NEWARK, N.J. (ChurchMilitant.com) - One of the most powerful prelates in the United States is causing the faithful to scratch their heads in confusion about Church teaching and moral law.
Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, New Jersey is scheduled on Oct. 13 to deliver the opening reflection for a virtual pro-life Rosary rally "for the protection of babies in the womb and the sin of abortion." Yet Tobin recently advised Catholic voters "a person in good conscience could vote for Mr. Biden," a radical pro-abortion politician.
"I, frankly, in my own way of thinking have a more difficult time with the other option," the prelate added, making an apparent reference to President Trump, often called the most pro-life president in American history.
A faithful priest who wishes to remain anonymous responded to Tobin's double-dealing. He told Church Militant on Friday that "Cardinal Tobin's many mixed messages leave the faithful perplexed and profoundly confused."
The priest went further, speaking to the cardinal's duplicity regarding church matters. "Tobin's accepting the invitation to participate in this Rosary rally is just a thin covering of orthodoxy over his general heterodoxy," he reasoned.
Despite abortion being clearly at odds with Church teaching, Tobin — known to be a member of Pope Francis' inner circle — granted his ecclesiastical permission to vote for pro-abortion Biden during a Sept. 15 panel discussion called "The Church and Catholic Voters in the 2020 Election," hosted by Boston College's Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
The deliberate murder of an innocent person is gravely contrary to the dignity of the human being, to the golden rule, and to the holiness of the Creator. The law forbidding it is universally valid: It obliges each and everyone, always and everywhere.
Pope Benedict XVI often referred to the Church's stance on abortion. There are some "principles which are not negotiable" in the political arena, which include "protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death," the pontiff clearly stated in 2006 in an address to the European Parliamentary Group.
The pope emphasized that this is not only a Catholic position but one derived from natural law, "inscribed in human nature itself and therefore ... common to all humanity."
Tobin further critiqued the idea that Catholics must cast their votes based on a candidate's position on a single issue, revealing his adherence to the "seamless garment" theory — made famous by disgraced Cdl. Joseph Bernardin, an alleged satanist. "I don't think that we can reduce [voting], at least in the current panorama of issues, to how a candidate stands on a single issue," Tobin justified his position.
George Neumayr, author of The Political Pope: How Pope Francis Is Delighting The Liberal Left And Abandoning Conservatives, debunked Tobin's "single issue" logic. In an essay published Sept. 20 in The American Spectator, Neumayr wrote:
Like Tobin and the other Biden-supporting bishops, [Cdl. Blase] Cupich reveals his support by lecturing Catholics on the dangers of "single issue" voting. What a sophistical sham. Were the issue racism, instead of abortion, these voices would insist on single-issue voting. Imagine the bishops' reaction if the Republicans nominated a segregationist as president. None of them would dare say, "It is not a sin to vote for a segregationist." That abortion doesn't rise to that level for them reveals their lack of faith and their overriding Democratic allegiances.
In a statement released one day after the panel discussion — in an attempt to diminish the damage Tobin's remarks evoked across social media — the archdiocese of Newark claimed Tobin was not telling Catholics how to vote.
"Cardinal Tobin has neither endorsed nor opposed any candidate running for public office. He has simply reminded Catholics of our responsibility to take part in the elective process," the statement read.
But the diocese's damage control hide Tobin's meaning, Neumayr told Church Militant. He said:
Tobin let the cat out of the bag by disclosing his own preference for Biden over Trump. Since then, he has tried to pretend that he didn't endorse Biden. No one should buy that disavowal. He clearly prioritizes his own left-wing politics over the Faith.
Other priests and prelates, however, are guiding the faithful according to orthodox Catholic teaching.
In a widely shared video, Fr. James Altman, pastor of St. James the Less Catholic parish in La Crosse, Wisconsin, condemned Democrats as "godless" and warns Catholics not to vote for them this election due to their radical pro-abortion agenda.
"Here's a memo for clueless, baptized Catholics out there," said Altman. "You cannot be Catholic and be a Democrat — period."
"As the Bishop of Tyler I endorse Fr Altman's statement in this video," he wrote. "My shame is that it has taken me so long. Thank you Fr Altman for your COURAGE. If you love Jesus & His Church & this nation…pleases HEED THIS MESSAGE."
In a letter to the pro-life community released in September, the president pledged to fully defund Planned Parenthood next term.
Buttressing his pledge to block off all funds to the abortion giant, Trump promised to "continue appointing judges who respect the constitutional right to life" and "pass & sign Pain-Capable 5-month abortion ban."
This is not the first time Tobin has left the faithful wanting and confused.
When asked during a 2019 interview with America magazine about the sexual abuse crisis in the Church, the Newark prelate said: "A rethinking of the mystery of human sexuality is important, is incumbent. It is not going to be done in a weekend. We have to be able to ask questions of each other as we go forward, and listen."
Church Militant contacted the Archdiocese of Newark for comment, but as of press time, there was no reply.