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Thomas Tobin can’t hide behind the Bible on LGTBQ issues

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When I was writing a book about the Christian case for same-sex marriage, I interviewed a number of men who had left the Roman Catholic priesthood due to their homosexuality. They could simply no longer tolerate their church’s baleful combination of homophobic teaching and sheer hypocrisy—their informed opinion was that at least one-third and likely the majority of their colleagues were gay, many of them far from celibate. One man from Toronto told me that during the Pride parade he would remove his clerical collar and walk beside the march, but at least a full street away. “I needed to be part of it, but I was terrified that even in civilian clothes someone would recognize me. You wouldn’t believe the prejudice and the fear that exists.”

Perhaps I would. Shortly after sunrise on Saturday, Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Roman Catholic diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, tweeted, “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.”

READ MORE: If there’s a war on Christmas, it’s being led by the most zealous Christians

This was shockingly repugnant language, even from a church that has actively campaigned against LGBTQ equality and now officially rejects even chaste gay men from its seminaries. The stinging irony of the “harmful for children” comment was inescapable, in that the Catholic clergy abuse crisis involved the sexual assault of myriad children and was denied or hidden for decades. Indeed, when Tobin was auxiliary bishop of Pittsburgh, the diocese was named in a grand jury report concerning abuse........

© Macleans