The bishop said it was his duty to teach the faith clearly on 'sensitive issues'
Bishop Thomas Tobin has defended a tweet calling on Catholics not to support “Pride Month” events, saying they promote a culture that is contrary to Catholic faith and morals.
The Bishop of Providence, Rhode Island, said it was his “obligation before God” to teach the faith clearly on such issues, and that he will continue doing so.
He wrote on Twitter on Saturday 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,” he added. “They are especially harmful for children.”
The tweet received widespread media coverage, prompting criticism from celebrities such as Mia Farrow and Patricia Arquette.
On Sunday, the bishop released a follow-up statement saying he regretted that his comments have “turned out to be so controversial in our community, and offensive to some, especially the gay community.”
“I also acknowledge and appreciate the widespread support I have received on this matter,” he added.
Bishop Tobin added that he and the Church have “respect and love for members of the gay community”.
“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.”