IMPORTANT NOTE: After signing the petition you will be given the opportunity to mail a personalized postcard to Bishop Tobin and Fr. Francese expressing your support. Simply follow the instructions.
When Fr. Francesco Francese, a Catholic priest in Providence, Rhode Island, took over as pastor at St. Mary’s earlier this summer and discovered that a recently ‘married’ homosexual was the parish’s music director, he knew that he could not look the other way while calling himself a faithful Catholic priest.
The pastor met with the music director, telling him that as long as he continued in a relationship that contradicted the teachings of the Catholic Church on marriage and sexuality he could not function as the parish’s music minister.
But a small group of parishioners protested the removal of the homosexual music director by wearing rainbow-colored paraphernalia to the Sunday morning service last week and singing a song about inclusion during the recitation of the Nicene Creed.
But as parishioners sang “All are welcome,” Fr. Francese stood firm, continuing to recite the creed.
Fr. Francese remained standing firm when mainstream media portrayed his decision as rigid and even contrary to what they claimed was Pope Francis’s attitude towards homosexuality.
When this loyal son of the Church started taking heavy flak for his decision, the local bishop decided it was time to personally step in and defend the pastor as well as the faith.
Providence Bishop Tobin not only defended the priest’s decision, but stated that Pope Francis would defend the decision as well.
“When Church leaders have to respond to situations involving persons living an openly ‘gay lifestyle’ these days, we’re often scolded and told that we should be ‘more like Pope Francis,’ presumably the ‘Who-am-I-to judge’ Pope Francis,” he wrote.
“Perhaps those critics should also remember:
• ”The Pope Francis who said same-sex marriage is destructive in families and the work of the devil.
• ”And the Pope Francis who has now supported the Mexican Bishops’ campaign to oppose gay marriage in their country.
• ”And the Pope Francis who rejected the nomination of the Ambassador from France because the Ambassador is openly gay.
• ”And the Pope Francis whose administration immediately fired and disciplined a priest who was working in the Vatican upon learning that the priest was gay and involved in a relationship."
Bishop Tobin said that those who uphold the teachings of the Church when it comes to sexuality are the ones who are the most like the pope.
“It seems to me, then, that when we uphold the faith and teachings of the Church about homosexuality, we are indeed a lot like Pope Francis,” he stated.