(CNN)A Rhode Island priest implored his LGBTQ congregants not to leave his church after a bishop’s controversial tweet calling for Catholics not to attend or support Pride Month events.
“My concern is that for people who are lesbian or gay — same-sex attraction — that they may leave the church. A lot of people have hung in there, but it’s like, ‘One more slap and we are done,’ ” Rev. Edward Pieroni told his congregation at St. Raymond’s Roman Catholic Church, according to the Boston Globe.
“I am here to beg you — and I will get on my hands and knees and beg you — not to leave,”
A tweet on Saturday from Providence Bishop Thomas J. Tobin warned Catholics that Pride Month events “promote a culture and encourage activities that are contrary to Catholic faith and morals” and added, “They are especially harmful to children.”
June is LGBT Pride month in the United States, which commemorates the anniversary of the Stonewall riots of 1969.
Rev. Gwendolyn Howard of the First Unitarian Church of Providence spoke at the rally and told CNN, “There’s been a whole lot of wall building lately in this country.” Howard, who identifies as a trans woman, added,
“These walls are made out of bricks or beliefs, and usually they’re built out of fear. The crowd came together out of anger, hurt, and confusion, but we came away feeling better about ourselves and our community.”
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