Cardinal Tobin must not be made Archbishop of Washington until an investigation is done

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To His Excellency the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Christophe Pierre

Please do not support the appointment of Cardinal Joseph Tobin as Archbishop of Washington until the U.S. Bishops' investigation of ex-Cardinal McCarrick is complete.  Cardinal Tobin has been closely connected to former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, whom Pope Francis removed from the College of Cardinals because of his sexual assaults against minors, seminarians, and priests.  Cardinal Tobin is Archbishop of Newark, which was McCarrick's archdiocese and which made a cash settlement to a lawsuit arising from then-Archbishop McCarrick's assault on a seminarian.  Cardinal Tobin claims he knew nothing about ex-Cardinal McCarrick's crimes, although he heard rumors and didn't believe them.  He should have asked a few questions and he would have learned that his own archdiocese had settled a lawsuit. In fact, on becoming Archbishop, he should have reviewed the history of sexual assault cases and lawsuits for the archdiocese. In effect, it appears that he joined the conspiracy of silence that enabled ex-Cardinal McCarrick's activities to remain hidden even as he enjoyed McCarrick's support in becoming Archbishop of Newark and a Cardinal.

The U.S. Bishops have asked Pope Francis for a full investigation of ex-Cardinal McCarrick's activities and how he rose in the Church.  The Pope has not ordered such an investigation, so the Bishops are starting their own investigation. Now reports from Rome say Cardinal Tobin is being seriously considered for Archbishop of Washington.  No one who might be implicated in that investigation as either covering up or enabling ex-Cardinal McCarrick should be appointed to Washington until the investigation is complete.

This appointment is important not only for the residents of the Archdiocese of Washington. The Cardinal Archbishop of Washington is necessarily a leading prelate in the nation and in the whole Church. His voice will be heard and it can make a difference in the issues of faith and morals that are facing our Church today. We need a strong advocate of the Faith in this crucial position.

TO THE SIGNERS: We need to look beyond this appointment and build a network of involved laity who can communicate effectively with our bishops about the reform of the hierarchy and clergy.  All the signers of this petition can be reached by a single email and will be invited to join such a network. Please watch for updates to this petition for more information.  We have a huge job to do. The recovery of holiness in the clergy will not happen without the insistence and example of the laity.

Thank you for your prayers and support!


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