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Bishop Tobin needs some prayers December 11, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Christendom, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Holy suffering, persecution, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, Society, the return, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.

I have prayed, for a long time, that here in this Diocese of Dallas, we would find our good Bishop Kevin Farrell regularly leading prayer vigils, exorcisms, and the like outside local abortion mills – at least much more frequently than once a year.  Now would be a great time, given the pressure the mills are currently under thanks to recent laws passed in the legislature.  In other Dioceses, such as Rockford, Ill, the bishops have taken the lead in helping extirpate from their dioceses any presence of abortion mills.  In Rockford, former Bishop Thomas Doran led numerous prayer vigils outside abortion mills and greatly encouraged his priests to do the same.  Very frequently, the steadily falling number of mills found themselves surrounded by priests and seminarians praying the Rosary, performing exorcisms, spraying the grounds with Holy Water, burying blessed medals, etc. This concerted spiritual warfare led to the shutdown of several mills, including a very notorious one.

Apparently, Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, RI leads similar pro-life efforts outside abortion mills.  A recent article discusses that fact in an unfortunately dismissive fashion, but then goes on to discuss Tobin’s views on some other matters (I add emphasis and comments):

A gusty, wet autumn afternoon found Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Rhode Island joining a prayer vigil outside a Planned Parenthood clinic. Two dozen abortion protesters, some holding “Respect Life” umbrellas, huddled in a semicircle around the bishop as he fingered his rosary beads and led them in prayer.  [that “fingering,” that’s a little shot, no?]

“Our commitment to human life is important,” he told them, as gas trucks rumbled by on Point Street. “Some have said that this commitment can be an obsession. If it’s an obsession to protect unborn life, then it’s a very important obsession.”

With his choice of words, Tobin seemed to be taking a direct swipe at Pope Francis, who sent tremors through the Roman Catholic Church in September when he said church leaders are too “obsessed” with abortion and other divisive social issues such as gay marriage.

On Sunday, Tobin publicly disagreed with Francis again. While the pope said that former president Nelson Mandela of South Africa, who died last week, will “inspire generations,” Tobin issued a statement declaring that appreciation of Mandela’s admirable qualities should be tempered by his “shameful” promotion of abortion in his country……

….The week before the popular new pontiff’s comments on abortion, Tobin told his diocesan newspaper that he was “a little disappointed in Pope Francis” for not having said much about abortion, and that “many people have noticed.” Francis’s decision to deemphasize divisive social issues, despite recriminations from critics, was seen as a slap at conservative US bishops like Tobin.  [Well, people “see” whatever they want. I don’t know if it was a “slap,” but I think it was a very intentional signal.]

“It’s one thing for him to reach out and embrace and kiss little children,” Tobin told the newspaper. “It would also be wonderful if in a spiritual way he would reach out and embrace and kiss unborn children.”….

…..“Unfortunately, [Tobin] came off more as a political leader of the right than a spiritual leader for everybody,” said Patrick Kennedy, who now lives in New Jersey and is an active participant in his parish. [That’s a wicked calumny, and you are one to talk, you who makes politics your living. It is an unjustifiable slur to call bishops, priests, or whomever who promote the Church’s constant, coherent moral doctrine “tools of the right.”  “I love hearing our new Holy Father. I believe it marks a new day for Catholics who want to be a part of the church and not feel alienated . . . and castigated for being sinners.”  [This is what really concerns me. I have seen such comments dozens of times.  Pope Francis’ approach may bring millions of people to Mass. He may increase donations. He may lead a seeming revival. But if all the people attracted to the Church – for which there is no evidence, yet – do so on the basis of rejecting what the Church believes, has anything really been gained?  And, while the media has surely created a left-friendly caricature of Pope Francis, is that caricature completely detached from reality?  Good Lord, Time Magazine, in their article previewing their Man of the Year selection (Pope Francis won), claimed that Pope Francis was popular for REJECTING CHURCH DOGMA. This bit of insanity was quickly removed, but we can see where the media is taking Pope Francis, turning him into a veritable left-wing anti-pope. But was this not rather predictable in advance, that the media would take what we pray are careless statements and run with them?  I think it was.  So, were they truly careless statements, then?]

Nor has the bishop endeared himself to gays, says state Representative Frank G. Ferri of Warwick, an openly gay lawmaker who helped lead the fight for same-sex marriage.

His tone is not very Christian-like  [says the non-Christian soul lost in terrible sins!]  — he says that gay people are indecent, immoral, and going to hell,”  [WRONG. Full stop.  He never said they were going to hell. But this agendized person is twisting and adding to Tobin’s words to create a caricature of him as a hateful monster.  Just as the media twists and adds to Pope Francis’ words.  Unfortunately, in all this melee, the message, the Truth, is being utterly lost.  The truth is that Bishop Tobin has profound concern for souls, to the extent that he’s willing to suffer in order to try to convert them.]    Ferri said. “Then Pope Francis comes along and expresses a more tolerant view. Bishop Tobin doesn’t realize what his negative tone can lead to. The church still has a lot of influence in Rhode Island.”

Tobin responded in an interview that “we reject any unjust discrimination against people who are homosexual . . . but at the same time we’ve been very clear that homosexual acts are beyond God’s plan and therefore sinful and immoral.”  [Clear, concise, Catholic Truth.  Very good.]

————End Quote———–

This is so very painful. Before I say anything else, I’m sure Bishop Tobin has his faults.  I’m sure he is very imperfect as a bishop.  But observing him for some time, he is certainly one of the best we have right now.  That may not be saying a great deal, but it’s something.

I left out some other quotes from the article.  What is occurring is a nightmare.  Katholycs are using Pope Francis’ words, or at least the media’s obviously twisted interpretation of them, to attack an orthodox bishop.  Pope Francis’ words are being used like weapons to advance the agendas of very lost souls, souls who have chosen mammon over God.  This is incredibly troubling.  Even if a whole bunch of people come back to or into the Church, what will they bring with them?  Will they bring hearts open to conversion and a willingness to change behaviors in order to be pleasing to God, or will they bring with them insurmountable pride and an assurance that everything they do, no matter how sinful, is right and pleasing in the eyes of God?

The message I have seen conveyed by dozens of quotes from those ostensibly enthralled with Pope Francis is that they see in him a vindication of their worldliness, errors, and sinfulness.  50 years of experience, especially the period ~1965-80, shows that no matter how much the Church is presented to the world as being “with it,” of shucking all that mean ‘ol judging Dogma, that image won’t attract souls.  In fact, many currently in the Church will get the message that the Church is completely dispensable.  They can do without it, after all, who are we to judge?

Before I finish, we have to remember, the Church is not a weather vane, following the Pope whichever way he blows. Nothing has changed. The Truth remains the Truth.  We are really probably best off just trying to ignore all this mess, but that can be very difficult.  Certainly, we cannot allow our concerns to affect our charity and our prayer life.  In fact, our prayer life should be redoubled, as should our efforts at mortification.  I have made a special effort to pray special Novenas and Rosary intentions for Pope Francis and the Church.  That is really our best response.

You might say a prayer or two for Bishop Thomas Tobin and those like him (Paprocki, Cordileone, Vasa, Chaput, Olmstead, Finn, Conley, etc).  They are sure to find their attempts to defend the evangelize the Faith much more difficult.


1. Lorra - December 11, 2013

“What is occurring is a nightmare. Katholycs are using Pope Francis’ words, or at least the media’s obviously twisted interpretation of them, to attack an orthodox bishop. Pope Francis’ words are being used like weapons to advance the agendas of very lost souls, souls who have chosen mammon over God. This is incredibly troubling.”

Yes, and what is Pope Francis doing to stop it? Nothing. Do we ever get a clarification from the Vatican as to what he really meant? No. Many Catholics rely on bloggers to tell us that, and whatever “type” of Catholic you are, you are sure to find one to agree with what you hope he meant, but aren’t really sure he meant.

The longer this confusion is allowed to go on, the worse it is going to get, until it is so entangled, it will take Divine Intervention to unknot the mess.

2. Lorra - December 11, 2013

God bless Bishop Tobin, and the other Catholic bishops you mentioned, for having the fortitude to speak the Truth.

3. MMC - December 11, 2013

“His tone is not very Christian-like he says that gay people are indecent, immoral, and going to hell,”

Well the Church of Nice is the only “Christian” Church this poor sodomite has known. And for the record, people who believe the “gay” lie ARE immoral, indecent and have a very high probability of going to hell. Having mutually, mastabatory, sterile, perverted sex IS immoral and indecent. Rock on Bishop Tobin…God bless this man for loving people who believe the “gay” lie enough to speak the truth to them. Love/kindness without truth is demonic. Anything without truth is demonic…for only the truth sets us free…and Our Lord Himself said that He Was Truth.

Our lost culture and Church has to drop the emo, demonic Church of “Nice” and get back to speaking the truth in wisdom and kindness. Yes, Mr Kennedy…unrepentent, obstinate sinners WILL be castigated and rightly so since they destroy themselves and others by their evil. SIn has consequences…sin destroys…so next time someone tells you to stop sinning they are doing so to protect you and others from the negative consequences here and the eternal ones in hell. You are being authentically LOVED when someone tells you the truth in kindness…it is a rare unicorn these days…God bless Bishop Tobin for the courage and authentic love he has for Christ, His Church and His sheep to fight the demonic in this world and in the Church.

4. Blaine - December 11, 2013

I was confirmed by Bishop Tobin in high school (Diocese of Youngstown, OH). I wish I’d of dropped the arrogance and pride (and sacrilege) and paid attention to both the awesome gifts of the sacrament I’d received and the man who conferred it. Even then, while I rejected much of what he said, it was apparent he was a man that didn’t mince words and truly cared for his flock.

Ah the follies of youth, but at least I listen now. God bless Bishop Tobin.

5. Branch - December 11, 2013

I am thankful for his words on the passing of Mandela. It is a consolation not to feel alone.

6. TG - December 11, 2013

I will keep the bishop in my prayers.

7. Baseballmom - December 11, 2013

Yes, we are being called to double our prayers and sacrifices for our hierarchy, from the Pope down to the bishops. This is the age of the faithful remnant of laity… A challenging yet awesome time to be a Catholic!

8. john - December 12, 2013

There is some scary stuff happening out there. Good bishops and priests are under attack, and the loudest voices in the media are twisting Francis to make homosexual activity sound so “normal” that self identified Catholics are the largest supporters of illicit marriage.
What the heck is going on? Has it always been this bad? Is it getting better than the 1960s and 70s before I was around??? Please give me some good news!

TG - December 12, 2013

Pray for priests, bishops and the Pope. I never did until Father Corapi said we should.

9. mortimer zilch - December 12, 2013

We should not forget the Spiritual Works of Mercy: admonish the sinner; counsel the doubtful; instruct the ignorant; forgive injuries; pray for the living and the dead; bear wrongs patiently; and comfort the sorrowful. It’s not all Corporal Works.

10. mortimer zilch - December 12, 2013

Dear John…it’s always darkest just before the dawn. The Light shines in the Darkness….does that help any? “My Kingdom is not of the world.” “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all else will be added to ye.” – is it getting better, John? “Time will come when men will kill you and think they are serving God.” Refreshing? John, it’s time to come out of the closet, and declare yourself a follower of Jesus, a Catholic! How joyous Michail Gorbachev recently said while on pilgrimage: “I am a Christian!” what a relief, what a declaration! Imagine if Jack Nicholson came out and said that, how different he would be from the Hollywood rascal we know him as now. So too with every public sinner! Amen Hallelujah! Come Lord Jesus.

11. Converted - December 12, 2013

Maybe a novena to Mary Undoer of Knots; couldn’t hurt.
Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat
Christ conquers, Christ reigns, Christ commands

12. Michael Hoffman (@HoffmanMichaelA) - December 13, 2013

Bishop Bernard Cupich of the diocese of Spokane (Washington) has banned diocesan priests from praying at abortions mills. (Cupich was appointed bishop under Pope Benedict). Before Pope Francis, Bp. Cupich permitted LGBT dances at Cataldo Hall on the campus of Jesuit Gonzaga University, a stone’s throw from St. Aloysius Gonzaga Church (where Bing Crosby was raised, in better days).

13. Michael Hoffman (@HoffmanMichaelA) - December 13, 2013

Correction: Bishop Cupich’s first name is Blase, not Bernard.

14. Francis P. Lavelle - December 13, 2013

Be very careful not to aid our enemies by calling attention to the very normal differences that Bishop have among themselves. I’m with Francis …I’m with Benedict ….rather than I’m with Christ. All of this will work itself out over time. God can do wonders with the help of saints. So let’s pray for all the pastors of the Church that their holiness will speak vollumes as their words fade away.

tantamergo - December 13, 2013

It’s a fair comment. I have no problem with you making it.

The hope is that people are praying, redoubling their prayers. If they are not, then the message, and my efforts, are not just wasted, they could even be counterproductive.

At the same time, this kind of difference is hardly unprecedented. Factionalism is to be avoided, but it is not factionalism when some parties are in error. The laity clung to the truth during the Arian heresy while the bishops, almost to a man, went over to it. There were extremely strong polemics, outdoing frankly just about anything we read today concerning any bishop or the Pope, between Donatists and their adversaries. The Church enjoyed a rather long period of doctrinal stability after the protestant crisis, which stability and the ideal of unquestioning submission to authority were heightened at the First Vatican Council. There has been sort of a memory lapse regarding how divided the Church has been at times in Her past, especially during the formative years of the Faith when the Church was so filled with Saints.

Your counsel is a wise one, but it should not be extended too far to be used as a bludgeon to stifle legitimate expression of concern. You did not do that, at all, but others have.

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