Rev. Thomas J. Tobin, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, on Thursday sent a warning to Rhode Islanders of God’s wrath for the passage of same-sex civil unions, and forbade Catholics from entering into such unions.
“Almighty God will, in His own time and way, pass judgment upon our state, its leaders and citizens, for abandoning His commands and embracing public immorality,” Tobin said, in a statement.
“The concept of civil unions is a social experiment that promotes an immoral lifestyle, is a mockery of the institution of marriage as designed by God, undermines the well-being of our families, and poses a threat to religious liberty.
“The Church reminds its members that homosexual activity is contrary to the natural law and the will of God and, therefore, is objectively sinful. Persons with same-sex attraction are required to live the Christian virtues of chastity and modesty, as all persons are. The importance of these virtues is clearly established in the Holy Scriptures and in the constant tradition of the Church.
“Because civil unions promote an unacceptable lifestyle, undermine the faith of the Church on holy matrimony, and cause scandal and confusion, Catholics may not participate in civil unions. To do so is a very grave violation of the moral law and, thus, seriously sinful. A civil union can never be accepted as a legitimate alternative to matrimony.”
Rhode Island state lawmakers on Wednesday voted to approve a bill that would permit civil unions between gay and lesbian couples.
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Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s office said he intends to sign the bill into law.