FILE - In this Nov. 22, 2009 file photo, Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin speaks to a reporter in Riverside, R.I. Tobin, Rhode Island's Roman Catholic bishop is facing backlash after tweeting Saturday, June 1, 2019 that Catholics should not support or attend LGBTQ Pride Month events. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds, File)

Priest begs gays not to leave church over bishop's tweet

June 03, 2019 - 11:51 am

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A priest in Rhode Island has asked parishioners not to leave the church over a tweet by Rhode Island's Roman Catholic bishop urging Catholics to not support or attend LGBTQ Pride Month events.

The Boston Globe reports the Rev. Edward L. Pieroni begged gay and lesbian parishioners not to leave the church during Sunday services at St. Raymond's Roman Catholic Church in Providence.

Diocese of Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin sparked a backlash beginning Saturday when he tweeted that Pride Month events in June "promote a culture and encourage activities that are contrary to Catholic faith and morals" and "are especially harmful for children."

More than 80,000 people responded. Some referred to the ongoing child sexual abuse scandal in the church.

Tobin defended the tweet but says he didn't mean to offend anyone.

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