Cardinal Joseph Tobin installed as new archbishop of Newark Diocese
The 1.5 million Roman Catholics in New Jersey's Newark archdiocese have welcomed a cardinal as their new shepherd.
Cardinal Joseph Tobin was installed as the sixth archbishop of Newark during a Mass Friday at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Tobin succeeds Archbishop John Myers, who reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 in July.
Meyers had been criticized for allegedly mishandling sex-abuse cases and spending lavishly on his retirement home.
Pope Francis elevated Tobin to cardinal in November. Tobin was the archbishop of Indianapolis before coming to New Jersey. He is the first cardinal to be installed as archbishop in the state.
Over 500 Catholic Church officials and several VIPs attended Friday's ceremony, including Gov. Chris Christie and his wife, Mary Pat Christie.
Catholics from all across New Jersey also traveled to the cathedral to witness the event. Carmen Suazo, of Union City, came with her youngest children. She says she wanted to show her thanks to the church.
"They announced to me that God loved me and the church could give me a new life, and today I'm married with 12 children," she says.
Cardinal Tobin comes to Newark with a reputation as a champion of the poor and immigrants, and is known for his work with Pope Francis.
"We look forward to having a very long and successful archbishop run here for him," says Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura.
The Newark archdiocese serves Roman Catholics in Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Union counties. About 20 percent are Latino and nearly as many are black.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.