(CNSNews.com) -- Bishop Thomas Tobin, head of the Catholic Diocese of Providence, R.I., directed Catholics not to support or attend any LGBTQ events during June "Pride Month," explaining that such activities are contrary to Church teachings on faith and morals and are "especially harmful to children."
Bishop Tobin was harshly criticized for expressing his faith by homosexuals and liberals on Twitter and other social media, but he also received a lot of support from faithful Catholics.
"A reminder that Catholics should not support or attend LGBTQ 'Pride Month' events held in June," tweeted Bishop Tobin on June 1.
"They promote a culture and encourage activities that are contrary to Catholic faith and morals," he said. "They are especially harmful for children."
June is celebrated as "Pride Month" in honor of the Stonewall riot in 1968, when gay partiers fought back against the police during a vice raid on the homosexual bar, the Stonewall Inn.
According to the Library of Congress, "Today, [Pride Month] celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBTQ Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally."
The Catholic Church teaches that same-sex attraction is not sinful but engaging in homosexual practices is gravely sinful. Also, to support those disordered practices in any way, publicly or privately, is gravely sinful.
"Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered,'" states the Catechism of the Catholic Church. "They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved." (Emphasis added.)
The Catechism also states, "The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition."
Homosexual activists were quick to denounce Bishop Tobin for reminding Catholics about their faith's moral teachings. Rhode Island Pride, for instance, tweeted on June 1, "Tomorrow we are taking Pride to Cathedral Square in Providence at 6:30 in response to @ThomasJTobin1’s shameful remarks! It’s a Pride Rally to celebrate love, diversity, and inclusion!"
The president of Rhode Island Pride, Joe Lazzerini, told the Boston Globe, “We woke up this morning and we saw the bishop’s tweet and were honestly flabbergasted. He is like the Donald Trump of the Catholic Church, he goes on Twitter and spews out hate.
"Jesus never said a word about homosexuality, about Pride, or the Queer community," Lazzerini claimed. "Rhode Island Pride respectfully calls on Bishop Tobin to do some self-reflection as the majority of Catholic Rhode Islanders in this state reject the idea that to be Catholic is to be complicit to intolerance, bigotry, and fear."
Left-wing actress/activist Mia Farrow tweeted, "This is pure ignorance & bigotry. Ignore this hate-filled hypocrite. His mind set leads only to suffering. He brings to mind those priests who molested my brothers. Of COURSE we should embrace our LGBTQ brothers and sisters and children. Jesus spoke of love."
British entertainer Julian Clary, who is openly gay, tweeted, "May God strike you down Bishop, at His earliest convenience."
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza tooka swipe at the bishop, tweeting on June 2, "A reminder that Providence is a place where all people are welcome to celebrate Pride this month. We stand with and support our LGBTQIA+ community here this June and every day in our capital city."
In Bp. Tobin's defense, Fr. Richard Heilman tweeted, "The Apostles were not silenced by the sin of Judas. All but one gave their lives for the sake of the Truth of Jesus Christ. His Excellency, Bishop Thomas Tobin has the courageous heart of the first Bishops. I stand with you, Your Excellency!"
According to the on-page Twitter data, more than 24,000 people have liked or "hearted" Bishop Tobin's tweet. In addition, more than 86,000 people have replied to it and more than 6,000 people have retweeted it.
On Sunday, June 2, following the attacks by LGBT and pro-homosexual activists, Bishop Tobin released a statement. In part, he said, "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," he said. "That is what I have always tried to do -- on a variety of issues -- and I will continue doing so as contemporary issues arise."