Motif Magazine loses Diocese venue after op-ed critical of Bishop Tobin

By: Brittany Comak


Twitter: @BComakABC6

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Motif Magazine will have to find another venue for their annual awards show, after the Providence Diocese withdrew their offer of Bishop McVinney Auditorium.

The Rhode Island Theater Awards are in about six weeks time.

“That left us a bit short in terms of time to plan and find a new venue,” said Publisher Mike Ryan.

This change comes a few weeks after the magazine posted an open letter by writer and actor Kevin Broccoli, criticizing Bishop Tobin for his tweet urging Catholics not to attend Pride events.

“As far as I know, as someone who grew up Catholic, criticizing a Bishop is not against any rules,” said Broccoli.

The magazine hosts the Rhode Island Theater Awards every year to recognize excellence in local theater.

They had hosted it at McVinney Auditorium last year, and according to the magazine, the Diocese had recommitted to hosting it this past March via email – but no more.

“This act comes across as punishing,” said Ryan.

Now the magazine believes the event was cancelled in retaliation.

“This is who the bishop is,” said Broccoli. “He really is this petty.”

In a statement, the Diocese said in part: “Motif magazine published and embraced an open letter which does not comply with our venue’s policies.”

“To think that an appropriate response to not liking that letter, was to punish an entire community of people, of which I’m just one person, to me is both a stretch, and should be alarming to people,”said Broccoli.

The show will go on, they’re just not entirely sure where yet.

But the magazine has had roughly 40 offers – from municipal buildings, to people’s backyards, even several churches, to host the awards show.

The event will be August 11th.


©WLNE-TV / ABC6 2019