Bishop Tobin Retreats

I have praised Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of the Diocese of Providence before in posts at The American Catholic, but not today.  On  June 1, he tweeted this:


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.

After twenty-four hours of internet bashing by the ever tolerant Gay activists and their Leftist allies who were angrily tweeting from their mothers’ basements, Bishop Tobin was in almost full retreat:


June 2, 2019

Statement of Bishop Tobin

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.

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. 

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.  That is what I have always tried to do – on a variety of issues – and I will continue doing so as contemporary issues arise.

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.

Bishop if you do not have the spine to fight in the arena any longer for Catholic Truth, retirement beckons.
Oh, and one, count ’em one, Bishop rallied to the defense of Bishop Tobin, Bishop Joseph E. Strickland:
“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.”
Unfortunately Bishop, reality seems to be in as short supply these days as episcopal courage.

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  1. This is everywhere. I don’t know where it’s all going to end up. The devil is in overdrive.

  2. Even the “martyrdom” of public ridicule is too much for our Bishops.

    My guess is the devil wears a smiley face.

  3. Tobin should have known he would catch flak. The homosexualists get their way because no one in the public eye wants to stand up against them.

    Well, Michael Voris is doing it.

  4. Michael, from what I’ve seen of my own diocese’s tenured office, the martyrdom would start at home.

  5. I know that some of you will not agree but I do not see a retreat by Tobin at all. Do you really think he did not know the reaction that was going to ensue from his Tweet? The Tweet served it’s purpose. He declared the Church’s teaching on homosexual acts and at the same time declared the dignity and suffering of those who are SSA. On top of that he outlined his duty as a Bishop of the Catholic Church “…, 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. That is what I have always tried to do – on a variety of issues – and I will continue doing so as contemporary issues arise”

    What exactly did he retreat on? None of the above. What he did do was acknowledge that the parade was going to take place anyway, that he was sorry that his remarks were taken by some as hurtful(without taking back what he said in his initial Tweet) and told his critics that he would pray for them, that all will be safe, the experience would productive and positive. What else was he to say? Productive and positive and mutual respect does not endorse homosexuality. I take productive and positive to mean that the homosexual community will learn from this exchange, dwell on Tobin’s words and respect others anyway when they disagree with you.

    In this day and age where our Bishops have dropped the ball so many times it is no wonder that we look for anything that we can criticize when it comes to our Bishops, I understand that, but here Tobin DID his job as Bishop AND apologized if he hurt anyone without taking back anything he said.

  6. What exactly did he retreat on?

    Don’t be obtuse OC. All he needed in addition was a GIF waving a white flag. Don’t excuse raw ecclesiastical cowardice, which is the default mode of our hapless bench of Bishops.

  7. Hmm obtuse is not quite the word I would have used but so be it. Today we don’t expect bishops to defend the faith and when they do it needs to be acknowledged so as to encourage them and show them we appreciate their efforts. Unfortunately that is where we are in our society. Now his apology? When a democrat apologizes after being caught doing something and say they are sorry that people were offended we scream that it was not an apology for their wrong doing but only because people were offended. Again, that is what Tobin did. He did not apologize for his initial tweet but only that it was offensive to some and sorry that it was so. That is what I see and nothing else. Obtuse? Nah, but giving Tobin the benefit of the doubt. yeah.

  8. This:

    “Productive and positive and mutual respect does not endorse homosexuality.”

    Has been the Church’s approach for decades. Yet I have yet to see this:

    “I take productive and positive to mean that the homosexual community will learn from this exchange,”

  9. In re Tobin, as always, consult Fr. Mankowski’s “Tames in Clerical Culture”

    About 15 years ago, a parishioner in the Bay Area sent a complaint to Abp. Levada in regard to a priest of the archdiocese who had participated in one of these burlesques. She had an e-mail exchange with the Abp’s pr officer. Ordinarily, people employed in, you know, public relations, have control of their tongue, utter canned (commonly evasive) phrases, and do their best not to make themselves the story. You read the exchange between said parishioner and said PR officer and you got the impression Abp. Levada was recruiting his chancery staff from the membership of the League of Snotty Poofs. This sort of thing used to shock me.

    In re ‘OrdinaryCatholics’ remarks, cue PT Barnum.

    There isn’t anything ‘difficult’ about the issue at hand; it’s an antique and settled moral teaching that wasn’t much discussed prior to 1970 because it didn’t have to be; there are people who have difficulty with this particular problem, but that’s not at issue in this dispute. There isn’t anything ‘sensitive’ about this issue either; just that obnoxious people are given to putting on performances. And no serious person would ever use the term ‘gay community’.

  10. MPS or any other Latin & Greek scholar can correct me where I err. I am just a nuke, after all.

    Bishop Tobin failed to make clear what St Paul writes in 1st Corinthians 6:9-10 that “…οὔτε μαλακοὶ οὔτε ἀρσενοκοῖται…… βασιλείαν θεοῦ κληρονομήσουσιν”

    Which means:

    “…nor effeminate nor sodomites…Kingdom of God shall receive.”

    St. Paul was as usual precise. He used the term μαλακός to denote male receivers of penetration by males and the term ἀρσενοκοίτης to denote male givers of penetration to males. The English translations we get are sadly sanitized.

    Here is the entire excerpt from 1st Corinthians 6:9-10 in Greek, Nova Vulgata and Young’s Literal Translation into English:

    ἢ οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ἄδικοι θεοῦ βασιλείαν οὐ κληρονομήσουσιν; μὴ πλανᾶσθε: οὔτε πόρνοι οὔτε εἰδωλολάτραι οὔτε μοιχοὶ οὔτε μαλακοὶ οὔτε ἀρσενοκοῖται οὔτε κλέπται οὔτε πλεονέκται, οὐ μέθυσοι, οὐ λοίδοροι, οὐχ ἅρπαγες βασιλείαν θεοῦ κληρονομήσουσιν.

    An nescitis quia iniqui regnum Dei non possidebunt? Nolite errare: neque fornicarii neque idolis servientes neque adulteri neque molles neque masculorum concubitores neque fures neque avari, non ebriosi, non maledici, non rapaces regnum Dei possidebunt.

    Have ye not known that the unrighteous the reign of God shall not inherit? be not led astray; neither whoremongers, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, the reign of God shall inherit

    οὔτε μαλακοὶ = neque molles = nor effeminate

    οὔτε ἀρσενοκοῖται = neque masculorum concubitores = nor sodomites

    βασιλείαν θεοῦ κληρονομήσουσιν = regnum Dei possidebunt = Kingdom [Reign] of God shall receive [possess, inherit]

    It cannot possibly be more clear than that.

  11. The only bishop that supported Tobin’s original statement was Bp. Strickland. That tells you all you need to know about the rest of them.

  12. That tells you all you need to know about the rest of them.

    I’d wager most of them didn’t hear about it.

  13. “I’d wager most of them didn’t hear about it.”

    Oh, they knew about it. Given the attention it got in the media, particularly the Catholic media, they’d have to be living under a rock to not know about it.

  14. Better to say nothing than retreat, which declares to one and all, I have learned my lesson, may I have another?
    Apologies of any kind indicate weakness. There is nothing wrong with weakness or meekness in the world, in fact we need more of it, but not from our generals and not in the heat of battle. That is gasoline on a lit match. These men who call themselves bishops are supposed to be our generals, but as we see they are pretty much nowhere to be found. Kudos to Bishop Strickland, who took one for the team, oorah!
    Please God, give us saints to lead the way, we are in need.
    Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
    Gird your loins all, and get ready.

  15. He never struck me as having retreated! He retreated on nothing; that’s kind of the way I would have tried to smooth things over… by being more detailed but sticking to the point. To remain silent would have been… too difficult, and unnecessary – better to make the picture perfectly clear, write again and remind people what position he is in and what he is defending and why. More, he need not now say; he has done what he can. Bravo!!!

  16. I apologize in advance.

    No, wait! I mean, stop reading here.

    “Never apologize. It’s a sign of weakness.” Capt. Nathan Brittles, US Cavalry

    This is only me. I’m certain very few will agree: honey, vinegar and flies, you know. And, it’s a progressive prime issue.

    Here are three points the bishop should raise.

    One, He is promoting 2,000 years of Church teaching.

    Two, it is counterproductive to enter into a faith and morals debate with a person that believes Holy Scripture and Church Teachings are inconstant/mutable.

    Three, he doesn’t argue with persons that believe that sodomy is a sacrament. “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.” George Bernard Shaw

    There it is, girls. Make the most of it.

    Please don’t show this to Papa Foxtrot.

  17. Never apologise to those who have an agenda but feign “hurt”. He shouldn’t have apologised. He should have dug his heals in. If you don’t like it, go find another religion that panders to you.

  18. I saw the headline to this on Big Pulpit, and cringed…I braced myself to be so disappointed.
    He didn’t retreat. I’ve read it over and over. He didn’t retreat at all. Actually, he reaffirms that it’s his job to teach our faith. Of course he regrets that his comments are controversial….that does not mean he regrets his comments. He regrets our society as it is today. He doesn’t back down. He doesn’t retreat. He says exactly what the catechism says to gay people – they are our brothers and sisters and they are loved. He clearly does not back down or apologize: “As a Catholic Bishop, however, my obligation before God is to lead the faithful entrusted to my care and to teach the faith….”

  19. The truth is The Truth. And the world hated The Truth before it ever set its sights on Bishop Tobin. Or anyone else for that matter.

    That said, I’m sympathetic to Ordinary Catholic’s generous reasons of Tobin’s follow up. If only because I wish we were as quick to support our Bishops and Priests as we are to condemn them.
    Now, if that makes me one of Barnum’s suckers, Art, so be it.

  20. I really hate auto correct for revealing me for the awful proof-reader I am. reasons = reading.

  21. Would you prefer a cleaner holier Church v. an ambiguous one bent on watering down the faith in order to not hurt anyone’s “feelings.” The former will be much smaller in membership yet it will be much more effective in building the body of Christ. The latter church will continue in honoring the culture in place of the Creator. A church of mush.

    Mega church’s exist on “I’m okay your okay” spirituality. Let us strive for a Holy Catholic Church free from political correctness. Buck up Bishops! Pussyfooting around social issues saves no one from the dangers of eternal fire.

  22. “The former will be much smaller in membership yet it will be much more effective in building the body of Christ.” Yes! I’ll take this Church any day. I don’t care about gay people (sexually active homosexual males or lesbians) or their feelings. I’ve seen men walking down the aisle to take Communion, leaning on each other in order to show off that they are a “couple”, and stride right up to the Priest and unashamedly receive The Body of our Lord. Their arrogance is breathtaking, because they know nobody will say anything to them and anyone who dare reprimand them, they will shut down. They have no intention to be celibate or adhere to the Church teachings. They want the Church to adhere to them. And this soft moddicoddled language is sickening. The Bishops need to know we have their back when they shoot between the eyes. Not when they hit with the power of a feather duster. The silent majority of us WANT this.

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