The Roman Catholic Bishop of Providence Thomas Tobin offered a statement Friday reflecting on Pope Francis's recent comments on the Church and abortion, gay marriage and contraception.
Bishop Tobin says it is "an exciting time to be a Catholic," and he welcomes the "balanced and inclusive approach our Holy Father is bringing to the pastoral ministry of the Church." He also notes that it is an approach he has been trying to model in the Diocese of Providence for years.
He then went on to say that, "being a Catholic does not mean having to choose between doctrine and charity, between truth and love. It includes both. We are grateful to Pope Francis for reminding us of that vision."
Bishop Tobin's statement comes in response to an interview published on Thursday in which Pope Francis says the Church has become "obsessed" with "small-minded rules" and must become "the home of all, not a small chapel that can hold only a small group of selected people."
Read Bishop Tobin's full statement below:
"I sincerely admire and appreciate the dynamic leadership that Pope Francis is bringing to the Catholic Church. I made that point repeatedly in my recent Rhode Island Catholic interview. It is an exciting time to be a Catholic, and I enthusiastically welcome the balanced and inclusive approach our Holy Father is bringing to the pastoral ministry of the Church. It is a pastoral approach I have attempted to model in the Diocese of Providence for the past eight years.