A letter from Joseph
Cardinal Tobin, archbishop of Newark, was sent to all archdiocesan priests on Friday following an explosive investigative report earlier that day on former Newark Archbishop Theodore McCarrick and a homosexual subculture that still exists in northern New Jersey, from the seminary to the priesthood. The report, by Ed Condon of Catholic News Agency (CNA), featured six priests from within the archdiocese speaking on background for the story.
Tobin's letter of response, according to CNA, stated "no one -- including the anonymous 'sources' cited in the article -- has ever spoken to me about a gay subculture in the Archdiocese of Newark."
The Catholic Herald today highlighted a very important point made in the cardinal's letter. In it, Tobin instructed clergy not to speak to the media, a remarkable reaction considering the cardinal's extreme friendliness with reporters who swoon over his breaks from Church teaching and tradition.
Instead of speaking on background or on the record with reporters about what they have witnessed in the Archdiocese of Newark, Tobin said priests should send any media inquiries to the archdiocese's communications office.
Rorate tried, earlier this year, to work with that office. It is where investigative journalism goes to die.
Cardinal Tobin sent a tweet that said: "Nighty-night, baby. I love you" while boarding a plane in February, the tweet was widely reported before Tobin deleted it. He claimed it was meant to be a text message to his sister. The media did almost no follow-up on the bizarre explanation, instead believing every word the cardinal said, as if it was perfectly normal for a 65 year old man to write like that to his sister.
That same month, this writer contacted the director of communications for the Archdiocese of Newark, following the protocol Tobin dictates. Questions were as follows:
1) Which of the cardinal's sisters was the writing intended to reach when accidentally tweeted?
2) Were they texting immediately prior to the cardinal's flight, and is there proof of any such texts? (If so, will those texts be released?)
3) Will the respective sister be confirming any such texting back and forth before the flight?
4) Has the cardinal addressed his sister as "baby" before this incident? (And will she confirm this?)
The response, from the longtime director of communications, Jim Goodness, was: "The statements we have released already are sufficient. We will not be commenting further on this issue."
Those statements were two tweets. No further comment. End of story.