Bishop Thomas Tobin talks to NBC 10's Gene Valicenti about retirement, conservative legacy

Bishop Thomas Tobin talks to NBC 10’s Gene Valicenti about retirement, conservative legacy
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NBC 10’s Gene Valicenti caught up with Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence after Wednesday’s announcement of a coadjutor bishop, or the cleric who will succeed him. 

Tobin, who was installed in 2005, is known for his conservative stance on issues, such as abortion and same-sex marriage. 

Tobin said he doesn’t know enough about his appointed successor, Bishop Richard Henning, to know his theological and political stances.

“I didn’t know Bishop Henning until we met last week at the bishops’ meeting. We’d never met before. I’ve read a lot about him. I have a great deal of confidence in him. I think he’s very well prepared to lead the diocese. But time will tell. He will have to come in and learn the diocese and he’ll stake out his own positions,” Tobin said.

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Tobin said a change in leadership and approach is part of how the Catholic Church works.

“All I can claim is in 18 years that I will have been here, I’ve worked hard, and I’ve done my best. The rest is in the Lord’s hands,” Tobin said.

Tobin will turn 75 next year and must submit his resignation to the pope, who will decide whether to accept it.

“It’s going to be a while until my formal retirement is accepted. It could be months. It could be a year. Who knows how long?” Tobin said.

© Provided by WJAR Providence

Caption: {p}NBC 10’s Gene Valicenti caught up with Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence after the announcement of a coadjutor bishop.{/p}

Tobin told Valicenti that he plans to stay in Rhode Island after retirement and assist where he can, but step back from the spotlight.

Henning comes to Rhode Island from a diocese on Long Island.

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