Today we learned that Cardinal-designate Joseph Tobin has been selected by Pope Francis to transition from Indy to Newark, marking the first time a Cardinal will be running the show in the Garden State.
Tobin was made a Bishop by Pope Emeritus Benedict, and has gained a great reputation as a pastorally focused learned in the Church here in the US.
He plans on being installed on the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6.
He has previously hit the Catholic news cycle for being being the bishop who inherited that US Women's Religious investigation back in 2010 while he was in Rome. He ended up siding with the nuns, and that seemed to have ticked off some of the more conservative-minded folks in the Church's hierarchy.
According the the National Catholic Reporter, this move directly led to him being ushered out of Rome and getting Indy as a sort of exile/punishment. But the recent move by Pope Francis to name him a Cardinal has turned all that thinking on its head.
Personally, I love the guy after he stood up to current VP candidate Mike Pence regarding welcoming refugees to his area. While Pence basically said no to allowing Syrian refugees to be settled in Indy, Tobin stood up for the displaced like a Catholic bishop should, and went ahead helping the refugees despite Pence's demands.
In a letter to the Catholics of Indy in response to his new appointment, Tobin wrote:
“I had always understood my vocation as that of a missionary disciple, one whom Jesus called to be with Him so that He might send me out to preach and heal. Now Pope Francis has asked me to become a missionary disciple and pastor in another local Church.”
While he will certainly be missed in the Midwest, it looks like a big win for Newark.