ROME – After Ireland voted overwhelmingly last month to legalize abortion, Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, took to Twitter to ask why people seemed surprised.
“The Western world has lost its moral compass; it is adamantly atheistic and amoral,” he tweeted out to his followers.
A few days later, more Twitter commentary appeared – this time it was lighter fare, with a tongue-in-cheek swipe at New England Patriots’ quarterback, Tom Brady:
“It’s being reported that Tom Brady will skip the Patriots OTAs [Organized Team Activities] again. Is that because: a) He’s so good he doesn’t need the practice; b) He avoids Coach Belichick whenever he can? Or, c) He’s attending the monthly meeting of the AARP?” Tobin mused.
Since joining Twitter this past February, he’s become arguably the U.S. Church’s most active Catholic prelate to use the social media platform. While an increasing number of bishops have adapted to using Facebook and Twitter, many accounts are managed by diocesan staffers or, if they do manage them for themselves, are used for strictly Church-related purposes or causes.
In an interview with Crux, Tobin said he was hesitant to join the online community because he initially felt it was trivial and a waste of his time.