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Bishop Tobin of the Diocese of Providence (courtesy of LifeSiteNews)

June 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) — Rhode Island’s Bishop Thomas Tobin got right to the point last week in a sharp rebuke of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the nation’s marriage laws.

“A thousand courts may rule otherwise, but the very notion of ‘same-sex marriage’ is morally wrong and a blatant rejection of God’s plan for the human family,” the Providence bishop stated.

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In a time when many who look to counter Church principles will embellish or selectively use the pope’s words to argue against Church teaching, Bishop Tobin quoted the Holy Father verbatim on this very issue.

“As Pope Francis taught while serving as Archbishop in Argentina: ‘Same-sex marriage is not simply a political struggle, but it is an attempt to destroy God’s plan,’” the bishop recounted the Pontiff stating. “It is a move of the ‘father of lies’ who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”

Bishop Tobin is not new to witnessing publicly to the Catholic faith or putting it into action.

Earlier this year he was behind his diocese’s offer to bury a deceased unborn baby who had been found in a sewage treatment plant, following through June 10 with a burial for the child, named “Baby Francis,” for the Holy Father.

In 2011 the bishop denounced efforts to push same-sex civil unions in Rhode Island and also actively opposed efforts to pass homosexual “marriage” in the state.

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Natural marriage, between a man and woman, “means something in particular,” Bishop Tobin said at the time. “If two other people come along who don’t meet that definition and claim they’re married then, in a way, that diminishes that special relationship the married couple does have.”

When the state legislature approved homosexual “marriage” in 2013, he called on Rhode Island Catholics to offer prayer and support for those suffering from same-sex attraction.

“Our respect and pastoral care, however, does not mean that we are free to endorse or ignore immoral or destructive behavior, whenever or however it occurs,” Bishop Tobin wrote to Catholics. “Indeed, as St. Paul urges us, we are required to ‘speak the truth in love’ (Eph 4:15).”

With the dissenting Supreme Court justices’ forewarning of religious persecution to come in the wake of last Friday’s ruling, Bishop Tobin concluded his statement on the decision by calling for Catholics to act with charity, and said marriage redefinition means the Church must intensify its efforts to stand for God’s plan for marriage.  

“Despite the current trends of our society, or perhaps because of them, the Church must redouble its commitment to proclaim and defend authentic concepts of marriage and family as we have received them from God,” he said. “We will always do so, however, in a respectful, charitable and constructive manner.”


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