PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin issued a warning to Catholics this week that are not free to “endorse or ignore immoral or destructive behavior,” and advised against attending any gay weddings now that same-sex marriage has been legalized in Rhode Island.
In his May 2 pastoral letter, Tobin wrote that it is important to affirm Catholic teaching that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered,” and said same-sex unions are “clearly contrary to God’s plan for the human family and therefore objectively sinful.”
“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,” he wrote.
On Thursday, Rhode Island became the tenth U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage, following a 16-year effort to extend marriage rights in the heavily Roman Catholic state.
Governor Lincoln Chafee signed the measure into law barely two hours after being approved in state legislature.
Tobin called the act a “serious regression in the public morality of our state.”
The marriage equality law takes effect August 1.