Ben Johnson

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Catholic bishop: I changed from Democrat to Republican after ‘awful’ 2012 Democratic Convention

Ben Johnson

Updated 08/14/13 at 3:38 pm EST

PROVIDENCE, RI, August 14, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Diocese of Providence has revealed that he changed his voting registration from the Democratic to the Republican Party after what he said was an "awful" 2012 Democratic Convention, reports WPRI. At the 2012 Convention the party strongly endorsed abortion on demand and same-sex “marriage.”

Addressing a meeting of the Rhode Island Young Republicans, the bishop said, “I just said I can’t be associated structurally with that group, in terms of abortion and NARAL and Planned Parenthood, and [the] same-sex marriage agenda and cultural destruction I saw going on. I just couldn’t do it anymore.”

The Democratic Party platform in 2012 endorsed taxpayer-funded abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, ignoring the call of some 25,000 people who asked the party to amend its platform to recognize the existence of its pro-life members. It also rescinded language that abortion should be “rare.”

For the first time, the platform also supported redefining marriage, branding state marriage laws “discriminatory.” At the time Bishop John Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, said those planks “explicitly endorse intrinsic evils.”

Although Bishop Tobin had been a registered Democrat since 1969, that officially ended this year.

“The a-ha moment for me was the 2012 Democratic National Convention,” Bishop Tobin said, according to WPRI. “It was just awful.”

Some called the 2012 Democratic National Convention, with its extreme advocacy of abortion-on-demand, “abortion-palooza.” Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards addressed the convention, and contraception advocate Sandra Fluke spoke in prime time.

As well, all reference to God was temporarily struck from the platform. When a committee voted to add a religious reference to the text, the delegates booed loudly.

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Tobin also called the issue of abortion "the linchpin” and “foundation" of all discussions of the human condition.

When asked why he doesn't excommunicate Catholic politicians who defy Christian teachings on issues such as abortion or same-sex “marriage,” Bishop Tobin said, “I don't have the canonical right to do that.”

While the question of excommunication is a source of debate among canon lawyers, the Vatican document Worthiness to Receive Communion states that politicians “consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws” should be counseled over their opposition and, if they remain obstinate, denied the Eucharist under Canon 915 of the Roman Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law.

The bishop's remarks on homosexual unions at the event also marked the first time he addressed the topic since the state of Rhode Island legalized gay “marriage” this spring, a law that took effect this month.

The vote left him “profoundly disappointed,” he said, especially the fact “so many Catholic politicians abandoned ship on this issue.”

Read WPRI's report for more quotes from Bishop Tobin. 



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