Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop John Myers of Newark, New Jersey, and named Cardinal-designate Joseph Tobin of Indianapolis to succeed him.
Archbishop Myers, Newark’s archbishop since 2001, is 75, the age at which canon law requires bishops to turn in their resignation to the pope.
The 64-year-old cardinal-designate, who is a member of the Redemptorist order, has been the archbishop of Indianapolis since 2012 and was named a new cardinal by Pope Francis on October 9. He also is former archbishop-secretary of the Vatican Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. As secretary, he was credited with helping change the tone of a Vatican-ordered apostolic visitation of US women’s religious communities from an investigation into a dialogue.
The changes were announced in Washington on November 7 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
When then-Archbishop Tobin was announced as one of the 17 new cardinals named by the pope and to be inducted into the College of Cardinals on November 19, he tweeted this simple message: “I am shocked beyond words by the decision of the Holy Father. Please pray for me.”
In a statement that day, he said he has “come to love deeply” the Catholics in central and southern Indiana and was blessed with friendships with civic and religious leaders in the state.
“I ask all people of faith to pray for me. I hope this new responsibility will make me a better servant of all Hoosiers,” he said.
Last December, Cardinal-designate Tobin made national news by defending the decision of his archdiocese to resettle a Syrian refugee family through the archdiocese’s Catholic Charities agency — a decision that went against Indiana Gov Mike Pence’s ban on resettling Syrian refugees in the state.
A native of Detroit, the cardinal-designate is the oldest of 13 children.
Archbishop Myers, who was born in Earlville, Illinois, was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois, December 17, 1966. On July 24, 2001, he was appointed the fifth archbishop of Newark and was installed on October 9, 2001.
In June 2015 Newark’s coadjutor, Archbishop Bernard Hebda, was named by Pope Francis to be apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of St Paul and Minneapolis. He was installed as head of the archdiocese in May of this year.
The Archdiocese of Newark covers just over 500 square miles. Out of a total population of 2.86 million people, about 42 per cent, or 1.2 million, are Catholic.