In a historic moment for the Archdiocese of Newark, Archbishop John J. Myers on Monday is expected to announce his successor, Cardinal-designate Joseph W. Tobin, currently the archbishop of Indianapolis, NJ Advance Media has learned. Tobin, a moderate leader who has supported a greater role for women in the church, has also expressed the need for more dialogue over gay parishioners and has sparred with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence over the resettlement of Syrian refugees. Tobin has served as archbishop of Indianapolis since October 2012. Pope Francis named him a cardinal last month. The designation takes effect. Nov. 18. The appointment would make him the first cardinal in the 163-year history of the archdiocese, which serves about 1.2 million Roman Catholics in Essex, Union, Hudson and Bergen counties. He also would be the first member of a religious order to preside in Newark. Tobin was ordained a priest in the Redemporist order in 1978. Jim Goodness, a spokesman for the archdiocese, declined to comment on the nature of Myers’ press conference Monday. But three people with knowledge of the diocese’s plans said they expect Myers to announce that Tobin will replace him. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the announcement publicly.
Rocco adds this context:
To be sure, the reported nod isn’t merely a blockbuster, but even more historic than the Cubs winning the World Series – never before has an American cardinal been transferred from one diocese to another… and with New York just across the Hudson River, the move portends an ecclesiastical scenario heretofore unseen not just in the US, but anywhere in the Catholic world: two cardinals leading their own local churches not merely side-by-side, but within the same media market.
Photo: Robert Scheer/Indy Star