Rhode Island Catholic Bishop Closes Twitter Account, Calls It 'An Occasion of Sin'

The trademark logo of Twitter that was displayed on a screen at the New York Stock Exchange.
The trademark logo of Twitter that was displayed on a screen at the New York Stock Exchange. | (Photo: REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID)

A Rhode Island Catholic bishop has officially closed his Twitter account, stating in his final post on the popular social media site that he considers it "an occasion of sin."

Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, head of the Diocese of Providence, posted his final tweet on Monday before closing his Twitter account.

"A final tweet. Sadly, Twitter has become a major distraction for me, on good days and bad, an obstacle to my spiritual life, an occasion of sin for me and others," stated Bishop Tobin, as quoted by CRUX. "So, good-bye. If I've offended anyone, I'm truly sorry. If I've helped anyone along the way, thank God."

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Tobin's decision to quit Twitter came days after he garnered much criticism over a tweet dated July 19 in response to the latest sex abuse revelations about Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

Recently allegations surfaced that McCarrick, retired head of the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington D.C., had abused a teenager in the 1970s.

In June, the Vatican informed him that he was no longer allowed to practice his priestly ministry due to the Church concluding that the allegations were credible.

"Despite the egregious offenses of a few, and despite the faults and sins we all have, I'm very proud of my brother bishops and I admire and applaud the great work they do everyday for Christ and His Church," tweeted Tobin.

Among the critics was blogger Laurence England, who, as quoted by, considered the Tobin tweet about the bishops to be inappropriate.

"Not an appropriate tweet, given the questions over [Cardinal] McCarrick and what bishops knew and what was covered up. Today is not a display of pride and congratulation in the Hierarchy but, rather, shame," stated England.

Although Tobin's decision to quit Twitter has not been an absolute rejection of social media, for as of Wednesday morning, the bishop still has an official Facebook page which has over 13,000 followers. 

Furthermore, RI Catholic, the official newspaper for the Providence Diocese, maintains its presence on Twitter, with approximately 5,200 followers and over 2,300 tweets.

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