Archbishop Tobin named Cardinal

Pope names Tobin archbishop of Newark

Sara Kress, Reporter

An official ceremony recognizing the newly appointed Cardinals of the Catholic Church is scheduled to take place at the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome tomorrow. At this ceremony, Cardinal-designate Joseph Tobin will become the first Cardinal to be stationed in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

This unprecedented event raises the following question: how will Tobin’s selection affect the Archdiocese?

The answer to this question “is yet to be seen,” said director of campus ministry Mrs. Charlene Witka. “(Becoming a Cardinal) may take (Tobin) away from Indianapolis at times, but we don’t know yet,” she said. “I don’t even know if Bishop Tobin knows.”

“Usually it’s the large metropolitan dioceses that have cardinals,” said chaplain Fr. John Zahn, highlighting the honor that has been bestowed on the Archdiocese of Indianapolis through Tobin’s selection.

Theology teacher Mr. Matt Cannaday said that Tobin becoming a Cardinal “puts (Indianapolis) on the map.” He said, “I think that this gives (the Archdiocese) a more Catholic, or universal, appeal, and it really challenges us to be a beacon of light to the world.”

Strengthening the universal church is high on Pope Francis’s agenda, and may be one of the reasons that Tobin was chosen as a Cardinal-designate. According to Cannaday, “(Tobin) fits Pope Francis’s vision for Church leadership in such a way that he’s more pastoral; he builds bridges.”

Fr. Zahn also said she believes that Tobin will fulfill the Pope’s vision. “(Tobin) has experience in the larger universal church,” he said.

Tobin’s strong connections to the global Church stems from the tasks he carried out in Rome before being assigned as the Archbishop of Indianapolis. “He was working with the religious sisters, and he really made an impact on the religious sisters’ vocation,” said Witka. “In fact, a priest told me this: ‘I believe (Tobin) was chosen because of all the good work that he did in Rome.'”

There is no established process one must go through in order to be appointed as a cardinal. “It’s a matter of other cardinals or other people of influence recommending this person to be a cardinal,” Fr. Zahn. From there, the Pope selects those most fit to be Cardinals.

Tobin’s selection came as a surprise to him. “The Pope just had Mass a few weeks ago and announced at Mass who the next cardinals were going to be, so the Archbishop had no prior knowledge of it,” said Cannaday. “It was just a complete surprise.” In fact, in a turn of events fitting with the modern times, Tobin discovered his selection through Twitter. Cannaday joked, “Make sure to check your Twitter early in the morning, just in case you’ve been named a Cardinal.”

Tobin’s shocked attitude reveals his humility, a quality that many speculate will make him a capable cardinal. Witka said, “(Tobin) is so real. He is just such a sincere, down-to-earth person who honors his vocation.”

The Cardinal-elect showed that sincerity when he attended the living rosary in the Welch Activity Center two years ago just after the deaths of a junior and senior, speaking to the students, faculty and staff and comforting them in their loss.

“(Tobin) is the exemplification of a shepherd as a bishop,” said Cannaday, explaining the personable qualities that will assist Tobin as a cardinal. “He’s someone who, if he sees you in a crowd, he will come up to you, ask how you are, catch up with you as best he can and let you know that he’s your shepherd and he cares for you.”

As Tobin embarks on the next step in his life in the Church, Cannaday said, “(Tobin) personally asked me for the Cathedral family to pray for him.”

Witka expressed her excitement for Tobin’s appointment. “I even tear up thinking that we have a cardinal in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. It’s quite an honor, and it’s quite a statement of what a good priest, bishop and man that (Tobin) is,” she said.