The Bishop of Providence, Rhode Island, has called for Catholics to not support or attend LGBTQ ‘Pride’ events this month because it is against church teachings and is “harmful to children.”
On Saturday, Bishop Thomas Tobin shared this tweet: “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.”
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 Thomas Tobin (@ThomasJTobin1) June 1, 2019
His tweet has sparked a huge backlash from LBTQ supporters, reports The Boston Globe.
I have been to MANY Pride events.
They are wonderful, encourage inclusivity and tolerance, and teach children that everyone is welcome, no matter who they are.
And if they are different from their peers, that's okay. They're not bad people.
So what are YOU trying to say?— Rogue NASA (@RogueNASA) June 2, 2019
Tobin, a Pittsburgh native, served as the auxiliary bishop of Pittsburgh from 1992 to 1996 — during the same years in which the Catholic Church was working to cover up sexual assault allegations against Pennsylvania priests, many Twitter users felt compelled to point out, reports the Daily Mail.
“I think you meant to say that Catholic priests have promoted a culture and encouraged activities that are contrary to Catholic faith and morals,” tweeted LGBTQ activist Brian Sims. “One that is especially harmful to minors. Fixed that for you. #BeReal”
I think you meant to say that Catholic priests have promoted a culture and encouraged activities that are contrary to Catholic faith and morals. One that is especially harmful to minors. Fixed that for you. #BeReal— Brian Sims (@BrianSimsPA) June 1, 2019
Last August, Tobin stated that he “became aware of incidents of sexual abuse when they were reported to the diocese,” but said that addressing such matters was outside his realm of responsibilities, according to the Providence Journal.
Clean your own house, Bishop Tobin. As a Catholic, I'm disgusted you would make this specious claim. Statistically, children are more at risk of being harmed by the Church than the LGBTQ community. I stand proudly with #PrideMonth.— Shelby Kent-Stewart ™ (@ShelbyKStewart) June 1, 2019
Rhode Island Pride called the bishop’s remarks “shameful” and has announced it will hold a demonstration today (Sunday) at 6:30 pm in front of the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Providence.
Tomorrow we are taking Pride to Cathedral Square in Providence at 6:30 in response to @ThomasJTobin1’s shameful remarks! It’s a Pride Rally to celebrate love, diversity, and inclusion! Join us? https://t.co/ZIWpVhCgLu— Rhode Island Pride (@Pride_RI) June 1, 2019
“Since Bishop Tobin called on Catholics to abandon Pride & the LGBTQIA+ community -- we are taking Pride directly to them,” the event’s organizers tweeted.