Bp. Tobin catches hell for warning about “Pride” events. Wherein Fr. Z rants.

I suspect that before too long we will see violence in the streets and overt attacks on churches over this.

Boston Globe story about the vituperative blow-back that Bp. Thomas Tobin of Providence, RI is getting about a tweet he sent out concerning Catholics’ participation in “Pride” month…. the exaltation of a defective orientation that some people are afflicted with.   Properly, Bp. Tobin cautioned Catholics about these events.

One Boston Globe – what a bastion of truth – headline read, fallaciously and mendaciously: “Providence bishop faces backlash for homophobic tweet”. This is, of course, a lie. The tweet was hardly homophobic. And just what does homophobic mean, now, anyway? It is flung around so hysterically that it now means practically nothing other than “Target this person for your hate!”

The Globe article I linked, above, describes the over the top reaction to Bp. Tobin on the part of supposed Catholics. I suspect that were you to sit and talk with them for awhile, you would discover massive gaps in their basic knowledge of the faith and also explicit denials of teachings of the Church on faith and morals.

So, what’s the card they play now again Bp. Tobin? We will see this played again and again when bishops and priests with a little courage remaining put their head up above the others to say something true. Like sullen teenagers they are threatening to leave the Church. You can, in reading the story, sense the not-yet-mature angst. “No,” dad says, “you can’t wear that to the party and you have to be home at 9:30. It’s a school night.” “I HATE YOU!”, daughter screams, “You never let me do anything! Everyone’s going to be there. I’m going and YOU CAN’T STOP ME!” That’s about the level of reason in their discourse.

Bp. Tobin did his job, just as unpopular dad did in the dialogue.

It is not hate for a father to snatch his two-year old away from sticking the fork in the electric outlet.

It is not hate for a father to ground his 10-year old for breaking a lamp in the living room with a baseball bat.

It is not hate for a father to tell his 15-year old daughter that she can’t go dressed that way to that party.

It is not hate for a bishop to tell people that the celebration of and promotion of sodomy – a sin that cries to heaven – is wrong.

In that Globe article we then see the reaction of a parish priest to his bishop’s remarks.

[T]he Rev. Edward L. Pieroni openly expressed his worry that the latest controversy would push gays and lesbians away from a church already riven with divisions over abortion, clergy sex abuse, and same-sex relationships. “My concern is that for people who are lesbian or gay — same-sex attraction — that they may leave the church. A lot of people have hung in there, but it’s like, ‘One more slap and we are done.’ I am here to beg you — and I will get on my hands and knees and beg you — not to leave,” Pieroni told the congregation.

On your hand and knees, huh? What an impressive display.

Friends, every situation has its own dynamics and, from a distance we can’t know them all. Heck, even the people involved don’t know them. But I strongly suspect that this prostrate pandering to people who have these afflictions, and to their well-meaning loved ones and to their duped abettors, garnered not a single shred of respect. In fact, it signals that that stretch of the front in Providence is weak. Homosexualist organizers would be smart to strike hard at that feeble emplacement. With Fr. Ephialtes’ help, it’ll cave without much resistance, thus leaving all of us more vulnerable to the invasion of society and the Church with falsehoods and agents of the Enemy of our souls.

Our Blessed Mother told Lucia (as communicated to the late Card. Caffarra) that the Devil’s last battlefront is the family. From the beginning the “father of lies” has deceived people into thinking that God hasn’t told the truth and that we can be the arbiters of our own “right” and our own “wrong”. This is why the growth of the homosexualist agenda is so deadly. It overturns the very order of creation and promotes a violation of God’s image manifest in each and every human being. Homosexual acts tear at the very fabric of society.

I’ve used this locus from Augustine’s preaching before.  Repetita iuvant.

St. Augustine was a great pastor of souls who truly loved his flock.  He was bishop in very difficult times.  He loved his people enough to rough up his congregations when they went wrong: because he wanted them to get to heaven. Whether they listened or not, he didn’t want to lose heaven for himself by neglecting to preach the hard stuff.  It was his vocation to preach whatever it took to get them to heaven.

Then Augustine, as priest/victim said, “Nolo salvus esse sine vobis… I don’t want to be saved without you.”

That is the work of the priest/victim.   He would do what it took to help them to heaven, even if that meant making them temporarily angry with him.   He put them before himself.

Buried within the message, however, is a stern reminder.   If you don’t correct your errant ways, there’s the door over there.  Beyond that door is Hell.  We’d rather you stay, but if you want, don’t let the door hit you in the backside on the way down.

And I’ll repeat for the umpteenth time.  Those people who have this same-sex attraction affliction have the opportunity through this cross they bear to attain real holiness and great glory in heaven.   But they have to be willing to stay on the cross and struggle, with grace, against it.

To the sullen dissidents: I remind you of what Vatican II taught in Lumen gentium:

14. This Sacred Council wishes to turn its attention firstly to the Catholic faithful. Basing itself upon Sacred Scripture and Tradition, it teaches that the Church, now sojourning on earth as an exile, is necessary for salvation. Christ, present to us in His Body, which is the Church, is the one Mediator and the unique way of salvation. In explicit terms He Himself affirmed the necessity of faith and baptism(124) and thereby affirmed also the necessity of the Church, for through baptism as through a door men enter the Church. Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved.

Finally, I suspect that most people who are activists in this homosexualist thing know, deep down, that what they are doing is wrong.  But they have been duped by others and they have caved into their own appetites and, now, don’t know how to get out.

A drowning man will often lash out at the person trying to save him.   In the time before modern medicine, doctors had to keep cutting even though the patient screamed for him to stop.   The shepherd has to beat sheep who are going the wrong way and even loose the dogs to stop them.

Bishops and priests, be good fathers and keep telling the truth.   Be good physicians of the thrashing wounded.  Pin those arms and drag those drowning people ashore.  Use that crooked staff and your solid collaborators to prevent the loss of more souls.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Si vis pacem para bellum!, Sin That Cries To Heaven, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, Wherein Fr. Z Rants and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. ThePapalCount says:

    Thank you Fr Z. What you write is right. The quote from Augustine should be framed and placed on every bishop’s and pastor’s desk.
    We do not have here a lasting city.. this is for a time. An earthly life gives way to an eternal one.
    Where we spend that eternity is up to us based on our choices. Like Augustine we want to leave no one behind on the wrong side. So we talk and live the truth. Even when it is tough. The earthly struggle is far outweighed by the promise of Heaven.

  2. JustaSinner says:

    Where will all the homosexualists go for their children? They firmly support abortion in all its stripes, so getting an ‘unwanted’ child there is gone. Guess it’s recruitment through their friends at Child Protective Services…as usual.
    Brings up the old joke about the plane load of gay abortion doctors that crashed. It was a tragedy, there were eight empty seats.

  3. John21 says:

    I wonder what the final blow on the family will be, if not what we’re already seeing…

  4. SanSan says:

    God Bless and protect Bishop Tobin and all courageous Bishops who speak the Truth. Bishop Strickland is standing up. Where are the rest of the Bishops?

    p.s. sad to see some sort of apology from Bishop Tobin’s office…..it just gives evil more chops

  5. monstrance says:

    Remember when the homosexual movement wanted only tolerance ?
    That was a lie.
    They demand affirmation – and they will tolerate nothing less.

  6. SanSan says:

    Thank you Father Z for your wise counsel. I pray that many will hear your wisdom.

  7. veritas vincit says:

    I agree with SanSan. Bishop Tobin’s statement (in the Boston globe story) that largely ‘walked back” his tweet was unfortunate. The problem with tweets is that they don’t have much room for conveying nuance (in this case, love for the sinner while rejecting the sin).
    Still, Bishop Tobin showed courage that I would like to see from more bishops — including my own.

  8. VP says:

    @monstrance – We are long past affirmation. Now the movement wants your children.

  9. monstrance says:

    They have accomplished it through the public ed system.
    Even the more rural school districts are succumbing due to state funding requirements.
    That’s why it’s never a good idea for Catholic Schools to get hooked on government doe. ie – school lunch program, etc..

  10. Ellen says:

    Years ago there was a blogger who called him/herself Zombie. Zombie went to the Folsom Street fair in San Francisco and took a lot of pictures. I have a strong constitution but I was blown away by the sheer depravity. The gay spokesmen like to talk about love, but I sure didn’t see love there. A lot of using another person for one’s own selfish purpose, but no love. My own hometown has a pride parade. It’s no debauched – yet.

  11. Clinton R. says:

    I notice other bishops are not exactly rushing to Bp. Tobin’s defense. Given how much support the LGBTQetc. garners from supposed “Catholics”, His Excellency is likely to not be defended much from the laity either. The whole issue has been rendered down to “Gay is good” and if you don’t like and celebrate it, you are a hateful bigot. Meanwhile, souls are lost to Satan because few have the courage to express the truthfulness on the evil of homosexuality and its abhorrent acts. Great post, Father. May St. Charles Lwanga and his companions pray for us +JMJ+

  12. tho says:

    Sadly our own Supreme Court affirmed sodomy, and homosexual marriage as a right. Here is where we need a strong Pope to reaffirm what the church has taught for 2019 years. In lieu of a strong Pope we need strong Bishops, like the Providence Tobin, not the Newark Tobin.
    Common sense should tell these people that unnatural sex is the best way to transmit diseases, we, and people throughout the world are still in the throes of the AIDs epidemic. Fake news will not cover the many mental problems that are inherent with a homosexual lifestyle.
    In the long run catering to this kind of aberrant behavior will destroy us, and cause countless harm to many naïve souls.

  13. OrdinaryCatholic says:

    Seriously, the only reason they go after Catholics is because they know we will not behead them.

  14. MacCheese says:

    And now, some so called “conservative” Catholics are going after the Bishop saying he has walked back his tweet by issuing a follow up “apology”.
    IMHO it was no apology, any serious person know this! And I stand with the Bishop.

  15. GypsyMom says:

    John21, the final blow on the family is likely to be legalized pedophilia. They’re working on that. God have mercy on us all if this is achieved.

  16. Ms. M-S says:

    The president of Rhode Island Pride trotted out that “definitive” argument that Jesus never said anything specific against homosexuality. True enough, along with abortion, rape, wife beating, and a host of other offenses too generally abhorred to need mention. Those, however, who had been taught in His presence or, as with Paul, by revelation handed down plenty of specific teachings on the subject. I guess members of Rhode Island Pride don’t spend much time on the Didache or the letters of St. Paul.

  17. Dan says:

    Wouln’t Homophobic be the fear of homosexuals? Like as in “I am so afraid of being publicly martyred by this group of bullies for daring to speak out against them that I am just going to keep my mouth shut or publicly promote them?”
    I would say that Father Pieroni in this case sf the homophobe that apostatizes and prostates himself in front of these people worshiping a false God. And not Bishop Tobin who bravely speaks the truth.
    Of course supporters of this ideology have abandoned all reason so a little thing like dictionary definitions will likely never get in their way.

  18. Kathleen10 says:

    Could I please issue a request to all of our bishops? It would be great if you launch a defense of Christ, the Gospel, the church, but for heaven’s sake, DON’T DO IT if you are going to follow it up with an apology because of the temporary kerfuffle that follows. Don’t do it! You make matters worse by apologizing, and put the church and everything else in a position of absolute weakness, which brings on more problems.
    Expect there to be fiendish shrieks at the truth, hey, go ask Brian Camenker of the group MassResistance, which lends education and support to groups fighting the scourge of LGBT insanity around the world. He has faced it for years, but the group continues to work and accomplish great things in spite of it. Why? One reason is he doesn’t fold like a cheap tent when people get their panties in a wad over something he’s said. Courage! Tenacity! Conviction, you better have all these, but at the very least, don’t apologize!
    And GypsyMom, that is the hill for us all to die on. We protect children with all we’ve got, which means all out when we hear someone say something sympathetic about pedophiles.
    Not a foot gets in that door ever. No sympathy, no understanding, no tolerance, ever.

  19. Dan says:

    “I wonder what the final blow on the family will be, if not what we’re already seeing…”

    We have all ready been told the ending “in the end my immaculate heart will triumph”

    How bad it gets before the head of Satan is crushed? That remains to be seen…

  20. Fr_Andrew says:

    If ever one wanted to see how dishonest the media were, one only has to look at what happened in the aftermath of this.

    Headline from The Guardian (of sodomites, perhaps) : “Rhode Island bishop sorry for saying Pride events ‘harmful for children'”.

    Read the article and this is not at all what is said. What he said was, “I regret that my comments yesterday … 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…. As a Catholic bishop 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.”

    That is not a backing down or apology. It’s a “I’m sorry you were offended at the Truth, and I’m grateful for those who supported me” or “I’m sorry you were offended, but it’s by duty before God to say such things.” He never apologized for or retracted anything he wrote, and good on him for that.

    The media is happy to spin this to like he backed down in the face of their opposition, so he looks weak and as if, now properly back in line, he supports the sodomites. Hardly.

    We need more bishops like Msgr Tobin. He is not my bishop, but I’ll happily pray for him at my next Mass.

  21. Charles E Flynn says:

    @MacCheese and Fr_Andrew,

    Thank you for your commentary. I have never before seen such a rapid and public demonstration of a lack of reading comprehension. There seem to be few people who recognize that Bishop Tobin wrote two good pieces, and that they do not contradict one another.

  22. teomatteo says:

    In my vocabulary a homophobic is a woman who fears that part of a man that organically compliments her womaness. homo= manly parts, Phobic= fear of. Thats how I see it.

  23. Charles E Flynn says:

    I hope none of you are “invested” in Mia Farrow.

    Here is how the story was being covered on Sunday by a local TV station (WJAR, channel 10, Providence, RI, an NBC affiliate):

    LGBTQ Community stages rally in response to Bishop Tobin


  24. veritas vincit says:

    I may have taken the Boston Globe edited version of Bishop Tobin’s response to the criticism as accurately reflecting what the bishop said. In so doing, given that a major and liberal daily would not be sympathetic to the bishop, I acted hastily. Mea culpa.

    Ideally, the bishop’s initial tweet would be left to stand on its own, but that’s easy for me to say, not being under the pressure he faced.

    I still wish my own bishop would speak out about the “Pride” parade in my city. Kudos to Bishop Tobin for speaking out.

  25. HvonBlumenthal says:

    There is a petition in support of Bishop Tobin here:


    Perhaps Father you would consider including the link in your post?

  26. MB says:

    Thank you Fr. Z for your support of Bishop Tobin, and for giving us a platform to voice our support for him too.

    Yes, Clinton R., very interesting that this should come to the fore on the feast of St. Charles Lwanga and companions. These martyrs have a very clear understanding of homosexuality; what it is, what it does, what it leads to …

    I think as Catholics we aren’t well equipped to speak the truth on this issue. Many fellow Catholics are swayed by the argument that we shouldn’t deprive someone of a loving relationship. I’d really love to see a Church leader lay out some points that faithful Catholics can use to push back. For example, Joseph Sciambra points out that the male body is not designed to be receptive, therefore homosexual sex damages the participants. The definition of love is to will the good of the other. If we love people with same sex attraction it seems like we would encourage them to live a lifestyle that leads to good health, wholeness, and happiness. Yet the people who encourage them – who say, go, damage your body, be proud of it – these are the people who love homosexuals? Um, yeah, something’s not right there.

  27. chantgirl says:

    GypsyMom and John21- The final blow to the family is likely to be the removal of procreation from a family setting to something manufactured by the government. Coercive population control, increasing ability to test embryos’ genetic health, the eugenic push toward designer babies, the increasing use of reproductive technology which creates humans in labs, cloning, and hysteria over population growth are likely to lead to governments creating humans in labs and either assigning them to “worthy” citizen guardians, or raising them in state institutions.

    People are now willing to accept:

    -Babies created in labs, with the leftover embryos frozen or destroyed

    -Babies harvested from donor wombs and given to homosexual couples, depriving the children of their mother or father

    -Government control of procreation ( how many countries tolerate China’s coercive population control measures in order to trade with them?)

    -Identification of genetic defects prenatally, leading to abortion (eugenics)

    -The state seizing children from parents for “offenses” such as homeschooling, refusal of gender mutilation surgery, traditional religious views

    -Government control of population due to climate change concerns (spend some time in comboxes or speaking with millennials and you will see that many have no problem with government population control)

    Sooner or later, these circumstances will lead to a nanny state in the truest sense- a government which creates, owns, and controls its own subjects. Those citizens are likely to be genetically engineered for certain qualities. We may even see human/animal hybrids or human/machine hybrids eventually. Hopefully, God does not let us go down the path we seem determined to take, even if that means He has to press the civilization reset button.

  28. KateD says:


    Today I showed my daughter the google search page and asked, “Do you know what month it is?” And she replied, “June, month when everyone gets married.” And gave me a wry look.

    They used to do this in October and apparently moved the month to June coincide with another event, but it seems more likely that the month was chosen to mock the institution of marriage.

    Honestly, I think these attacks on marriage and family will only continue to intensify….

  29. Semper Gumby says:

    God bless Bp. Tobin.

    The website Ellen refers to is “zombietime” and many photos are graphic, though there is an option to blur. On the homepage there are several links to other more recent zombietime photo essays.

    Most photos are from a decade or so ago from California and particularly the San Francisco area. Also, photos from places such as Denver and a New York City polling station on election day. In addition to street parades and demonstrations there are photos of art exhibits, various “Palestinian” events, and protests at Marine Corps recruiting stations.

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