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Joseph Tobin, the teamster cardinal: “Sometimes I heard confessions until 1 a.m.”

2016-12-04

Pope Francis overlooked the United States in his first two consistories. This time, he made up for that, appointing three American bishops to the College of Cardinals.
 
One of them is Joseph Tobin, the new Archbishop of Newark (New Jersey) and former Archbishop of Indianapolis, where he is famous for traveling solo throughout the archdiocese in a truck.
 
Even though his is not traditionally a red hat see, one can understand why Tobin's charisma might have appealed to Pope Francis.
 
CARD. JOSEPH W. TOBIN
Archbishop of Newark

"Our Archdiocese in Indianapolis is 24,000 square miles, 39 counties so it meant that I had to get out. And it was important not simply to know the parishes, but we've had a great influx of Hispanic Catholics in the Archdiocese and my clergy isn't totally prepared for that, so during advent and lent I would go to parishes, and sometimes hear confessions until 1 a.m., simply because I get by in Spanish, and served the people. It was important too that the folks didn't feel that the Church's interest was only in the great cities, but in the people in the countryside.”
 
In this interview with NET TV, the affable and soft-spoken Cardinal Tobin said that, despite his remarkable curriculum, he still does not know why Pope Francis chose him, but that he will give it his best shot.

CARD. JOSEPH W. TOBIN
Archbishop of Newark

"I have to confess I don't have the slightest idea why he wants me to be a cardinal. Some of the things I could offer him, and perhaps offer the Church... A life that's been lived in many different cultures, and I enjoy that sort of living. I've always been privileged to have worked in places outside my own comfort zone. Perhaps too he knows how much I believe in his own vision for the Church, and I want to follow his example as a bishop.”

The past few weeks have been a true roller coaster of emotions for Cardinal Tobin, since his appointment as a cardinal came almost hand in hand with his new seat at the Newark Archdiocese .
 
 
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