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American priest appointed secretary of Congregation for Religious

August 02, 2010

An American priest has been named by Pope Benedict XVI to become secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for Religious.

Father Joseph William Tobin, a 58-year-old Detroit native and Redemptorist priest, will assume the title of Archbishop with his new assignment in Rome. He is the former worldwide head of the Redemptorist order, serving in that capacity from 1997 to 2009.

Archbishop-elect Tobin succeeds Archbishop Gianfranco Agostino Gardin, who was left the Congregation for Religious in February to become Bishop of Treviso, Italy.

[The AFP story on the appointment is misleading, insofar as it creates the impression that Archbishop-elect Tobin will head the Congregation for Religious. In fact the American cleric will be the second-ranking figure in that dicastery, working under Cardinal Franc Rodé, the prefect. Vatican-watchers have speculated that Cardinal Rodé—who at 75 is already beyond normative retirement age—may himself be replaced soon.)


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