On an icy cold Wednesday morning five local representatives of Faithful America, an “online community dedicated to reclaiming Christianity from the religious right and putting faith into action for social justice” delivered a petition with around 20,000 signatures to Bishop Thomas Tobin’s offices at One Cathedral Square in Providence.
Faithful America started implemented this petition in the wake of comments Tobin made following Nelson Mandela’s death. In a written statement, Tobin advanced some faint praise for the human rights hero before taking the deceased leader to task for his “shameful promotion of abortion” in signing into law one of the most liberal abortion laws in the world.
Gina Buckley O’Toole, an East Greenwich “full-time mom” who attends St. Gregory the Great’s Catholic Church, delivered the petition and a statement.
If Faithful America was hoping for an apology from Bishop Tobin, they were disappointed as Tobin’s office was ready with a boilerplate statement that merely reiterated Tobin’s concerns about Mandela’s legacy and repeated the church’s opposition to abortion.