PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- Gov. Lincoln Chafee announced Thursday's tree-lighting ceremony with only 30 minutes notice in order to prevent critics that crashed last year's event from showing up again.
While the decision may have helped avoid some chaos, it also disappointed some people, including the head of the Providence Catholic Diocese.
"The White House has a Christmas tree, so why can't Rhode Island?" asks Bishop Thomas Tobin.
- Read More: 30-Min. Notice Given for Tree Lighting
Gov. Chafee and Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly squared off on national television Thursday night , and the bishop tells us he watched.
"Those national TV interviews can be very difficult and very challenging, so it was a difficult moment but I think the governor was very consistent in conveying his message," said Bishop Tobin.
The message is about the tree that's now lit inside of the RI state house. Controversy surrounding the tree was sparked last year when Gov. Chafee called it a "holiday tree" rather than a Christmas tree.
"It's just a crazy name. As long as he calls it a holiday tree, people are going to be upset and reject that," said the bishop. "I don't know what he'll do about the Christmas tree in the years to come if indeed he's still our governor."
Chafee says he's just continuing to call the lighted, decorated tree what the past two governors have called it. Bishop Tobin retorts, saying it's just common sense to call it a Christmas tree.
"The governor's trying to promote religious tolerance as he said by not tolerating a religious symbol," Tobin added.
Interestingly enough, there will be a Menorah lighting at the state house for Hanukah, though there's been no sign of the governor calling it a "holiday candelabra".
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