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Pride And Providence

June 8, 2019 Frontpage No Comments

By CHRISTOPHER MANION

On June 16, Rhode Island’s capital will host Providence Pride, “a celebration of love, respect and joy,” according to the city’s website. And apparently, Providence has every reason to be proud. National Geographic calls it one of the “World’s Best Destinations for LGBT Pride Celebrations.” GayCities.com honors it with its Gold Award as the “Gayest State Capital.” And it’s even great year-round. Why, “Senior Advice” says it’s one of the nation’s “Top 20 Cities for LGBT Retirement”!
Providence Bishop Thomas J. Tobin isn’t celebrating. On June 1, he posted this pastoral note on his widely read Twitter account: “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.”
This reasonable and mildly stated observation prompted some 94,000 responses. The vast majority were negative. Many of those were vulgar or worse.
The outrage fairly flowed. WJAR, the local NBC affiliate, reported that Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo both affirmed their support of the LGBTQ community. Mia Farrow, the actress who bore Satan’s child in Rosemary’s Baby, strode forth out of obscurity to label the bishop’s message “pure ignorance & bigotry.”
On Sunday, June 2, demonstrators gathered in front of the chancery. As they droned on toward evening, Bishop Tobin released a statement addressed to the participants.
“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,” Tobin said.
“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.”
In the spirit of Rodney King (“can we all just get along?”), the bishop ended with an unfortunate dose of Chancery PR-speak: “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.”

Missing In Action:
Fraternal Support

While this was going on, it occurred to me that this was all taking place on the thirtieth anniversary of the Communist Chinese massacre of thousands of young students in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. For a moment I had the impression that Bishop Tobin was like that kid who dared to stand in front of the tank column and grind it to a halt. After all, he was standing in front of the powerful LGBT steamroller.
While some critics wish he had been more direct, more forceful, more outspoken in his confrontation with Sodomy City, I was wondering who “had his back.”
Yes, Bishop Tobin said “I acknowledge and appreciate the widespread support I have received,” but that resounding response was coming from the laity. Unsurprisingly, his truth-telling didn’t receive a rousing chorus of affirmation from his brother bishops.
Lone Star State Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler did speak up: “Bishop Tobin is simply speaking for one truth of the deposit of faith,” he wrote. “God made humans male & female. Certainly those who are confused about their identity need Christ’s love & compassion, let’s remember Christ’s love is expressed when [he] dies on the cross for the truth.”
Bishops Tobin and Strickland do not represent a sizable truth squad in the USCCB. In confronting the advancing hordes of the Militants of Moloch, one wonders, there’s Bishop Strickland, but where are the other 299?
Bishop Tobin’s tweet warned Catholics that the Pride events “are especially harmful for children.” Well, they’re just as harmful for non-Catholic children. One reader recalled Pope Pius XII’s desire to defend the purity of the young by suggesting they dress modestly. “Now many girls do not see anything wrong with following certain shameless styles like so many sheep,” he wrote in 1954. “They would surely blush if they could only guess the impressions they make and the feelings they evoke in those who see them.”
Let’s turn that around. Consider how this admonition might be interpreted by the Pride’s sodomite celebrants. Wouldn’t they delight in the feelings (and more) that their lewd and obscene public performance of perversion might evoke in the young? In fact, doesn’t the destruction of modesty, purity, and virtue lie at the very heart of their campaign to silence and debilitate their critics? Especially in the city whose very name invokes Divine Providence?

Forbidden Words, Forbidden Truths

When Bishop Tobin’s message appeared on Twitter, word spread among LGBT networks like the smoke of Satan. The attacks were legion. Many quoted Pope Francis — a favorite among that crowd, alas. But the majority — literally thousands of them — taunt Bishop Tobin and his brother clerics as “pedophile priests” and “child molesters.”
And, of course, “homophobes!”
Once more, Bishop Strickland came to Tobin’s defense. “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,” he wrote.
“Bishop Tobin is simply speaking for one truth of the deposit of faith. God made humans male & female. Certainly those who are confused about their identity need Christ’s love & compassion, let’s remember Christ’s love is expressed when dies on the cross for the truth.”
Bishop Strickland went on to acknowledge how the USCCB’s own scandals have debilitated the hierarchy and failed the faithful. Here he dared to mention the forbidden word: “The McCarrick Conspiracy will continue to fester & harm the People of God until we receive answers,” he wrote.
And the McCarrick Conspiracy will also continue to silence our bishops. They will be meeting in Baltimore, supposedly to discuss how to employ Vos Estis, the recent motu proprio of Pope Francis addressing the scandals. But Pope Francis didn’t mention transparency, accountability for sitting bishops, or McCarrick. And neither will our bishops. The faithful laity have not only been left out of the loop, we have been betrayed.
Bishop Tobin is “praying for a rebirth of mutual understanding and respect.” Well, why not start with the truth? The Providence Pride sodomites taunt the bishop. “Your priests molested children.” They pretend that the charge is so powerful that it constitutes a powerful defense of their “lifestyle choices.”
Where is the bishop who, in the spirit of mutual understanding and respect, will help them refine their message, the better to address the facts?
Dear Providence Pride: Your arrows are sharp, but the target is missing. Bear in mind that the vast majority of clerical sexual abuse has been proven to be “homosexual in nature.” Your attacks need to be laser-focused on that fact. In that spirit, here is the improved version of your battle cry:
“How stupid can you be, Catholic bishops! You ordained sexual perverts like us and they preyed on little boys! What did you expect?”

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