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Sodalitium Christianae Vitae - English / News  / Interview with Msgr. Joseph William Tobin, Vatican delegate for the Sodalitium case

Interview with Msgr. Joseph William Tobin, Vatican delegate for the Sodalitium case

Interview with the ad nutum delegate of the Vatican in the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, Archbishop Joseph William Tobin, Archbishop of Indianapolis.

What is the purpose of your first visit to the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae in Peru?

Msgr. Joseph William Tobin: The Holy See has asked me to accompany the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae in a process of facing some problems and with the hope of promoting at the same time a reform to the necessary extent. And so, hopefully my presence shows the concern of the entire Church, not only for this Institute but also for the Catholic Church in Peru.

Why did the Vatican appoint a Delegate and not a Commissioner for the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae?

Msgr. Joseph William Tobin: Because the Vatican still has hope in the current government of the Institute. It is usually the case when there is a certain ungovernability in an institute that the Vatican sees the need to appoint a Commissioner. This need right now does not see it.

What activity did you do during your first visit?

Msgr. Joseph William Tobin: I have come to know first hand the reality of the Sodalitium in its apostolic works, schools, social work. I have spent three full days with the Superior Council and also visited the House of Formation. Then I had a number of interviews with Sodalits and former Sodalits.

What is the impression that you are taking after this visit?

Msgr. Joseph William Tobin: On the one hand, the problems and challenges are serious. I believe that, on the other hand, there is a will on the part of the Superior Council to confront them with sincerity. I hope that this attitude continues and is shared by the other Sodalits.

From your experience, what is the most important thing in this type of process?

Msgr. Joseph William Tobin: I think that the most important thing – I hope not to sound too pious – the most important thing is faith, the faith that recognizes a charism as a gift from God. At the same time, the responsibility to live more coherently is the gift we have received. I believe that the consecrated life itself is a commitment to a life of continual conversion. I believe that the circumstances that have brought me to Peru are a very strong invitation to each Sodalit and to all together to live the charism more coherently.

Is it possible that an ecclesial institution can overcome this type of crisis?

Msgr. Joseph William Tobin: It is possible, yes. In fact, I think a little about the doctrine of Pope Francis: he says that God’s mercy knows no limits. What does know limits is our courage. With courage and faith you can conquer.

How will you carry out your function after this first trip?

Msgr. Joseph William Tobin: I will continue in communication with the Superior Council and also with the superiors in Rome. As an archbishop I have my pastoral duties but I hope to return from time to time to Peru to speak and see and reflect with the Sodalits more closely.

How long will your accompaniment to the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae last?

Msgr. Joseph William Tobin: This is a list in Latin, ad nutum Sanctae Sedes (according to the discretion of the Holy See), so the Holy Father could resign me tomorrow or he could ask me for more time. There is no fixed deadline. Just add my thanks that I would like to express to the Sodalits, the Superior Council and all those who make up the Christian Life Movement.