A few weeks ago, I traveled to the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, in the state of Washington, to witness the state-sanctioned, church-blessed wedding of my gay cousin and his partner of more than 35 years. The sister of one of the grooms, a devout (and I would have to say downright conservative) Roman Catholic, was one of the lay readers at the service. Another RC cousin in attendance expressed unqualified joy about this long-awaited family celebration. Both brought small children who ate too much cake and ran happily amok at the reception. I thought of them today when I read that Bishop Thomas Tobin in Rhode Island is warning Roman Catholics to "examine their consciences very carefully" before attending same-sex ceremonies. From WPRI.com:
Bishop of Providence Thomas Tobin says he's "profoundly disappointed" that Rhode Island is likely to legalize same-sex marriage on Thursday, and he's warning Catholics to think hard before going to the weddings of local gays and lesbians.
"Catholics should examine their consciences very carefully before deciding whether or not to endorse same-sex relationships or attend same-sex ceremonies, realizing that to do so might harm their relationship with God and cause significant scandal to others," Tobin wrote in a pastoral letter to the faithful released on Thursday afternoon.
Read full story here, and Bp. Tobin's pastoral letter here, in which he states, "at this moment of cultural change, it is important to affirm the teaching of the Church, based on God’s word, that 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered,' ... and always sinful."