Over 13,500 support bishop calling on Catholics to ‘not support or attend’ LGBTQ events
PETITION: Support Catholic Bishop who is calling for a boycott on LGBT 'Pride'. Sign the petition here.
June 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – An online petition in support of Rhode Island Bishop Thomas Tobin after he was recently smeared by mainstream media for calling on Catholics to “not support or attend LGBTQ ‘Pride Month’ events” had received more than 13,500 signatures in just one day.
The petition, titled Support Catholic Bishop who is calling for a boycott on LGBT 'Pride', was launched by LifeSiteNews yesterday.
“Your Excellency,” states the petition, “Thank you for speaking out against 'pride' events! We appreciate your clear guidance in this area for Christians and Catholics.”
“We appreciate you, as a religious leader, speaking out against ‘Pride’ month, and defending Christian Catholic teaching. Thank you, especially, for reminding all Christians that these events promote a 'culture' and activities which are against Christ’s teaching, and against the morals of anyone trying to live as a good Christian,” it continues.
“Your clear and compassionate teaching gives hope to Catholics and Christians everywhere. I support you and will keep you in my prayers, especially at this time,” the petition adds.
Scott Schittl, LifePetitions' campaign manager, said there is great interest in the petition thanking Bishop Tobin for his pastoral stand against the LGBT pride events. Schittl noted that this interest isn't limited to the usual subscribers to LifePetitions and LifeSiteNews.
"While faithful Catholics who subscribe to our news and petitions sites have shown huge support to Bishop Tobin — with twice the number normally signing by this point — there has also been explosive growth in signatures from new subscribers, who have signed this petition as a result of being asked by their friends or family," he said.
The swift and significant response demonstrates notable backing for Tobin in the face of backlash against a bishop who used his office to teach the Catholic faith and defend his flock.
The Rhode Island bishop tweeted June 1 that Catholics should not take part in “pride” events due to their conflict with the Catholic faith, making special note of the danger to children, and has been the target of high-volume vitriol since from LGBT adherents and supporters.
“A reminder that Catholics should not support or attend LGBTQ “Pride Month” events held in June,” he said. “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
As of press time, the tweet had some 92,000 comments, roughly 7,000 retweets and approximately 27,000 likes.
Many Twitter users attacked Tobin in the comments over the Church’s clergy sex-abuse crisis, and made lewd or otherwise profane remarks.
The LGBT movement has had an observance in June in some fashion since 1970, the year after the infamous Stonewall Riots, with the pride month observance gaining more prominence in recent years.
Pride events, in particular parades, have a reputation for extremely vulgar dress and behavior, often including public sex acts. Children are frequently present, and thus exposed to the morally repugnant spectacles.
Where the LGBT movement celebrates pride in its principles each year in June, Catholics observe the month as dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the Friday following the second Sunday after Pentecost, this year on June 28.
The "Sacred Heart of Jesus" denotes the entire mystery of Christ, according to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments’ Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, “Word Incarnate, Saviour, intrinsically containing, in the Spirit, an infinite divine-human love for the Father and for his brothers.”
It is one of the most extensively practiced and renowned Roman Catholic devotions.
The Catholic Church differentiates between human beings and the sexual urges they experience, and it does not identify individuals by sexual inclinations. The Church teaches that while same-sex attraction is not a sin, homosexual acts are sinful.
The Church says sexual relations are reserved for marriage, which is between a man and woman (CCC 2360). Church teaching also holds that homosexual tendencies are objectively disordered, and that individuals who experience them “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided” (CCC 2358).
However, the Church also teaches that homosexual acts are “acts of grave depravity” and they “are intrinsically disordered," and further that “under no circumstances can they be approved” (CCC 2357). The Church states as well that “homosexual persons are called to chastity” (CCC 2359), which is also what its teaching says about all people.
The day after Tobin’s tweet and resulting backlash, the bishop issued a statement as LGBT activists planned to convene outside his Providence, Rhode Island chancery and demonstrate against him.
While some have taken his response as backing down, the substance of the statement did not yield on Church teaching.
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 Tobin tweeted a similar message last year about pride events at the beginning of June, in that instance advising Catholics to be cautious of them.
“Catholics should be very wary of events in the June LGBTQ month,” he said then. “It’s not a fun-filled, family-friendly celebration of respect. It promotes a lifestyle and agenda that, in the extreme, is morally offensive.”
His tweet attracted pro-LGBT venom then as well.
Schittl expressed the need for a continued stand behind Bishop Tobin for his upholding of the Church’s moral principles.
"With a little more effort on our part, and with a little more sharing on the part of our subscribers — old and new — we think we can reach 20,000 signatures,” he said, “which remember, represents A LOT of support for Bishop Tobin and his defense of the Catholic faith and morals."
Learn more about Bishop Tobin’s views and past actions by visiting FaithfulShepherds.com. Click here.