Bishop faces backlash over anti-LGBTQ tweet
A US bishop has defended a tweet urging Catholics to not support or attend LGBTQ Pride Month events, saying it was his obligation to teach the faith "clearly and compassionately, even on very difficult and sensitive issues".
Diocese of Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin sparked a backlash when he tweeted: "A reminder that Catholics should not support or attend LGBTQ 'Pride Month' events in June. They promote a culture and encourage activities contrary to Catholic faith and morals. They are especially harmful for children."
The posting spurred rebukes by thousands of people, including actresses Mia Farrow and Patricia Arquette. Many invoked the scandals of clergy sexual abuse of children in the Church.
"This is pure ignorance & bigotry," Farrow tweeted. "Ignore this hate-filled hypocrite. His mindset leads only to suffering. He brings to mind those priests who molested my brothers. Of COURSE we should embrace our LGBTQ brothers and sisters and children. Jesus spoke of love."
"Shame on you. LGBT kids are thrown out on the streets and abandoned because of poisonous thinking like yours," Arquette said.
"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," Bishop Tobin said in a statement yesterday. "That certainly was not my intention. As a Catholic bishop, however, my obligation before God is to lead the faithful entrusted to my care and to teach the faith, clearly and compassionately, even on very difficult and sensitive issues," he said.