PopeWatch: God Help Newark

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Pope Francis is wasting no time in installing one of his new red hats into a position of power:

 

(RNS) Pope Francis had already delivered the Catholic Church’s version of an October surprise when he included Indianapolis Archbishop Joseph Tobin in the batch of new cardinals he announced last month — promising a red hat to the leader of a relatively small Midwestern diocese of 230,000 Catholics that had never before had a cardinal, nor would ever expect one.

Then on Monday (Nov. 7) the pontiff doubled down with a November stunner as the Vatican announced that Francis was moving Tobin to head the Archdiocese of Newark in New Jersey. He replaces Archbishop John Myers, who is resigning at age 75.

In a statement released early Monday after the Vatican announcement was official, Tobin, 64, compared these last few weeks to an earthquake, saying the news on Oct. 9 that he would become a cardinal was his “first jolt” and the phone call on Oct. 22 informing him that he would be going to Newark was a “second tremor.

Never before has a cardinal been moved from one diocese to another, and church observers across the board also expressed shock at the unprecedented transfer, which seemed to signal a new stage in Francis’ effort to revamp a U.S. church that had become increasingly conservative under the pontiff’s two predecessors.

Not only is Newark a much bigger archdiocese than Indianapolis, with some 1.2 million Catholics, but it’s never had a cardinal and, like Indianapolis, never expected to get one.

That’s mainly because a cardinal perched across the Hudson River from Manhattan would have been seen as a rival to the archbishop of New York, a post currently occupied by Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

Go here to read the rest.   Wikipedia gives us a taste of Tobin:

 

When Tobin arrived at CICLSA, it was already conducting a visitation—a critical inspection of ministries and organization—of the 341 institutes of apostolic women religious in the United States.[5] The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) was conducting a doctrinal assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), focused on theological orthodoxy.[6] In December 2010 Tobin said that Rome needed to acknowledge the “depth of anger and hurt” provoked by a visitation, saying it illustrated the need for a “strategy of reconciliation” with women religious.[7] The CDF issued its report on the LCWR in April 2012, and Tobin was reportedly unhappy both with its content and with the failure of the CDF to consult with him before releasing it.[8][9] In August he publicly criticized the way his predecessor had managed the CICLSAL Apostolic Visitation—a separate event from the CDF investigation of LCWR—from the start: “I believe a visitation has to have a dialogical aspect, but the way this was structured at the beginning didn’t really favour that.”[10]

 

Orthodox Catholics of Newark, your new Cardinal will have your back, the better to stick a knife in it.

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4 Comments

  1. Tobin, “speaking at a meeting of the College Theology Society he said that “In my opinion, finger pointing does a great harm to religious life because it makes us defensive” and “we feel constantly compelled to defend ourselves against other parties in the church.”*

    It would appear from the words above that Cardinal Tobin wishes to treat the symptoms of the problem rather than the cause. In this he mirrors the superficiality of the Pope which is the probable basis for their mutual attraction.

    * Wikipedia

  2. “Never before has a cardinal been moved from one diocese to another, and church observers across the board also expressed shock at the unprecedented transfer, which seemed to signal a new stage in Francis’ effort to revamp a U.S. church that had become increasingly conservative under the pontiff’s two predecessors.”

    The American episcopate has harder and harder left on social issues, unless Catholic doctrine forbids it, is called conservative? Talk about defining conservatism down!

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