NEWARK, New Jersey, June 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Newark archbishop Cardinal Joseph Tobin, who has come under fire for statements at odds with Church teachings about sexuality, was named by Pope Francis as a member of the Congregation for Catholic Education.
In addition to Cardinal Tobin, Cardinals Luis Ladaria and Désiré Tsarahanzana and Bishop Joseph Ðình Ðúc Ðao were named to the congregation. The Congregation for Catholic Education is responsible for communicating and ensuring the implementation of the directives of the Holy See at Church-affiliated schools, institutes, colleges, and universities.
Cardinal Tobin said in a nationally televised program in April that Catholic teachings on same-sex attraction are “disordered” and “unfortunate” and use “hurtful” language. On NBC’s Today show, Tobin suggested that the Church is about to change its teachings: “The Church, I think, is having its own conversation about what our faith has us do and say with people in relationships that are same-sex. What should be without debate is that we are called to welcome them.”
In the interview, show host Anne Thompson introduced discussion about homosexuality by praising Tobin, saying his “outreach to the LGBTQ community is in the mold of Pope Francis, despite some Church teaching.” She asked Tobin, “But how can you welcome people that you call ‘intrinsically disordered’?” Tobin answered, “Well, I don’t call them ‘intrinsically disordered.’”
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She countered, “But isn’t that the Catechism of the Catholic Church?”
“That is,” Tobin said and added, “It’s very unfortunate language. Let’s hope that eventually that language is a little less hurtful.”
Just before assuming leadership of the Newark archdiocese, Tobin welcomed homosexual activists to the Cathedral-Basilica of the Sacred Heart, who came on a so-called “LGBT Pilgrimage.” Fr. James Martin, S.J., whom many have criticized for his statements supportive of homosexuality, congratulated Tobin on his participation in “LGBT Pilgrimage,” tweeting, “Bravo!” Tobin was one of four American bishops who endorsed Martin’s controversial book Building a Bridge. Martin suggested in 2018 that Tobin is one of the “gay-friendly” prelates appointed by Pope Francis.