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Takedown of Bishop Tobin tramples over Catholic teachings

Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, during an interview in his office in 2013.Gretchen Ertl

In his fifth column criticizing Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin, this time over a tweet by Tobin suggesting that Joe Biden is not a real Catholic, Kevin Cullen predictably returns to a formula he has used before (“The bishops’s tweets,” Metro, Aug. 14).

Cullen never makes reasoned arguments against Catholic moral teachings, such as those on the sanctity of innocent human life, which is at the heart of the Tobin-Biden dispute.

Evidently, he must find it less intellectually burdensome to simply belittle and deride Tobin for defending those teachings. Ridicule, not rebuttal, is his preferred method. Ad hominem attacks (”tone-deaf self-righteousness”) and guilt by association are his tactics.


In his most recent column on Tobin, Cullen manages to bring up Donald Trump, Cardinal Bernard Law, and the Ku Klux Klan.

It is all very Pavlovian. If you are Catholic, and you publicly dissent from secular orthodoxy, Kevin Cullen will punish you.

C. J. Doyle

Executive director

Catholic Action League of Massachusetts