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Cardinal Tobin looks to bridge chasm between faith, life in anxious world


  • Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin smiles while speaking to the congregation at the end of his Jan. 6 installation Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
  • Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin smiles as he greets a clergyman before his Jan. 6 installation Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
  • Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin greets clergymen before his Jan. 6 installation Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
  • A nun takes cell phone photo as Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin arrives for his Jan. 6 installation Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, right, is greeted as he arrives for the Jan. 6 installation Mass of Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
  • Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin greets prelates before his Jan. 6 installation Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
  • Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin enters the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J., to begin his his Jan. 6 installation Mass. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
  • Father James Turro, 92, one of the oldest priests in the Archdiocese of Newark, N.J., reads the program ahead of the Jan. 6 installation Mass for Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
  • A nun takes cell phone photo as Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin arrives for his Jan. 6 installation Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
  • A woman crosses the street ahead of the Jan. 6 installation Mass for Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

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NEWARK, N.J. (CNS) -- The chasm between faith and life is the greatest challenge facing the Catholic Church today, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin said at his installation Mass, and he urged the church to be salt for the earth so that the presence of Christ does not become "a comforting, nostalgic memory."

Delivering the homily during the liturgy Jan. 6, the feast of the Epiphany, Cardinal Tobin said he wanted to head off "a growing trend that seems to isolate us, convincing us to neatly compartmentalize our lives" as people attend Mass on Sunday and then doing "whatever we think we need to do to get by" the rest of the week.

Cardinal Tobin said his appointment reminded him "that stakes are incredibly high" as he assumes leadership of the richly diverse Archdiocese of Newark.

"If we permit the chasm between faith and life to continue to expand, we risk losing Christ, reducing him simply to an interesting idea of a comforting, nostalgic memory. And if we lose Christ, the world has lost the salt, light and leaven that could have transformed it," he said.

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