Thomas Joseph Tobin

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His Excellency, The Most Reverend
Thomas Joseph Tobin
Bishop of Providence
Archdiocese Hartford
Diocese Providence
Appointed March 31, 2005
Installed May 31, 2005
Predecessor Robert Mulvee
Ordination July 21, 1973
by Vincent Leonard
Consecration December 27, 1992
by Donald Wuerl, Anthony G. Bosco, and Nicholas C. Dattilo
Personal details
Born (1948-04-01) April 1, 1948 (age 70)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
Previous post Auxiliary Bishop of Pittsburgh
Titular Bishop of Novica
Bishop of Youngstown
Alma mater Gannon University
Saint Francis University
Pontifical North American College
Pontifical Gregorian University
Pontifical Atheneum of St. Anselm
Styles of
Thomas Joseph Tobin
Coat of arms of Thomas Joseph Tobin.svg
Reference style
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Bishop

Thomas Joseph Tobin (born April 1, 1948) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the Bishop of Providence, Rhode Island.


Early life and ordination[edit]

Thomas Tobin was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and studied at St. Mark Seminary High School and Gannon University, both in Erie, before entering St. Francis University in Loretto where he received his BA in 1969 [1] and the Pontifical North American College and Pontifical Gregorian University, both in Rome. He also pursued his graduate studies at the Pontifical Atheneum of St. Anselm in Rome.

Tobin was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Vincent Leonard on July 21, 1973, and then served as an assistant pastor at St. Vitus Parish in New Castle until 1979. From 1979 to 1984, he was an assistant pastor at St. Sebastian Parish in Ross Township, later becoming administrative secretary to Bishop Anthony Bevilacqua, Associate General Secretary of the Diocese of Pittsburgh (1987), and Vicar General and General Secretary (1990).


On November 3, 1992, Tobin was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Pittsburgh and Titular Bishop of Novica by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on December 27, 1992, from Bishop Donald Wuerl, with Bishops Anthony Bosco and Nicholas C. Dattilo serving as co-consecrators. Tobin was later named Bishop of Youngstown, Ohio, on December 5, 1995 (installed on February 2, 1996). In 1997, he was given an honorary doctorate from his alma mater of St. Francis University.

Pope John Paul II appointed Tobin Bishop of Providence, Rhode Island, on March 31, 2005 as one of his last appointments of a bishop during the pope's 26-year reign; he was installed on May 31, 2005. Bishop Tobin sits on the Board of Trustees of Providence College and of Salve Regina University. He also maintains a column for his diocesan newspaper, "Without a Doubt",[2] These columns have been published in two volumes: Without a Doubt: Bringing Faith to Life and Effective Faith: Faith that Makes a Difference.


Tobin also became embroiled in a public dispute with Rhode Island Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy over the Congressman's support for legal abortion during the Health Care debate. Kennedy claimed that Tobin barred him from Holy Communion, while Tobin claimed it was simply a confidential request made years prior.[3]

Bishop Tobin is an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan, and displays a Steeler banner on his residence during each game day.[4]

Upon President Obama's announced support for same-sex marriage, Tobin said it was "a sad day in American history".[5] His views on Catholic morality and voting have included the concept that voting for a pro-choice/Feminist/pro-LGBTQ candidate is morally unacceptable. The Bishop has also stated that "the Catholic Church has respect, love and pastoral concern for our brothers and sisters who have same-sex attraction. I sincerely pray for God’s blessings upon them, that they will enjoy much health, happiness and peace [...]. Our respect and pastoral care, however, does not mean that we are free to endorse or ignore immoral or destructive behavior, whenever or however it occurs. Indeed, as St. Paul urges us, we are required to “speak the truth in love.” (Eph 4:15). At this moment of cultural change, it is important to affirm the teaching of the Church, based on God’s word, that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered,” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2357) and always sinful. And because “same-sex marriages” are clearly contrary to God’s plan for the human family, and therefore objectively sinful, Catholics should examine their consciences very carefully before deciding whether or not to endorse same-sex relationships or attend same-sex ceremonies, realizing that to do so might harm their relationship with God and cause significant scandal to others".[6]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Robert Edward Mulvee
Bishop of Providence
Succeeded by
Preceded by
James William Malone
Bishop of Youngstown
Succeeded by
George Vance Murry, SJ
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of Pittsburgh
Succeeded by