Offer support and prayer for, not criticism of bishop



I want to commend Mr. Neagle on his support for our Holy Father given in his letter to the editor in last week’s issue of Rhode Island Catholic, and express my congratulations for his Franciscan and Jesuit education.

Sadly, I question how much of his Catholic education was integrated into his own life. With the power of the pen, Mr. Neagle has supported Pope Francis, but much like the secular media does, he has portrayed certain popes and bishops as being all about pomp and circumstance and therefore lacking in holiness, while others are holier because they demonstrate a simpler style.

Mr. Neagle’s education should have taught him that if he had a concern with the clergy, especially our own Bishop Tobin, that the first appropriate response would have been to take his concern before the Blessed Sacrament on his knees. Then after discerning whether further action was needed, to approach the clergy with his concern in a private forum. Mr. Neagle’s words have ‘detracted’ from Bishop Tobin’s good name and in publicly admonishing our bishop he has shown an incredible lack of ‘charity.’ I didn’t see Bishop Tobin’s words as a criticism of Pope Francis, but rather expressing a need that he wished would have been addressed in the early months of the new pontificate. There is a difference.

Not all bishops and priests in the U.S. have given appropriate emphasis on life issues. Bishop Tobin, like Pope Francis, leads by example. I recall that last year in addition to having a Mass to begin the Campaign for Life, he also led the faithful in praying the rosary at one of the local abortion sites.

We owe him our support and prayers, not our criticism. It is our job as laity to take Christ into the world. Mr. Neagle, my brother in Christ, I pray that you too are praying for those affected by abortion. I pray that I will see you at the 40 Days for Life events, with rosary in hand talking the talk and walking the walk.