Pope handpicks US cardinal enmeshed in McCarrick scandal as youth synod delegate
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August 28, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis has named Cardinal Joseph Tobin, a prelate who former papal nuncio Archbishop Carlo Viganò has testified owes his rise to power to disgraced ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, as a delegate to the October synod on youth.
U.S. bishops’ president Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop Jose Gomez, Archbishop Charles Chaput, Bishop Frank Caggiano, and Bishop Robert Barron were originally slated to attend the meeting. Pope Francis approved those delegates and then hand-picked Tobin to join them.
Gomez is the Vice President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Chaput chairs the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, of which Caggiano is a member. Barron, an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, has a large social media following and has expressed his support for Amoris Laetitia, the controversial result of the synods on the family. He has also raised eyebrows for claiming, sometimes in more nuanced ways than others, that hell is probably empty.
Tobin, the Archbishop of Newark, has floated the idea of female cardinals and personally welcomed an “LGBT pilgrimage” to his cathedral. In February 2018, Tobin tweeted and then deleted, “nighty-night, baby. I love you.” He said the tweet was “meant as a private communication with one of my sisters.”
The Archdiocese of Newark is one of the dioceses that was formerly led by McCarrick. The archdiocese ultimately paid one of McCarrick’s victims, a priest, a settlement provided he signed a confidentiality agreement. Tobin has faced many questions of how much he knew about McCarrick’s predation.
Earlier this month, after six priests anonymously gave accounts of a homosexual subculture in his archdiocese, Cardinal Tobin sent all Newark priests a letter encouraging them to stay silent if approached by the media.
“I would like to believe that the ‘anonymous sources’ were not, in fact, priests of the Archdiocese,” he wrote. “No one – including the anonymous sources cited in the article – has ever spoken to me about a ‘gay sub-culture’ in the Archdiocese of Newark.”
Tobin was named in Archbishop Viganò's recent testimony on Pope Francis' covering up for McCarrick as rising to power outside normal processes. Viganò linked Tobin's appointment to McCarrick.
“The appointments of Blase Cupich to Chicago and Joseph W. Tobin to Newark were orchestrated by McCarrick, Maradiaga and Wuerl, united by a wicked pact of abuses by the first, and at least of coverup of abuses by the other two,” Archbishop Viganò said in testimony backed by another former nuncio worker.
It’s unclear why Pope Francis picked Tobin, particularly given he is under so much scrutiny because of the McCarrick scandal, to participate in the youth synod. Catholics have already raised concerns about the youth synod being hijacked to promote dissent from Church teaching.
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