Cardinal apologizes for any 'confusion or embarrassment' over tweet

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NEWARK -

The Newark archbishop is offering an apology for any "misunderstanding" after a tweet he posted last week sparked controversy.

Cardinal Joseph Tobin posted a tweet last Wednesday that read, "Nighty-night, baby. I love you."

The archdiocese says the tweet, which was later deleted, was meant for one of his eight younger sisters. But the message has raised some eyebrows.

The cardinal has since posted a message on Twitter that says, "Sitting on a plane last Wednesday evening, I mistakenly tweeted a message meant as a private communication with one of my sisters. When I arrived in Newark two hours later, friends informed me of the error and I immediately removed it."

He continues, "However, the tweet continues to be widely diffused and has sown some misunderstanding. I want to apologize to the priests and faithful of the Archdiocese of Newark, if my carelessness has caused any confusion or embarrassment. I promise to be more careful with future use of media."

Robert Hoatson says that's not enough. A former priest with the Archdiocese of Newark who now counsels sexual abuse victims, he says he doesn't buy that the cardinal would call a sibling "baby."  Hoatson says the public has a right to know what happened before that tweet.

When asked for further comment, a spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Newark referred News 12 back to the cardinal's explanation and apology on twitter.  The spokesperson added that Tobin refers to all of his eight younger sisters as "baby sisters."  

Tobin, 65, was installed as Newark's archbishop in January 2017. On Sunday, he was in Elizabeth to deliver a Lenten reflection.

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