Providence diocese

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.

file / RIPR

Rhode Island Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin has taken a lot of heat for criticizing Nelson Mandela. Two days after Mandela died Tobin issued a statement calling his legalization of abortion “shameful.”

But now Tobin supporters are speaking out. The anti-abortion American Life League has put out a statement thanking Tobin. The statement said Tobin had the courage to point out the “shameful irony” between Mandela’s promotion of abortion and his stance against apartheid.

Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Providence RI
Catherine Welch / RIPR

A noon mass on Thursday marked the final day of Pope Benedict XVI.  It was held at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul.

Catherine Welch

Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin says he was stunned by the announcement that Pope Benedict the XVI will step down at the end of the month. Bishop Tobin met the pope a couple of times and was struck by his intellect and humility.  

“He is a very gentle man, you get that sense in meeting him in person,” says Tobin. “He’s a very humble, gentle man who took this tremendous burden on his shoulders, somewhat reluctantly I believe.”