bishop Tobin is simply speaking for one truth of the deposit of faith. God made humans male & female. Certainly those who are confused about their identity need Christ’s love & compassion, let’s remember Christ’s love is expressed when dies on the cross for the truth.”
While it seems as if the whole world is against Bishops Tobin and Strickland, multiple social media users came to his defense.
Here’s some of the positive feedback:
“Love is speaking the truth. If we had more clergy & religious willing to speak the truth, the Church would be truly united in her mission,” a user tweeted in response to Bishop Strickland.
“Thank you Bishop for speaking the truth about human sexuality and marriage. Stay strong. Peace and prayers,” another user said to Bishop Strickland.
Fr. Richard Heilman expressed his support of Bishop Tobin’s bravery in a tweet receiving more than 1,000 likes.
“The Apostles were not silenced by the sin of Judas. All but one gave their lives for the sake of the Truth of Jesus Christ. His Excellency, Bishop Thomas Tobin has the courageous heart of the first Bishops. I stand with you, Your Excellency!” Fr. Heilman’s tweeted.
Another Twitter account posted a campaign entitled “#STANDWithThomasTobin.”
Here’s the tweet below: