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Following A Controversial Tweet, Organizers Of PrideFest Asking Pittsburgh Diocese To Denounce Former Pastor

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - A tweet controversy showing no signs of stopping tonight discouraging Catholics from attending any LGBTQ Pride events this month.

The controversial tweet came from Pittsburgh native Bishop Thomas Tobin now the Bishop in Providence, Rhode Island.

Bishop Thomas Tobin's recent tweet reminded Catholics not to support or attend LGBTQ Pride Month events as they are "contrary to Catholic faith and morals."

According to the Diocese of Providence's website, where Tobin is now installed, he was a pastor in the Diocese of Pittsburgh before being installed as a bishop in Ohio.

Bishop Tobin said Pride Month promotes a culture "contrary to Catholic faith and morals" and calls the events, harmful to children.

This only a week before Pittsburgh's big PrideFest event begins downtown, which is in a new location this year.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is among those who have jumped on Twitter tonight strongly denouncing Bishop Tobin's words.

The Delta Foundation, the sponsor of Pittsburgh's PrideFest say they want the leader of the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese to condemn the words of Bishop Tobin and embrace the upcoming LGBTQ event in Pittsburgh.

"I don't understand people of faith who speak of not judging people, who speak about wanting to love everybody saying things that aren't very embracing and aren't very loving," said Christine Bryan, Director of Marketing with The Delta Foundation in Pittsburgh.

Strong words tonight from The Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh, the organizer of Pittsburgh PrideFest.

They are calling on Pittsburgh Catholic leader Bishop David Zubik to denounce the condemnation from Bishop Tobin in a tweet asking Catholics not to attend any Pride events during the month of June.

Nearly 175,000 people are expected at the free two-day event next weekend in Pittsburgh. PrideFest is moving this year from Liberty Avenue downtown to Fort Duquesne Boulevard and the Andy Warhol Bridge, named after the iconic openly gay artist and Pittsburgh native.

"It's the celebration of the diversity of our region. It is fun. It is colorful and it celebrates everybody regardless of who they are and who they love," Bryan said.

PrideFest features games, music, food, and activities. It's billed as inclusionary and family friendly and has huge corporate sponsorship including to name a few PPG, Giant Eagle, US Steel, and Google to name a few. Artists Toni Braxton and Walk the Moon will be among those performing.

Bishop Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island was a pastor in the Diocese of Pittsburgh before being installed as a bishop in Youngstown and then in Providence.

After recent sex-abuse allegations within the Catholic Church and within the Diocese of Pittsburgh and Greensburg, Bishop Tobin's tweet has been met with backlash, including here in Pittsburgh.

"Here we have someone with perceived power once again dividing the country, and that's really unfortunate. We like to stand for something, not stand against something," Bryan told KDKA News.

The tweet controversy continues tonight. Bishop Tobin's tweet has tens of thousands of comments, many are saying things like what happened to "love thy neighbor" as well as those referencing the Catholic church sex abuse scandal.

KDKA has reached out to the Diocese of Pittsburgh tonight to get their response and we are waiting to hear back from them.

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