Actor Dave Bautista reacted to comments by a Catholic Bishop speaking out against Pride Month over the weekend. Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, tweeted on Saturday, marking the start of Pride Month, Catholics should not support it or attend rallies he deemed harmful to children.

Bautista quoted and replied to the Bishop’s words, saying his mother is gay and volunteers to help the homeless and mentally ill. He also said he’s not perfect but not judgmental or hypocritical and closed by opining the Bishop doesn’t “speak for most Catholics,” punctuating with a middle-finger emoji.

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Giving a high-ranking clergyman the finger is a bold and irreverent move, but Bautista has never been one to hold back his feelings. He defended James Gunn when the director was briefly fired by Disney over the scandal stemming from old tweets, calling those who resurfaced the old tweets and blog posts cybernazis.

His last Twitter scuffle was with Arrow star Stephen Amell who made a cheeky observation about WrestleMania this year, where Bautista competed in his retirement match.

The headlining Marvel movie actor and his tweet met with pronounced support from fans and some Catholics.

Bp. Tobin received likes and retweets though not at the level Bautista did. The response has mostly been backlash from other celebrities, such as Mia Farrow and another wrestler/actor in Kevin Nash who also replied to Tobin, calling him an ignorant hypocrite and asserting the Church is the real danger to children.

President Joe Lazzerini of Rhode Island Pride, a local LGBT org, compared Tobin to President Trump:

“He is like the Donald Trump of the Catholic Church, he goes on Twitter and spews out hate.”

Pro-gay protesters demonstrated outside Tobin’s home cathedral on Sunday.

Only a handful of other priests have come to his defense, the most public one being Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas.

Tobin issued a statement saying he regrets the controversy but will continue to do what he is called to do and teach the faith.

“I regret that my comments yesterday about Pride Month have turned out to be so controversial in our community, and offensive to some, especially the gay community. That certainly was not my intention, but I understand why a good number of individuals have taken offense. I also acknowledge and appreciate the widespread support I have received on this matter.

The Catholic Church has respect and love for members of the gay community, as do I. Individuals with same-sex attraction are beloved children of God and our brothers and sisters.  “

He added:

“As a Catholic Bishop, however, my obligation before God is to lead the faithful entrusted to my care and to teach the faith, clearly and compassionately, even on very difficult and sensitive issues. That is what I have always tried to do — on a variety of issues — and I will continue doing so as contemporary issues arise”

Despite that and a pro-life record, Bp. Tobin has fallen under suspicion in the past due to cover-ups of abuse allegations related to his time as an auxiliary Bishop in Pittsburgh under a disgraced Cardinal, Donald Wuerl. Still, he defended the Church and his reaction to the scandal.

June is declared Pride Month but also for centuries has been the seat of The Feast of Pentecost and the day of Christ’s Ascension to Heaven on the Christian calendar.

Do you agree with Bautista or the Bishop? Comment below.

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Writer, journalist, comic reader. I cover DC. Fan since Batman TAS was brand new. Favorite character is between Swamp Thing and Darkwing Duck.

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