Bishop Thomas Tobin

Wikimedia Commons

As the Pope concludes his historic trip to the United States, dozens of Rhode Island students plan to attend his outdoor mass in Philadelphia. 

Providence Diocese

One of the most interesting aspects of how the historic visit of Pope Francis resonates in Rhode Island is how Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence reacts to the message of His Holiness.

Rhode Island’s bishop has carved a reputation as a staunch and outspoken defender of conservative, traditional teachings. Tobin has often been vitriolic and rough in his criticism of liberal positions on such social and cultural issues as abortion and same-sex marriage.


Rhode Island’s Catholic Bishop, Thomas Tobin, is one of about 300 bishops gathered in Washington D.C. Wednesday for the Papal visit. The bishops will join the holy leader in prayer, then take part in Mass at the Catholic University of America.

Tobin says the city and nation are abuzz with excitement over the Pope’s arrival.

Providence Diocese

The young mayor of Rhode Island's smallest city, James Diossa, will travel to Washington D.C. this week as Pope Francis arrives in the U.S. Diossa was invited to the country's capital by President Barack Obama and the First Lady. Diossa will be part of the Pope's arrival ceremony Wednesday morning.


Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence said today that he is ``extremely pleased’’ that Pope Francis has ``approved the simplification of the annulment process.’’

In a statement, Tobin said, ``It will perhaps allow some Catholics to have prior marriage situations resolved in a way that will benefit them spiritually, while also maintaining the essential Catholic teaching regarding the permanence of the Sacrament of Matrimony.

Providence Dioceses

Update: In an interview with Rhode Island Public Radio, RI state Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, D-Newport, said she does not support Bishop Thomas Tobin's call to resists the U.S. Supreme Court gay marriage decision. Paiva Weed is a practicing Catholic and was an opponent of the 2013 measure that legalized same-sex marriage in Rhode Island. But in a taping for RIPR's political roundtable that will air tomorrow morning, the Senate president said the U.S. Constitution must be obeyed.

Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin, who led a high-profile, albeit failed, campaign to defeat same-sex marriage legislation in Rhode Island in 2013, today blasted the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

In a statement, the Rev. Tobin said, ``a thousand courts may rule otherwise but the very notion of ``same sex marriage’’ is morally wrong and a blatant rejection of God’s plan for the human family.’’

As election day nears, luminaries of all stripes are weighing in on the candidates. Now comes Rev. Thomas J. Tobin, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, with advice for practicing Catholics on how to cast their ballots.

UPDATE: La Salle has decided to remove all the photographs of La Salle alums from the ``Wall of Notables'' reports Tom Mooney at the ProJo.

The school's Board of Trustees voted to take down all of the photos because they had become a distraction to learning, the ProJo reported. On of those photos was of U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, who, like Raimondo is a La Salle alum. There were 25 photos on the notables wall.

My original post from last week:

Flo Jonic / RIPR

A Catholic lay group has presented Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin with 20,000 petition signatures demanding an apology for comments he made about the late Nelson Mandela.

They came with a request, “Could you please make sure these are delivered to Bishop Tobin? And after he’s done reading them would you encourage him to recycle the paper,” asked Gina Buckley O’Toole.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

At ten o’clock Wednesday morning, a group of Catholics will converge on the  office of Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin to demand an apology for comments he made about the late Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela had been dead only two days when Bishop Thomas Tobin made a statement that has drawn criticism. He said that while Mandela did much to improve the lives of South Africans his legalization of abortion was, quote, “shameful.”

Cranston estate planner Joseph Caramadre will be sentenced Monday morning for his role in a scheme that bilked terminally ill people of 46-million dollars.

Prosecutors will ask that he be locked up for ten years.

Caramadre and an associate pleaded guilty last year to fraud and conspiracy.  Federal prosecutors say Caramadre was the mastermind behind an investment strategy in which he stole the identities of terminally ill people.  He illegally used that information to purchase bonds and annuities that would pay out when the person died.  

Providence Diocese

Bishop Thomas Tobin, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Rhode Island, has issued a statement critical of the late Nelson Mandela.

Mandela died last week after a prolonged battle with a lung infection. He was 95.

In a statement, Tobin said there is much to admire about the South African leader, particularly his personal courage and stalwart defense of human rights.

But Tobin takes issue with Mandela’s support of abortion rights.  Tobin said this aspect of Mandela’s life is, “not at all praiseworthy.”

Carolyn Cronin, a veteran radio reporter and news anchor at WPRO, has been appointed to lead external and internal communications for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, Rev. Bishop Thomas J. Tobin announced in a statement released today.

``The Diocese of Providence is excited to announce Carolyn Cronin as its next communications director to lead a critical department in Diocesan administration,’’ said Bishop Tobin. ``Carolyn Cronin’s many years as a news anchor and reporter will strengthen Diocesan evangelization and catechisms.

Once again the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence is reaching out to help Rhode Islanders who can’t pay their heating bills this winter.

With overnight temperatures dipping into the 30’s, Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin has announced the ‘Keep the Heat’ program on for an eighth year.  The program provides heating assistance to Rhode Islanders who have exhausted all other public and private forms of heating assistance.