NEWARK, N.J. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Cardinal Joseph Tobin's new senior associate for operations in the archdiocese of Newark is a devoted LGBTQ leader.
Originally from Houston, Texas, Sean Ryan is a consultant for McKinsey & Company, who in October began an assignment with the archdiocese as the cardinal's senior associate for operations.
In his LinkedIn profile, Ryan describes himself as an "[a]ctive leader in McKinsey's LGBTQ network, GLAM, with national-level leadership in LGBTQ and other diversity recruiting."
The archdiocese does not currently have any listing for Sean Ryan on its website.
Church Militant reached out to the archdiocese for clarifications regarding the reason for the hire, details of the position, Ryan's absence from the website and whether the archdiocese affirmed his LGBTQ advocacy.
A spokeswoman responded: "Individuals serving the Archdiocese of Newark are from diverse communities including a broad spectrum of ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds. That should not be misinterpreted as an overall endorsement of any political or social agenda, but rather a sign to simply welcome all of God's children to our Church."
Ryan expressed his excitement to work for the archdiocese on LinkedIn: "Excited to begin this new journey as a McKinsey secondee serving the Archdiocese of Newark under the leadership of Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark. So grateful to my family, friends, and professional supporters for helping to make this fantastic opportunity a reality."
Just prior to that post, Ryan spotlighted his participation in the Houston Pride Parade.
Tobin made headlines in February 2018 for a tweet in which he wrote: "Supposed to be airborne in 10 minutes. Nighty-night, baby. I love you."
The tweet was deleted and Jim Goodness, the archdiocesan director of communications at the time, claimed that "Nighty-night, baby. I love you" was intended as a private message to Tobin's sister.
Tobin then tweeted an explanation agreeing with Goodness' claim: "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."
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.— Joe Tobin (@CardinalJWTobin) February 23, 2018
Reactions to Tobin's explanatory tweet ranged from supportive to sarcastic.
"I believe you Cardinal Tobin," read a supportive tweet.
"Proof you are human ... your sisters are lucky to have you as a brother. Blessings Cardinal Tobin," read another.
"It's not clear which one of your followers is a sister of yours. Is it Rosica?" read a sarcastic tweet.
"Are you sure it's not one of your 'New Ways Ministry' connections? #Justsaying," read another.
The tweet seems to have occurred concurrently with Tobin housing a homosexual Italian actor named Francesco Castiglione in his rectory.
Investigative journalist George Neumayr asked Tobin in November 2018 if Castiglione was the real recipient of the infamous tweet.
"I sent that to my sister," replied Tobin.
When Neumayr pressed for proof, Tobin said, "I don't have to prove anything to you," walking away.
Tobin claimed that Castiglione was temporarily staying at the rectory to take language classes at Seton Hall, but has yet to provide a satisfactory answer to why he hosted an allegedly random Italian student in his own rectory rather than allowing him to live on campus like other students.
One of Tobin's first acts as archbishop of Newark was to welcome an LGBT pilgrimage and Mass to the archdiocesan cathedral.
In a September interview with America magazine editor-in-chief Fr. Matt Malone, Tobin made a unique claim about human sexuality.
"A rethinking of the mystery of human sexuality is important, is incumbent. It is not going to be done in a weekend," he said. "We have to be able to ask questions of each other as we go forward, and listen."